Pedernales, Dominican Republic

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Pedernales is located in Dominican Republic
Coordinates: 18°02′0″N 71°45′0″W / 18.033333°N 71.75°W / 18.033333; -71.75Coordinates: 18°02′0″N 71°45′0″W / 18.033333°N 71.75°W / 18.033333; -71.75
Country  Dominican Republic
Province Pedernales
Municipal Districts 2
Founded 1927
Municipality since 1957
 • Total 1,274.67 km2 (492.15 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 10 m (30 ft)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 24,291
 • Density 19/km2 (50/sq mi)
 • Urban 15,948
  Including populations of its municipal districts
Demonym(s) Pedernalense
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) AST (UTC-4)
Distance 135 km (84 mi) to Barahona
335 km (208 mi) to Santo Domingo

Pedernales is a Dominican city and the head municipality of the Pedernales province, in the southwest of the country near the border with Haiti.

Origin of name[change | change source]

The name of Pedernales was given to the town when it was founded because that was the name of the river that now is the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Pedernales or silex (in English, "flint") is the name of a hard mineral that is common in the region.

History[change | change source]

Before the conquest of the island by European people, some native groups lived around the place where the city of Pedernales is now.[4] But soon those groups disappeared and very few people came to live here because it is a very dry region.

When the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present Haiti) was created, the River Pedernales was the southern border between that colony and the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (present Dominican Republic). During those colonial times, some soldiers came here for some time but almost nobody lived here for a long time.

In 1927, the Dominican government brought farmers from other places of the country and made a town for them; the new town was given the name of Pedernales and its first administrator was Sócrates Nolasco who later became a well-known writer.

The city became, in 1938, a municipal district (an administrative division of a municipality in the Dominican Republic) of Enriquillo, province of Barahona.

When the Pedernales province was created in 1957, the city of Pedernales became the head municipality of the new province.

Geography[change | change source]

The only rivers in the municipality, and in the province, are the Pedernales and its tributary Mulito.

Sierra de Bahoruco ("Bahoruco mountain range") is in the northern half of the municipality; its highest mountain, and the highest mountain of the province, is Loma del Toro (2,367 m) in the limits with the Independencia province.[2]

The municipality has a total area of 1274.67 km².[1] It has two municipal districts (subdivisions of a municipality): José Francisco Peña Gómez and Juancho.[5]

The municipality of Pedernales has the Independencia Province to the north, the Barahona Province to the east, the municipality of Oviedo to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the south and Haiti to the west. The city is at about half kilometre from the border with Haiti.

Population[change | change source]

The municipality had, in 2010, a total population of 24,291: 12,854 men and 11,437 women. The urban population was 65.65% 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 Pedernales without those municipal districts was 14,590.[3]

Economy[change | change source]

Border between Haiti and Dominican Republic, viewed from the Pedernales side

Because Pedernales is on the border, the trade with Haiti is important. But the main economic activity is farming, mainly on the mountains, where coffee and beans are important products. Potato, cabbage and other vegetables are produced in the Sierra de Bahoruco.

Fishing is also an important activity in the province, mainly close to the Beata Island, where lobster, conch and several kind of fishes are caught.

Tourism is becoming an important economic activity because there are several beautiful beaches with white sand, like Cabo Rojo and Bahía de las Águilas. There are two of the largest national parks of the country: the Jaragua National Park and the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park.

Mining of limestone to send to other countries and for a cement factory is another important economic activity in the municipality.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  2. 2.0 2.1 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. Veloz Maggiolo, Marcio (1972) (in Spanish). Arqueología Prehistórica de Santo Domingo. Singapur: McGraw-Hill Far Eastern Publishers. pp. 88.
  5. Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "División Territorial 2008" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01.

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