This mountainous province in the heart of the Cordillera Central has a famous Monument to the Battle of Sabaneta and three national parks along its borders: Nalga de Maco, Armando Bermúdez, and José del Carmen Ramírez. There are great “balnearios” here, freshwater swimming holes among the mountains’ rushing streams and rivers, the most popular of which are along the Juayubín and Mao rivers, and incredible mountain-peak vistas.
The intermontane valleys are rich and fertile, just as they were when the Taínos populated the region—their descendants still do, producing the country’s best-known cassabe bread in family-run “workshops,” especially around Monción and Cacique. The region is famous for the high-quality work of its artisans, many of whom work in wood and weave in straw, creating the country’s traditional cane-backed chairs and rocking chairs, and beautifully carved tables out of pine and mahogany.
The Monción municipality is bordered by the Valverde Mao province to the north, the San Jose de Las Matas municipality to the south, Las Matas municipality to the east and the San Ignacio de Sabaneta municipality to the west.
This municipality was originally named Guaraguanó and belonged to the Marién or Mariel "cacicazgo", one of the five indigenous island divisions. Each cacicazgo was divided into smaller sections called "Nitaínos" or "Nitayos". The Marién cacicazgo had 14 nitayos, one of which was ruled by Guaraguanó, who is said to have lived near the Monción area.
The following were the founders of Monción: Anastacio Valle, of Spanish origin; Joaquín Izquierdo, Cuban; the Dominicans Tomás Genao, Dionicio Bueno, Papá Bueno, Luis José Saldad and Ciríaco Peralta. During the Haitian occupation it was a community in the Santiago province. It became a community of Sabanete September 27, 1855. It was made into a cantonal post of the Montecristi district on April 9, 1884. On May 23, the Guaraguanó cantonal post changed its name to Monción, in honor of General Benito Monción, a hero of the battle of Capotillo. In 1907 the Monción cantonal post became a community of the Montecristi province.
It is now a municipality of the Santiago Rodríguez province. The patron saint festivities for San Antonio de Padua are considered one of the oldest in the country, since they began in 1887; many of its important traditions are still kept.
During 1863 Los Almácigos was under the jurisdiction of Dajabón. According to Agustín Concepción, a convention was held in Los Almácigos on March 6 of that same year, which put in motion the revolutionary actions that began in Capotillo. Los Almácigos was a region in the Inaje section in Santiago Rodríguez from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1970s.
On his journey to the Dominican-Haitian border in 1937, Trujillo passed through Los Almácigos, which he liked; thus the city council sent a resolution to the National Congress requesting the name be changed to Villa Generalísimo. In December 1937, Congress approved the resolution in honor of the dictator, but at the time of his death the community regained its former name of Los Almácigos, which is in honor of a nearby brook. By 1959, Los Almácigos had a market, church, electrical lighting, medical office, police posts and a postal and telegraph agency.
Los Almácigos becomes a municipal district through Law 659 on April 16, 1974. Some of its distinguished residents include Goyito Guzmán and Felícita Placencio, Llayo Fernández, Juana Franco, Turén, María Ramona Durán, Petronila Gómez, Olegaria Rodríguez (Gali), José Escotto, Mateo Olivo, Pedro Núñez, Margot Carreras, Marcelo Guzmán, Lilo Frías and Ramón Jáquez.
San Ignacio de Sabaneta is the capital of the Santiago Rodríguez province, one of the four provinces that make up the northwest region of the country. Sabaneta was founded at the same time as Guayubín, the alter belonging to the Montecristo province. Sabaneta was founded by Santiago Rodríguez, along with Alejandro Bueno, Manuel Hernández Feliciano and José Bueno. When Montecristi becomes a maritime district in 1879, Sabaneta becomes a community in that province.
Sabaneta was declared a community in Santiago Rodriguez during Trujillo's government on October 22, 1936. In 1861, the most distinguished men in the community favored the Annexation and thus the area was made into a weapons post. Twos years later, Sabaneta joined the proclamation of restoration in Guayubín, on February 21.
Santiago Rodríguez, along with Colonels Pierre Thomas and José Martín, took charge of the weapons post in Sabaneta. Thus, Sabaneta was the first town captured by the soldiers of the Restoration who were led by Santiago Rodríguez. The first religious temple was inaugurated in 1873 and was blessed by Father Antonio Accello and consecrated as part of the Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes.