MONTE PLATA.

History.

The Monte Plata municipality was founded in 1605 as a consequence of the repopulations of the Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata ports. These repopulations were carried out during the reign of Phillip III of Spain while Antonio Osorio was governor of the island

. Dominican history registers these events as the Osorio Evictions. Consequently, the name Monte Plata was formed by the first word in Monte Cristi and the second word in Puerto Plata. The first important public work built in Monte Plata was the major temple for the divine cult and the administration of the sacraments. During the time, the municipality had 87 families according to a census carried out in October of 1606.

Monte Plata took decisive actions in the battles of the Restoration particularly in operations carried out in Sillón de la Viuda, Bermejo, Alto de San Pedro and Maluco. In the latter General Olegario Tenares defeated the valiant Juan Contreras, who commanded the annexation troops.

General Matías Moreno was born in Monte Plata; a rich man of medium instruction, that became a person of greater prestige in the area. Moreno, who held the rank of brigade general, took part in the independent movement and had the honor, along with a group of people from Monte Plata and Boya, to give the shout for the Independence of the Mother Country ("Independencia de la Patria") a day before this was done in the capital, on February 27, 1844. General Moreno eventually held the highest office in Monte Plata. He died in the Santa Barbara barrio in the capital city on September 10, 1855 and was buried in the church yard of the same name.

Four kilometers away from Monte Plata is the town of Boya, which forms part of this municipality that is distinguished, among other reasons, for sheltering the ashes of the remains of Cacique Enriquillo in the "Nuestra Señora de la Aguasanta" Sanctuary. In the 1950s the Dominican Party building was built, now the location of the hospital. Later on, the Municipal Palace was built, where various public offices are located.

This is a huge, mountainous province just north of the National District, with many caves and waterfalls, including the beautiful Salto de Comatillo. In recent years, it has become the center for the expanding agro-industry of growing and processing organic cacao (chocolate), most of which is sold to German, Austrian, and Swiss chocolate producers.

To the north, the province borders Los Haitises National Park, and there are many freshwater swimming holes along the winding rivers that arise in the province’s mountains, including the Río Ozama, which winds down into Santo Domingo.

Once a remote region, the province was home to many “cimarrones,” runaway Taíno Indians and, later, Africans. Still today you can find ceramic pieces from indigenous villages scattered on the surface after a heavy rainfall in many areas, and the indigenous culture is still strong among the people.

Residents living in and around the town of Monte Plata are famous for carving “higueros” (gourds) in the Taíno style, which are made into maracas, lamps, and containers. In Yamasá, the Hermanos Guillén began making replicas of Taíno artifacts in ceramics a little over ten years ago.

Today they are known across the country for the quality of their craftsmanship (their ceramics are also sold in museum shops in the U.S. and France), for their participation and sponsorship of Dominican artisanry of all kinds, and for their love for Yamasá’s history, culture, and people—they began hosting Yamasá’s fiesta in honor of its patron saint, St. Antón, about five years ago.

The colorful fiesta, which takes place on a Sunday in mid-June, is quickly becoming the most renowned and best attended in the country! Another famous festival here is that of Los Toros del Cristo de Bayaguana; the town of Bayaguana has a beautiful colonial-era church

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