San Juan de la Maguana

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San Juan
San Juan de la Maguana
San Juan is located in Dominican Republic
San Juan
Coordinates: 18°48′36″N 71°13′48″W / 18.81°N 71.23°W / 18.81; -71.23Coordinates: 18°48′36″N 71°13′48″W / 18.81°N 71.23°W / 18.81; -71.23
Country  Dominican Republic
Province San Juan
Municipal Districts 9
Founded 1503
Municipality since 1844
 • Total 1,726.74 km2 (666.70 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 415 m (1,362 ft)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 132,177
 • Density 76.5/km2 (198/sq mi)
 • Urban 87,677
  Including populations of its municipal districts
Demonym(s) Sanjuanero
(female, sanjuanera)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) AST (UTC-4)
Distance 85 km (53 mi) to Azua
120 km (75 mi) to Santo Domingo

The Dominican city of San Juan de la Maguana, or simply San Juan, is the head municipality of the San Juan province, on the west of the country.

It is the largest city of western Dominican and the centre of the region. It was one of the first European city founded in the Hispaniola island.

Population[change | change source]

The municipality had, in 2010, a total population of 132,177: 69,329 men and 62,848 women. The urban population was 66.33% 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 San Juan without those municipal districts was 78,313.[3]

History[change | change source]

The valley area of San Juan was the seat of Maguana whose leader was Caonabo. Caonabo in aboriginal language means "gran señor de la tierra or Great Lord of the Earth". Caonabo was the cacique or chief of the Taíno, upon the death of his uncle and became the most important and powerful ruler in Hispaniola at the time. He led the Taíno revolt against the Spanish invaders and was captured and died in a shipwreck while being taken to Spain as a prisoner. A brother of Caonabo and other allied Taíno caciques led the revolt against the Spanish and finally lost the battle in 1495.

San Juan de la Maguana was founded by the Spanish in 1503 by Diego Velázquez, who later went to conquest the island of Cuba, when Nicolás de Ovando was the Spanish governor of the island.[4]

The city was named after St. John Baptist; Maguana is the Taíno name for the Taíno people which previously resided in the area, pre-Spanish invasion. Taíno also means "small valley".[4]

In 1606, those that were living in San Juan de la Maguana were ordered by the Spanish king to move to a place to the northwest of the city of Santo Domingo and the region was left without people for several years.

After the Dominican independence in 1844, there were some battles in this region between the Haitian and Dominican armies. The most important battle was the Santomé Battle on 22 December 1855 in a savanna to the west of the city where the Dominican army won the fight.

Geography[change | change source]

San Juan de la Maguana is in the centre of the San Juan Valley, the old Taíno Maguana, with the Cordillera Central ("Central mountain chain") to the north and east, and the Sierra de Neiba to the south. To the west there is a chain of low hills.

The River San Juan is the main river of the region and the city was founded on the left (eastern) side of this river.

The municipality has a total area of 1,726.74 km².[1] It has nine municipal districts (subdivisions of a municipality);[5] these are:

  1. El Rosario
  2. Guanito
  3. Hato del Padre
  4. La Jagua
  5. Las Maguanas-Hato Nuevo
  6. Las Charcas de María Nova
  7. Pedro Corto
  8. Sabana Alta
  9. Sabaneta

Economy[change | change source]

The main economic activity of the province is agriculture and the main crops are rice, in the summer, and beans, in winter.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 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 Garrido, Víctor (1972). "El Valle de la Maguana" (in Spanish). Espigas históricas. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Academia Dominicana de la Historia, Vol. XXXI. pp. pp. 329-339.
  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