ⓘ Mao. The Dominican city of Santa Cruz de Mao, or simply Mao. It is the head municipality of the Valverde province, on the northwest of the country. It is the la ..


ⓘ Mao

The Dominican city of Santa Cruz de Mao, or simply Mao. It 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.


1. Name

Its name is a Taino word. It comes from the Mao River, near the city. Its nickname is Ciudad de los Bellos Atardeceres "City of the Beautiful Sunsets" because there are not many mountains to the west of the city. Instead, it is common to see a "red" sky during sunsets. It is a very dry region and there are much dust in the air which gives the red color to the sky.


2. Population

There were a total of 51.647 people living in the area in 2010. Out of this, 25.663 are men while there were 25.984 women. The urban population was 9.5% of the total population.


3. History

For most of its history, the region was called "El Despoblado". It means a region without any population. Since it is a very dry region, 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", which means a large farm for raising cattle a ranch. So "hato" is the name of many places around Mao: Hatico, Hato del Yaque, Hato Nuevo, Hato Viejo, Hato del Medio.

The town of Mao was built close to where the Mao river flows into the Yaque del Norte river. 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 Jose 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.


4. Geography

Mao has a total area of 116.3 km 2 45 sq mi. It is about 14.1% of the total area of the province of Valverde. The city has an elevation of 78 m 256 ft, and at 210 km 130 mi to the northwest of Santo Domingo.

The municipality of Mao has the Santiago Rodriguez province to the west, the Santiago province to the south and east, the municipality of Laguna Salada to the northwest and the municipality of Esperanza to the northeast.


4.1. Geography Climate

Mao has a tropical wet and dry/savanna climate Koppen-Geiger classification: Aw with a noticeable dry season in winter.

The average amount of rainfall for the year in the city is 699.6 mm 27.5 in. The month with the most precipitation on average is May with 119.1 mm 4.7 in of rainfall, followed by October with 81.9 mm 3.2 in.

The driest season is winter. The month with the least rainfall on average is January with an average of 21.6 mm 0.9 in and the second is July with 27.3 mm 1.1 in.

Mao is in a hot region. The average temperature for the year is 27 °C 80.6 °F.

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