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Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic (after Santo Domingo), with a population of 622,101 in 2006. It is the capital and considered the most Spanish city in the province of Santiago. The city gets its name from the thirty Spanish gentlemen who settled there in 1504; in Dominican history it is the city of earthquakes and uprisings. Earthquakes struck the city in 1775, 1783, 1842, and 1946. Santiago is the economic center and historical rival of Santo Domingo, the political center, less than 85 miles to the southeast. It is 23 miles from the main port on the north coast, Puerto Plata. The city lies in the rich Cibao Valley, the country's breadbasket.

Santiago is the home of a prosperous, enlightened conservative elite. These cibaeños are the landed aristocracy, the best educated and most cosmopolitan and cultured citizens. A score of related families have dominated business, and their wealth is based on land, cattle, sugar and rum, tobacco, coffee, cacao, and rice. The business community and the Conference of Dominican Bishops together established the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in 1962 as an alternative to the public Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. It was modeled after the U.S. style of university in terms of curriculum, pedagogy, and organization. The Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago followed in 1974.


Brown, Isabel Zakrzewski. Culture and Customs of the Dominican Republic. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Espinal Hernández, Edwin. Historia social de Santiago de los Caballeros, 1863–1900. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Fundación Manuel de Jesús Tavares Portes, 2005.

Martin, John Bartlow. Overtaken by Events: The Dominican Crisis from the Fall of Trujillo to the Civil War (1966), chap. 6.

Moya Pons, Frank. El pasado dominicano (1986).

Rosario, Esteban. La oligarquía de Santiago. 2nd Edition. Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic: Editora Central, 1997.

Wiarda, Howard J., and Michael J. Kryzanek. The Dominican Republic: A Caribbean Crucible, 2d ed. (1992).

                                     Larman C. Wilson

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