Pedernales Province

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Coordinates: 18°2′0″N 71°45′0″W / 18.033333°N 71.75°W / 18.033333; -71.75
Country  Dominican Republic
Capital Pedernales
 - elevation 10 m (33 ft)
 - coordinates 18°2′0″N 71°45′0″W / 18.033333°N 71.75°W / 18.033333; -71.75
Area 2,074.53 km² (801 sq mi)
Population 31,587 (2010) [1]
Density 15 /km² (39 /sq mi)
Province since 1957
Subdivisions 2 municipalities
2 municipal districts
Congresspersons 1 Senator
2 Deputies
Timezone AST (UTC-4)
Area code 1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2 DO-16
Location of the Pedernales Province
Location of the Pedernales Province

Pedernales is a Dominican province; it is in the southwestern part of the country, on the border with Haiti. Its capital city has the same name, Pedernales.

It was created on 16 December 1957. It was a municipality of the Barahona province before being elevated to the category of province.

Location[change | change source]

Pedernales is bordered to the north by the province of Independencia, to the northeast by Barahona, to the east and south by the Caribbean Sea. To the west Pedernales borders the Republic of Haiti.

Origin of name[change | change source]

The province was named after the River Pedernales; this river is the southern border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. And the river is named Pedernales because the mineral flint (in Spanish, pedernal) is common in the region.

History[change | change source]

Some native groups lived close to the coast and the River Pedernales before the conquest of the island by European people.[2] But very few people has lived in the region, for most of its history, because it is a very dry region.

In his second travel to America, Christopher Columbus discovered and named part of the present island, including the Beata and Alto Velo islands.[3]

Until the 20th century, the only people living here were Haitians and many places have French names. Sometimes, during the Dominican-Haitian War (1844-1856), Haitian soldiers came across this region because there were not Dominican soldiers. The only fight between soldiers of the two countries in the territory of the present province was close to the El Can bay, near the town of Juancho, on 6 January 1856.

Since colonial times, the territory was part of the Azua province until it was changed to the Barahona when this province was created in 1881. The dictator Rafael Trujillo created the Pedernales province in 1957.

Municipalities[change | change source]

Pedernales has a total area of 2,074.53 km².[4] It has 4.3% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 7th (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province.

There are two municipalities and two municipal districts in the province.[5] The municipalities and their municipal districts (M.D.) are:

Population[change | change source]

In 2010 (last national census), there were 31,587 people living in the Pedernales province, and 20,345 (64.41%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 15.2 persons/km², the lowest in the country.[6]

Its population represents 0.3% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 32th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

The largest city of the province is Pedernales, its head municipality or capital, with a population (in 2010) of 14,590 inhabitants.[6]

Geography[change | change source]

The province is in the Barahona Peninsula. Sierra de Bahoruco ("Bahoruco mountain range") is in the northern half of the province; its highest mountain, and the highest mountain of the province, is Loma del Toro (2,367 m) in the limits with the Independencia province.[7]

The rest of the province is formed by savannas and plains of limestone rocks. The savannas are close to the coast, as the Sansón Savanna in Oviedo and the Pedernales Savanna around the city of Pedernales.

Several small islands belong to the province. The main islands are Beata and Alto Velo.

The only important river is the River Pedernales, with its tributary River Mulito. The River Pedernales marks the Dominican-Haitian border.

There are several lagoons (a lagoon is a small lake close to the sea) with brackish water. The most important is the Laguna de Oviedo, on the eastern coast and near the town of Oviedo, with an area of 28 km². On the western coast, the most important lagoon is Laguna Salada, with an area of 1.8 km².

Climate[change | change source]

The climate of the province is tropical, hot most of the year, but it is cooler on the mountains. It is very dry in the savannas and plains, with long droughts, but rains are common in the high mountains.

Economy[change | change source]

As in all border provinces in the Dominican Republic, there is little economic development. The trade with Haiti is important, above all in the capital city. On the mountains, 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.

Because of the beautiful beaches of the western coast of the province, like Bahía de las Águilas ("Eagles Bay"), tourism is becoming an important economic activity. There are two of the largest national parks of the country: the Jaragua National Park and the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park.

The development of the province was produced by the mining of bauxite (an aluminium ore) but, since 1984, it has changed to the mining of limestone to send to other countries and for a cement factory.

References[change | change source]

  1. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2010." (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística. June 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. Veloz Maggiolo, Marcio (1972) (in Spanish). Arqueología Prehistórica de Santo Domingo. Singapur: McGraw-Hill Far Eastern Publishers. pp. 88.
  3. Las Casas, Bartolomé de (1965) (in Spanish). Historia de las Indias. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
  4. Listado de Códigos de Provincias, Municipio y Distritos Municipales, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  5. Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "División Territorial 2008" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2013-1-29.
  7. De la Fuente, Santiago (1976) (in Spanish). Geografía Dominicana. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.