SANTIAGO - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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Sponsorship
Santiago
Country: DOMINICAN REP.
Province: SANTIAGO
Elevation: 175 m (574 ft)
Demonym: SANTIAGUERO/A
Dialing code: (+1) 809 / 829 / 849
Postal code: 51000
Time zone: AST (UTC-4)


Santiago de los Caballeros or simply Santiago (English: Saint James of the Knights) is a city in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European colonization of the New World, today Santiago (the first "Santiago" of the Americas) is the second largest metropolis in the Dominican Republic, located in the north-central region of the Republic known as Cibao valley. This city is the capital of Santiago Province.


The name of the city, Saint James of the Knights, makes allusion to the Hidalgos de la Isabela, a group of knights who had come from La Isabela city to stay in Santiago. That they were actual knights is clear from the fact that when they got back to Spain they put a formal complaint before the king stating that their horses had been unfairly commissioned as beasts of burden and their weapons had been appropriated by the Columbus brothers (Diego and Bartolome) and that they had been made to do manual labor, something considered beneath their station as knights, who were meant to engage only in battle. The king compensated them for all their losses. Sometimes the city is even called Santiago de los 30 Caballeros (English: Saint James of the 30 Knights).


The city of Santiago, as most of the Cibao region, is largely dependent on the fertile lands of the region. This makes Santiago de los Caballeros an important region for farming and livestock. The city has been recently changing into a predominantly service provider economy. This sector has grown a lot in the recent years making it ideal for greater expansion. It should be noted that Santiago is the 2nd largest city in the Dominican Republic after Santo Domingo and concurrently produces the 2nd highest percentage of the nations GDP. Telecommunications, such as; wireless phones, cable service, internet service and other services are important for the local economy. Tourism too, accounts for an important portion of the city's economy.


Like Santo Domingo, Santiago has recently experienced an era of rapid growth and development. It has become a city of great importance for the nation and the region's development. Santiago like any other fast growing city is faced with numerous problems including irregular electricity service and insufficient potable water. The approximate population of Santiago is about 1,936,721 inhabitants. The fastest growing neighborhood in the city of Santiago is the traditionally upper-middle-class neighborhood, La Trinitaria.

Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Santiago with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.