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San José de Ocoa Province

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Coordinates: 18°33′N 70°30′W / 18.55°N 70.5°W / 18.55; -70.5
San José de Ocoa
Country  Dominican Republic
Capital San José de Ocoa
 - elevation 475 m (1,558 ft)
 - coordinates 18°33′N 70°30′W / 18.55°N 70.5°W / 18.55; -70.5
Area 855.40 km² (330 sq mi)
Population 59,544 (2010) [1]
Density 70 /km² (181 /sq mi)
Province since 2000
Subdivisions 3 municipalities
3 municipal districts
Congresspersons 1 Senator
2 Deputies
Timezone AST (UTC-4)
Area code 1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2 DO-31
Location of San José de Ocoa Province
Location of San José de Ocoa Province

San José de Ocoa is a Dominican province; it is on the southern side of the Cordillera Central. Its capital city has the same name, San José de Ocoa.

It was created on 6 September 2000 but it started on 1 January 2001. It was a municipality of the Peravia province before being raised to the category of province.


San José de Ocoa is bordered to the north by the Monseñor Nouel and La Vega provinces, to the east by San Cristóbal, to the south by the Peravia, and to the west by Azua.

Origin of name

The province is named after its capital city, San José de Ocoa. Ocoa is the name of the river that crosses the province; it is a Taíno word that means "a place with many mountains".


Bartolomé de Las Casas was the first person that wrote about the region when he said that Maniey (now, Maniel) was a Taíno province.[2] Maniey or Maniel meant "a place where there are peanuts";[3] mani (Spanish, "maní") is the Taíno word for peanut. Peter Martyr d'Anghiera did not write about the Maniey but he wrote about a lake in the region of Rancho Arriba;[4] there is not a lake (or lakes) there anymore, only a swamp.

For a long time, the region was visited only by monteros (men that hunted wild cows and pigs). Then some maroons (runaway slaves) came to live here, in the high mountains of the region. One settlement was called Maniel; since then, Maniel meant in Hispaniola a place where maroons live and not only the name of the region.

The first settlement by maroons in the region is from the beginning of the 16th century and was called Maniel Viejo de Ocoa.[5] This settlement lasted until 1666 or 1667 because many people died from smallpox and measles that affected the island in those years. There was also a military action in the region to capture maroons.

The second settlement was during the first years of the 19th century (around 1802), and it is known as Maniel de los Lorenzos ("Lorenzos' Maniel") because of the last name ("Lorenzo") of its founders. It was founded at El Canal, north of the city of San José de Ocoa.[5]

Very soon some families from Baní, on the south, began to move to the region and made their houses at what is now the city of San José de Ocoa.[5]

On December 1858, San José de Ocoa was made a municipality of the old province of Santo Domingo; in 1895, it was changed to a municipality of the Azua province. With the creation of the Peravia, San José de Ocoa was a municipality of that new province. Then, on 6 September 2000, San José de Ocoa was made a new province.

During the Dominican War of Independence (1844), there were two important battles in the region: the battles of El Memiso and El Pinar, won by Dominican soldiers. So the Haitian soldiers could not go on to Santo Domingo, and had to go back to Haiti.


San José de Ocoa has a total area of 855.40 km2.[6] It has 1.8% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 25th (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province.

There are three municipalities and four municipal districts in the province.[7]

The municipalities and their municipal districts (M.D.) are:


In 2010 (last national census), there were 59,544 people living in the San José de Ocoa province, and 37,466 (62.92%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 69.6 persons/km2.[8]

Its population represents 0.6% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 29th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

The largest city of the province is San José de Ocoa, its head municipality or capital, with a population (in 2010) of 25,710 inhabitants.[8]


The main economic activity of the province is agriculture; the main products are coffee, beans and potatoes. Other vegetables, such as cabbage and carrots, are also grown as well as some tropical fruits (avocado and mango).


  1. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2010." (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística. June 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  2. Las Casas, Fray Bartolomé de (1966) (in Spanish). Apologética Histórica Sumaria. Tomo I, Capítulo VII. México: UNAM.
  3. Vega, Bernardo (1989) (in Spanish). Los Cacicazgos de la Hispaniola. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Museo del Hombre Dominicano.
  4. Anglería, Pedro Mártir de (1949) (in Spanish). Décadas del Nuevo Mundo, Tercera Década, Libro VII. Buenos Aires: Editorial Bajel.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Read, Alexis (1993) (in Spanish). Apuntes para una Historia de los orígenes de San José de Ocoa. San José de Ocoa: ADESJO, Ediciones Convite.
  6. Listado de Códigos de Provincias, Municipio y Distritos Municipales, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  7. Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "División Territorial 2008" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2013-1-29.