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San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Tourism Information


Before 1822 this region was completely uninhabited and it was not until this year that some residents from the capital, possibly motivated by patriotic feelings or by the reality of the Haitian occupation, arrived furtively by the footpath that was near the coast or by small boats used for fishing, in order to take refuge either in the delta of the islet that was in the entrance of the port or on firm land at the western river shore, in the same place that today serves as the settlement for the population that lives in the point.

The difficulties of daily life determined the residents' slow movement towards the other side of the river, near the small beach, which today is buried under the retaining wall that until recently stood at the edge of the river and in front of what today is the city of Macorís.

This area was named "Mosquitisol" (mosquito and sun), without a doubt in order to give an idea the abundance of mosquitoes and arduous rigors of the hot sun. Macorix, which forms part of the name of both the municipality and the province, means "people of strange languages" in the native tongue and the Cacique that governed this area was named Regulo Arabolo.

Later on, the "cocolos" introduce groups of mutual societies called "corchar" (churches), where harvest festivities are celebrated and at the same time served as schools. The "guloya" festivities, celebrated from December 22 to January 16, are among the legacies that this group left behind.

Among the culinary arts left behind one can point out the "yaniqueque", its name derived from a certain mister Yanit, who made this type of flour bread and the "domplin", its name derived from a man named Plin, who used to make these small treats.

In regards to drinks, Macorís produces the "Guababerry", a drink based on the araijan fruit, which is consumed during Christmas and has a sweet taste, not unlike a wine.

The old village was but a humble port that lived on the plantains, coconuts and other minor fruits supplied by capital and it kept this primitive state during the first colonial Spanish era and only figured into the historical records when the first mayor was named in 1815. Not until 1852, with the addition of a military post to the Hato Mayor community, did the town of Macorís truly begin to take shape.

It came into prominence as a port during the glorious War of Restoration due to the difficulties of communicating by land; thus the Spanish began to use the port for steamers such as the Majestad.

Macorís was made a community during the Second Republic on September 25, 1865 when representative assisted the National Constitutional Assembly.

A National Congress decree in 1867 opened the port to foreign importation, but it was not until 1879 that the sugar industry was established and thus initiated tremendous progress for 50 years; until it finally became a district when the Seibo province was separated and the port was aptly prepared for commercial exportation.

San Pedro de Macorís pioneered many areas such as the first firefighting corps, the first national baseball championship, the first town to have telephone and telegraph centers, the first racetrack and the first boxing coliseum, among others. The first sugar factory was founded by Juan Amechazurra, milling for the first time on January 9, 1879.

By 1894 there were many factories in the province that reached a high level of progress. The rapid industrial development placed the young city among the main ones of the Republic.

The intellectual culture surged at the same pace with schools and the press; among the first newspapers were "Las Novedades", "Boletín", "La Locomotora" and "El Cable".

Some of the distinguished poets from San Pedro de Macorís include René del Risco, Pedro Mir, who held the title of National Poet; Esterbina Matos, Ludín Lugo, Juan Brayan and Mateo Robinson, among others.

The name San Pedro came before that of Macorís. There are three versions regarding the origin of the name: the first attributes it to the fact that there is a San Pedro Beach in the city port; the second sees it as a tribute to General Pedro Santana, who was President at the time; and the third simply said it was in order to distinguish it from San Francisco de Macorís, a city in the north.

San Pedro de Macorís has been poetically referred to as "Macorís of the Sea", "The Sultan of the East" and many call it the "Capital of the East". Eastern Macorís has the privilege of being the first Dominican city to receive hydroplanes, in its Higuamo River, which transported passengers to and from other countries. This practice was suspended when Trujillo opened General Andrews International Airport in the capital.

San Pedro de Macorís has produced numerous distinguished athletes, among them outstanding baseball players, who have succeeded both nationally and in the Mayor Leagues.

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