Elías Piña Province

province of the Dominican Republic

Elías Piña is a Dominican province in the western part of the country, on the border with Haiti. Its capital city is Comendador.

Elías Piña
Coat of arms of Elías Piña
Location of the Elías Piña Province
Location of the Elías Piña Province
Country Dominican Republic
Province since1942
 • TypeSubdivisions
 • Body6 municipalities
7 municipal districts
 • Congresspersons1 Senator
2 Deputies
 • Total1,426.20 km2 (550.66 sq mi)
 • Total84,632
 • Density59/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (EST)
Area code1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2DO-07
Postal Code73000

It was created on 1942 as Province San Rafael. In 1965, its name was changed to Province Estrelleta and, finally, in 1972 it got its present name. Before 1942, the area of this province was part of the San Juan province.

Name change

Elías Piña was an officer of the Dominican army when the Dominican-Haitian War. He was born in a place near Comendador and died in 1845 in a battle near Bánica.[1]

Location change

Elías Piña has Dajabón to the northwest, Santiago Rodríguez to the northeast, San Juan to the east and the Independencia province to the south. To the west Elías Piña borders the Republic of Haiti.

History change

Few people lived in the territory of Elías Piña during colonial times because it was on the border between two colonies: the French Saint-Domingue and the Spanish Santo Domingo. After 1844, the region became part of the border between Haiti and Dominican Republic.

The only town founded during the colony was Bánica, in the eastern end of a region of many savannas that was called Oncéano by the Spanish; most of Oncéano is now part of the Centre Department of Haiti. Both Comendador and Hondo Valle were military posts on the border after the Dominican independence. The rest of the present province had very few people until the end of the Restoration War in 1865 when families from other parts of the country came to live here.

During the Dominican-Haitian War (1844-1856), Haitian soldiers came across this region; because of that, there were many fights here. The most important fight was La Estrelleta Battle, in a savanna to the east of Comendador.

Since colonial times, the territory was part of the Azua province until it was changed to the Benefactor province (now the San Juan province) when this province was created in 1938.

The Elías Piña province was created in 1942 with the municipalities of Elías Piña and Bánica; the new province was named San Rafael and its capital was the city of Elías Piña. In 1965, the name of the province was changed to La Estrelleta and later, in 1972, it was changed to Elías Piña and the capital got its old name of Comendador.[2]

Pedro Santana became a municipality of the province in 1952, El Llano in 1974, Hondo Valle in 1978 and Juan Santiago in 2005.[2]

The municipal districts of the province were created in:[2]

  • 1992 : Río Limpio
  • 2004 : Sabana Larga
  • 2005 : Guanito and Sabana Cruz
  • 2006 : Guayabo, Sabana Higüero and Rancho de la Guardia

Population change

In 2014 (last national census), there were 84,632 people living in the Elías Piña province, and only 30,429 (36%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 60.6 persons/km², one of the lowest in the country.[3]

Its population represents 0.9% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 28th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

As of 2016, the total estimated propulation of the province is 63,449 inhabitants.[4]

The largest city of the province is Comendador, its head municipality or capital, with an urban population (in 2010) of 12,400 inhabitants.[3]

Geography change

The Elías Piña province has a total area of 1,395.5 km2 (538.8 sq mi).[3] It has 2.9% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 14th (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province.

There are two main roads in the province. One, Carretera Sánchez (Sánchez National Road), goes through the central part of the province from east to west; this is one of the main road of the country and goes from Santo Domingo to the western part of the country, to Comendador.

The second main road goes from south to north; it starts in the Sánchez National Road at Matayaya (San Juan province) and goes through Bánica and Pedro Santana and then through the Dajabón and Monte Cristi provinces to end in San Fernando de Monte Cristi, on the north coast. This road, for several kilometres north of Pedro Santana, marks the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and, for that reason, is called "International Road".

There are other secondary roads. One of them goes from Comendador to Hondo Valle and then to the Independencia province, crossing the Sierra de Neiba mountain range.

Mountains change

Two mountain ranges crosses the province from east to west and then into Haiti. The Cordillera Central ("Central mountain range") is in the northern part of the province, and the Sierra de Neiba runs across the southern half. The area between those two mountain ranges is composed of several valleys, formed by the Artibonite River and its tributaries, and low mountains (hills).

The highest mountain in the province is the Loma La Tasajera del Chivito at 2,179 m (7,149 ft) above sea level in the Sierra de Neiba. Nalga de Maco, 1,990 m (6,529 ft) high (19°12′35.35″N 71°28′48.32″E / 19.2098194°N 71.4800889°E / 19.2098194; 71.4800889 (Loma Nalga de Maco)), is the second highest mountain, in the northeast corner of the province, close to the Santiago Rodríguez province. It is the highest mountain in the western Cordillera Central.[5]

Rivers change

The main river is the Artibonite that, in some places, marks the Dominican-Haitian border. Other rivers are Macasías, Tocino, Joca and Vallecito, all of them tributaries of the Artibonite river. The Caña river is the most important in the southern part of the province, going from south to north; it is a tributary of the Macasías river.

Climate change

The climate of the province is a tropical climate, hot most of the year, but it is cooler on the mountains.

Municipalities change

There are 6 municipalities and 7 municipal districts (M.D.) in the province.[2] The municipalities and its municipal districts (M.D.) are:

Municipalities of the Elías Piña province
Municipality (code) Municipal Districts (code) Population
Density Altitude
Comendador (070101) 19,344 126.9 152.4 394
Sabana Larga (070102) 2,056 101.1 20.3 373
Guayabo (070103) 4,524 28.1 161.0 561
Comendador (070100) 25,924 256.2 101.2
Bánica (070201) 2,112 67.3 31.4 277
Sabana Cruz (070202) 2,154 68.2 31.6 344
Sabana Higüero (070203) 2,267 130.7 17.3 438
Bánica (070200)) 6,533 266.3 24.5
El Llano (070301) 4,193 17.1 245.2 544
Guanito (070302) 4,151 82.8 50.1 1,101
El Llano (070300) 8,344 100.0 83.4
Hondo Valle (070401) 7,194 78.7 91.4 899
Rancho de la Guardia (070402) 3,393 43.9 77.3 816
Hondo Valle (070400) 10,587 122.6 86.4
Pedro Santana (070501) 3,917 236.1 16.6 293
Río Limpio (070502) 3,364 312.2 10.8 771
Pedro Santana (070500) 7,281 548.3 13.3
Juan Santiago (070601) 4,360 102.2 42.7 807
Juan Santiago (070600) 4,360 102.2 42.7
Elías Piña province (070000) 63,029 1,395.5 45.2

Economy change

As in all border provinces in the Dominican Republic, there is little economic development. The trade with Haiti is important, mainly in Comendador. On the mountains, coffee and beans are important products. Potatoes are also produced in the south (Sierra de Neiba).

Related pages change

References change

  1. Caamaño Castillo, Rafael E. (1996). Comendador: Apuntes para su historia (in Spanish). Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Corripio. p. 29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "División Territorial 2015" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). October 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Consejo Nacional de Población y Familia. "Estamaciones y Proyecciones de la Población Dominicana por Regiones, Provincias, Municipios y Distritos Municipales, 2014" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  4. "REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA: Población por año calendario, según sexo y grupos quinquenales de edad, 2015-2020" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). Archived from the original (XLS) on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  5. Departamento de Vida Silvestre (1992). Reconocimiento y Evaluación de los Recursos Naturales en Loma Nalga de Maco (in Spanish). Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Secretaría de Estado de Agricultura.