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Santa Cruz de Mao
Street in Mao
Street in Mao
Nickname(s): City of Beautiful Sunsets
Mao is located in Dominican Republic
Coordinates: 19°34′N 71°05′W / 19.567°N 71.083°W / 19.567; -71.083Coordinates: 19°34′N 71°05′W / 19.567°N 71.083°W / 19.567; -71.083
Country  Dominican Republic
Province Valverde
Municipal Districts 3
Founded 1875
Municipality since
 • Total 409.66 km2 (158.17 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 78 m (256 ft)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 76,863
 • Density 188/km2 (490/sq mi)
 • Urban 62,225
  Including populations of its municipal districts
Demonym(s) Maeño (female, maeña)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) AST (UTC-4)
Distance 60 km (37 mi) to Santiago
210 km (130 mi) to Santo Domingo

The Dominican city of Santa Cruz de Mao, or simply Mao, is the head municipality of the Valverde province, on the northwest of the country.

It is the largest city of the Dominican northwest and the centre of the region. Its name, a Taíno word, comes from the River Mao, near the city. Its nickname is Ciudad de los Bellos Atardeceres (English, "City of the Beautiful Sunsets") because there are not mountains to the west of the city and it is common to see a "red" sky during the sunset; it is a very dry region and there are much dust in the air which gives the red color to the sky.

Population[change | change source]

The municipality had, in 2010, a total population of 76,863: 39,640 men and 37,223 women. The urban population was 80.96% of the total population. In this numbers are included the population of the municipal districts that are part the municipality. The population of the city of Mao without those municipal districts was 51,647.[3]

History[change | change source]

For most of its history, the region was called "El Despoblado"; that means a region without any population, because it is a very dry region and agriculture was not possible.

When the governor of the Spanish colony gave the order in 1606 that everybody living on the northern coast had to move inland, some people came to live around the present Mao. They had cows that were raised in hatos; "hato" means a large farm for raising cattle (a ranch). And so "hato" is the name of many places around Mao: Hatico, Hato del Yaque, Hato Nuevo, Hato Viejo, Hato del Medio.[4]

The town of Mao was built close to where the River Mao flows into the River Yaque del Norte. The first Catholic church was build in 1869.

Mao was made a Puesto Cantonal (an old category similar to the present Municipal District under a military government). In 1882, Mao was elevated to the category of municipality and in 1904 its official name was changed to "Valverde" after José Desiderio Valverde, past President of the Dominican Republic.[4] Because the name Mao was known by everybody and Valverde was a new name, people called the city as "Valverde (Mao)", and it is still common to say so.

When the province was created in 1959, Mao was made its head municipality and provincial capital.[4]

Economy[change | change source]

The main economic activity of the province is agriculture; the main products in the municipality are rice, bananas and plantain.

References[change | change source]

  1. Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  2. De la Fuente, Santiago (1976) (in Spanish). Geografía Dominicana. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2013-1-29.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Brea Tió, Héctor (1997) (in Spanish). Mao y su gente. Santo Domingo: Librería La Trinitaria.

Provincial capitals of the Dominican Republic Flag of the Dominican Republic
AzuaBaníBarahonaBonaoComendadorCotuíDajabónEl SeiboHato MayorHigüeyJimaníLa RomanaLa VegaMaoMocaMonte CristiMonte PlataNaguaNeibaPedernalesPuerto PlataSabanetaSalcedoSamanáSan CristóbalSan Francisco de MacorísSan José de OcoaSan Juan de la MaguanaSan Pedro de MacorísSantiago de los CaballerosSanto DomingoSanto Domingo Este