Mao, Dominican Republic

Mao, Dominican Republic

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Mao
native_name = Santa Cruz de Mao
nickname = City of Beautiful Sunsets
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Street in Mao


image_shield =

map_caption =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|Dominican Republic
subdivision_type1 =
subdivision_name1 =
subdivision_type2 = Province
subdivision_name2 = Valverde
demonym = Maeño(a)
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
established_title = Founded
established_date = 1875
established_title2 = Municipality since
established_date2 = 1882
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude =
unit_pref =
area_footnotes = Superficies a nivel de municipios, [ Oficina Nacional de Estadistica] ]
area_total_km2 = 409.66
area_land_km2 =
area_water_km2 =
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_blank1_title =
area_blank1_km2 =
area_blank1_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2002
population_footnotes = Censo 2002 de Población y Vivienda, [ Oficina Nacional de Estadistica] ]
population_total = 49475
population_density_km2 =
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 = 120.8
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban = 47828
timezone =
utc_offset =
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
latd=19|latm=34 |latNS=N |longd=71 |longm=05 |longEW=W
elevation_m = 78
elevation_ft =
elevation_footnotes = [cite book
last = De la Fuente
first = Santiago
title = Geografía Dominicana
publisher = Editora Colegial Quisqueyana
date = 1976
location = Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
language = Spanish
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
website =
blank_name = Municipalities
blank_info = 3
footnotes =
The Dominican city of Santa Cruz de Mao, or simply Mao, is the head municipality of the Valverde province, on the northwest of the country.

It is the largest city of the Dominican northwest and the centre of the region. Its name, a Taíno word, comes from the River Mao, near the city. Its nickname is "Ciudad de los Bellos Atardeceres" (English, "City of the Beautiful Sunsets") because there are not mountains to the west of the city and it is common to see a "red" sky during the sunset; it is a very dry region and there are much dust in the air which gives the red color to the sky.


The municipality had, in 2002, a total population of 49,475: 24,404 men and 25,071 women. The urban population was 96.67% of the total population, one of the most urban municipality in the country.


For most of its history, the region was called "El Despoblado"; that means a region without any population, because it is a very dry region and agriculture was not possible.

When the governor of the Spanish colony gave the order in 1606 that everybody living on the northern coast had to move inland, some people came to live around the present Mao. They had cows that were raised in "hatos"; "hato" means a large farm for raising cattle (a ranch). And so "hato" is the name of many places around Mao: Hatico, Hato del Yaque, Hato Nuevo, Hato Viejo, Hato del Medio.cite book
first =Héctor
last =Brea Tió
title =Mao y su gente
publisher =Librería La Trinitaria
date =1997
location =Santo Domingo
language =Spanish
] .

The town of Mao was built close to where the River Mao flows into the River Yaque del Norte. The first Catholic church was build in 1869.

Mao was made a "Puesto Cantonal" (an old category similar to the present Municipal District under a military government). In 1882, Mao was elevated to the category of municipality and in 1904 its official name was changed to "Valverde" after José Desiderio Valverde, past President of the Dominican Republic. Because the name Mao was known by everybody and Valverde was a new name, people called the city as "Valverde (Mao)", and it is still common to say so.

When the province was created in 1959, Mao was made its head municipality and provincial capital.


The main economic activity of the province is agriculture; the main products in the municipality are rice, bananas and plantain.


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