Cibao Productive



Before starting to present the data, IT IS NECESSARY TO DIFFERENTIATE THE PROVINCE OF SANTIAGO AND THE CITY OF SANTIAGO DE LOS CABALLEROS. One thing is the Santiago Province, which has 9 municipalities and 17 municipal districts and another, is Santiago of the Knights, which is the capital of the province (included within the municipalities).

In the first part of this publication we expose the most relevant information of the Province of Santiago and later, in this same article, we focus on Santiago de los Caballeros or “La Ciudad Corazón”.


*The natives or residents of Santiago are called santiagueros/as.

*The province of Santiago has a population of over one and a half million inhabitants.

*It has an average temperature of 25°C during the year, with the months of December, January and February being the coolest and July and August being the hottest.

*It is estimated that the province of Santiago has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire Dominican Republic.

*The province is located in the center of the north-central region of the country, being the area known as the Cibao Valley.

*From Santo Domingo (the capital of the country) you travel around 160 kilometers to get to Santiago.

*The province has 9 municipalities and 17 municipal districts. Santiago de los Caballeros heads the municipalities, being the provincial capital. The remaining municipalities are: San José de las Matas (SAJOMA), Villa Bisonó (Navarrete), Villa González, Licey al Medio, Tamboril, Puñal, Jánico and Sabana Iglesia.

*The province of Santiago has the José Armando Bermúdez National Park, which is the main forest reserve in the Dominican Republic.

*In the municipality of Licey al Medio is the Cibao International Airport, which is the main airport in the North Region and the third largest nationally.


According to historians, the name Santiago It originates from the time of colonization (1492), when the Spaniards who arrived from La Isabela (Puerto Plata) called it "La Villa de Santiago", which was the king of knights. It is also said that the name is based on honor of the Spanish city Santiago de Compostela and that the first residents were 30 knights of the "Order of Santiago el Mayor".

The city was originally settled in 1495 on the banks of the Yaque del Norte River. It was then moved to the site of Jacagua in 1504 (today a neighborhood in Santiago is called Jacagua), but an earthquake shook the settlement in 1562, causing it to be moved again to the banks of the Yaque del Norte River, until the sun of today.

Since the transfer of the city, Santiago grew little by little during the remaining second part of the 15th century (from 1562 to the end of the century), as well as during the 1600 and 1700 centuries, essentially due to its location in the center of Cibao. The economy was based on the production of tobacco and other agricultural items, as well as on cattle raising. The inhabitants of surrounding towns (Moca, La Vega, Mao, Salcedo, San Francisco, Puerto Plata, Monte Cristi and others) moved to Santiago to market their products and naturally, some stayed to reside in the city, which gradually caused an increase in the typical constructions of those years.

During the 1700-1800 century, Santiago was the victim of earthquakes and pirate attacks, but continued to grow, constituting itself from its early years in the main city of Cibao and second in importance at the national level, situation that still exists. In the early 1800s the city had a very negative event, as it was invaded and looted by Haitian troops.

In 1842, Santiago is shaken by a strong earthquake, registering a large number of victims, but the March 30, 1844 in one of the key battles for the achievement of national independence. Also, this city had a very prominent role from 1861 to 1685 in the Restoration War, that Dominican sovereignty returned, which had been annexed to Spain.


Great Economic Power. Including the 8 municipalities and the main municipality, the province of Santiago has a great economic activity, based on agricultural production, industries, free zones, commerce, services and other items. 


Nowadays, It is the economic axis of the Cibao, with industry leadership tobacco (especially in Villa González), in the industries of free zone, on the industrialization of many lines, in companies agroindustrial and how commercial and service center of the entire North Region. It is also very important in poultry and pig farming (especially in Licey al Medio) and the remittances that are received from abroad (as an example the Municipality of Sabana Iglesia)..


They call it the heart city because it is located in the center of Cibao.

Santiago de los Caballeros is the main municipality (or the capital) of the province of Santiago and, in our opinion, goes further, because It is the capital of the Cibao.

It is a modern city
which has had impressive growth in recent decades, with a population approaching 900,000 people, being its main characteristic the large number of commercial establishments of all kinds, production companies, financial centers, health centers, educational entities and representations of government entities, among other aspects, that place it at the level of any prosperous urban center in the world.

A clear example of the growth that the city has had in the last 20-25 years is the increase in the construction of residential projects, modern business buildings, large shopping malls and the territorial expansion of the city. Actually, Santiago de los Caballeros has been transformed.


When talking about some kind of reference to Santiago de los Caballeros, the first thing that comes to mind is the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration or simply, "Monument". Another aspect that clearly distinguishes the city is “Cars", which is a tradition and at the same time, a tourist attraction. Many years ago, cars represented the main means of transportation and when they were replaced, they became a relic and a great attraction for residents and visitors.

This city in the Northern Region has a great cultural richness, with valuable historical monuments, which are part of its tourist attraction. When you visit the monument area and move to the historic center, passing through several emblematic shopping streets, you really enjoy an unforgettable experience.

As part of the cultural route of Santiago, it is almost mandatory to see the Gran Teatro del Cibao, the Casa de la Cultura, the León Center, the Palacio Consistorial (over 100 years old), the Recreation Center, the Santiago Apóstol Cathedral ( also over 100 years old), among other interesting cultural attractions.

Other attractions of the Ciudad Corazón are the murals, that have been promoted by the Mayor of the city, the carnival from Santiago and the baseball team Cibaeñas Eagles, which is part of the identity of Santiago.


When we talk about the development that Santiago has had, we necessarily have to refer to a group of private companies and public institutions that have marked its course over time, among which the following stand out:

Mayor or City Council of Santiago. Formally created in the year 1508, a few years after the arrival of the Spanish during colonization.

Bermudez House, originally known as The Without Rival, It has been operating since 1852, as a liquor company.

Sunday Electric Company. Although it is not known, it was the company that installed the first telephone lines in Santiago in 1897 (between the Fortaleza and the Gobernación).

Leon Jimenes Group. Cultivates, processes and markets tobacco (cigars and cigarettes) (1903).

Shops on Calle Del Sol. From the beginning of the 1900s, this road became the main commercial area of Santiago, with establishments such as the sophia (begins around 1910), The pear (1925) and George Pharmacy (1930).

Hache hardware store. It markets construction materials and articles since 1932.

Branches of state banks in Santiago. Reserve Bank (1941), Agricultural Bank (1946) and Central Bank (1980).

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. Start academic activities in 1962.

Higher Institute of Agriculture.
Educational entity focused on agriculture (1962).

Tobacco Institute. Support tobacco operations. Founded in 1962.

Cibao Association of Savings and Loans.  Promotes savings and finances housing projects (1962).

Beginning in the 1970s, other private companies and public institutions arise who have also made important contributions to the development of Santiago.

Together with the evolution that the entire province of Santiago and its capital have had and the development reached in different magnitudes, we cannot fail to mention the affable character of the Santiago native and how much he loves his city.

When a person visits Santiago and interacts with its people, they immediately feel the pleasant sensation of being in a different, friendly and very welcoming place. 

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