|Salvaleón de Higüey|
|• Total||2,029.14 km2 (783.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||106 m (348 ft)|
|• Density||140/km2 ( 370/sq mi)|
Higüey (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈɣwei]), or in full Salvaleón de Higüey, is the capital city of the eastern La Altagracia Province, in the Dominican Republic. The Yuma River flows through the urban areas of Higüey.
Higüey is also the denomination of a former native chiefdom in the east of the island at the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It is one of the economically fastest-developing cities in the country, and dubbed the Capital of Dominican Tourism and sometimes the Capital of Stockbreeding. Higüey's population topped 150,000 inhabitants as of 2006. The city thrives chiefly on tourism, with many of its inhabitants employed in the hotel complexes of Punta Cana a few kilometers away, or in the commerce of tourist products.
The city is divided into 20 sectors that are,
- Alta Torre
- Baja Torre
- Juan Pablo Duarte
- La Malena
- La Otra Banda
- Lagunas de Nisibón
- Los Guaricanos
- Los Sotos
- Mamá Tingó
- Naciado Mejía
- Pepe Rosario
- San José
- Verón-Punta Cana
- Villa Cerro
- Villa Higüey
Origin of name 
According to some authors, GUEY or HUIOU is the sun in the Arawakan language of the Taínos, the island's native peoples. Among several Mesoamerican tribes the term also means sun, light, day. It could be a coincidence, but it is noted that Higüey is found in the oriental extreme of the island, that is to say, in the region that first receives the rays of the sun. Thus the name Higüey might signify land where the sun is born.
The main historical element in Higüey is the Cathedral, which holds the famous painting of the "Virgen de la Altagracia", brought by the Spaniards in the 15th century. The painting was moved from its original location in the 500 year old church of San Dionisio. Every year on Virgin of La Altagracia Day (January 21),a national holiday, tens of thousands of pilgrims visit the Cathedral.
At the time of European invasion the area belonged to the Caíçimu-Higüey kingdom of Taíno Indians under the leadership of the Caciques Cotubanamá and Cayacoa, the female Chieftain Higuanamá and other leaders male and female. The area, the last on the Island to be conquered by the Spanish was subdued by a Spanish force led by Juan de Esquivel in 1503. The invasion by Esquivél was motivated by an attack by the Indians led by Cotubanamá on 8 Spanish sailors, which was in turn revenge for the killing of the Cacique of Saona, who was killed by a Mastiff that a group of Spaniards set on him for sport as he was loading traded cassava bread on a barge.
Bartolomé de Las Casas participated in and later described the massacre of the Indians of Higüey who surrendered after a short but heroic resistance. Men, women and children were disemboweled as animals, had hands and feet cut off accompanied by taunting, or they were hanged or rounded up and knifed to death. In 1519 the Indian population of the Higuey region was enslaved and numbered only 1,189 individuals.
Later, by Royal Privilege attended to from Sevilla December 7, 1508 was granted him to this village the Coat of Arms. During the Spanish colonial period, Higüey remained a Parish of the party of El Seibo. Then in 1801, due to the territorial partition carried out by Toussaint-Louverture during his control of the Spanish part of the island, it became a district of the department of the Ozama.
After the period of the Reconquest, in 1809, when Spain regained control of the oriental part of the island, Higüey was again Parish of the party of El Seibo until 1821. Then in 1822, year in which the Haitian occupation under the command of Boyer occurred, the region again became part of the Department of Ozama. And upon being proclaimed the Republic in the 1844, the Governmental Central Meeting appointed it common of the Province of El Seibo.
A year later, through the Law of Provincial Administration Not. 40, of June 9, 1845, what remained become common property of the province of El Seibo, this condition was conserved until 1861, in which by resolution of the General headquarters of the Spanish Government Anexionista him was erected in Possession of the Political Government and Soldier of El Seibo. But, upon being restored the Republic acquired again its condition of common of the province of the Seibo by the Decree Not. 860 of August 12, 1865.
Basilica of La Altagracia 
In this province the Sanctuary of the Miraculous Virgin of La Altagracia is found, Patroness of the Dominican Town.
This it is the first sanctuary of America and in it agglutinates January 21, every year thousands of Dominicans to yield him worship to the Virgin of La Altagracia.
At present the picture venerated of the miraculous image is exposed in the Basilica that was built to honor it set against the old Sanctuary and united him by a great avenue, modern and well visionary.
Of the columnist Can. Lic. Luis Jerónimo of Alcocer, natural of this island and who wrote it in the year of 1650 we take a testimony of great interest in a document that is conserved in the National Library of Madrid:
The Sanctuary of Higüey 
The historic village of Salvaleón of Higüey, founded toward the year 1505 by Juan de Esquivel, conqueror of Jamaica, emblazoned with real shield by order of the King of Spain, was the first sanctuary of María in America. The current temple of masonry began to build in the middle of the century XVI by the Can. Mr. Alonso of Rock and the Superintendent Mr. Simón Bolívar, fifth grandfather of the Liberator of South America. This solid construction that has resisted inconmovible as a rock to all the inclemencies of the time, has a single ship, temperate, with ceiling in vaulted form, that maintain five arches, of elegant simplicity and sturdiness. The dome forms a complete orange average and a seashell shelters the place that occupies the high altar. A star formed of stone is the decoration of the dome; in the arches they light up embedded in beautiful series cloverleaves. The high altar, in whose center the silver niche is emphasized that keeps the Old-fashioned Saint, is work of art of the century XVI, exaggerates, executed in rich mahogany carved by hand. The table of the to jump lights up an artistic silver hood, metal that covers also the steps and the Sacrarium.
The exterior part of the temple is simple, as well as the tower or bell tower, of scarce elevation, that keeps sonorous bells donated by the pious gentleman Mr. Joaquín Alfáu in the year of 1864, who also presented the pavement of marble of the temple in the year of 1876.
The Sanctuary hoards valiosísimas tokens of historic value, that are object always of the curiosity of the visitors; among others are found chiefly: the framework of gold and silver of the Virgin, with inlays of precious stones, being emphasized in it the rich brilliant emerald surrounded by, that their Holiness Pious X gave to ours well recalled Archbishop Adolfo Alejandro Nouel from time to time of their election as the President of the Republic, and that that illustrious prelate donated the Virgin of La Altagracia as sure token of its love and refined devotion; a gigantic and artistic custody of gold of it was colonial; an elegant throne of plant with inlays and chimes of gold of the year 1811 to remove the procession of the Sacred Picture of the Virgin; a bright hyphen silver gift of the President of the Real Audience of Saint The year of 1737; Likewise, of gold and silver a carries traveling; a crucifix, two chalices and cups, six sticks of the canopy, cross and parochial candlesticks, candelabras and flower pots, and other objects of the old silver worship.
Today the jewel of greater spiritual, religious, historic value and material with which counts the sanctuary, is the beautiful crown of gold and precious stones, concluded in a cross of diamonds that maintain two angels of solid gold, of seven edges of weight, that was concocted with the gold and alhajas donated by the Dominican Town for its Canonical and Papal Coronation, celebrated on the Altar from the Country the 15 of August of the year 1922
Punta Cana International Airport (IATA: PUJ, ICAO: MDPC) is a privately owned commercial airport in Punta Cana, eastern Dominican Republic. The airport is built in a traditional Dominican style with open-air terminals with their roofs covered in palm fronds. A number of scheduled and charter airlines fly to Punta Cana. The airport handled more than 1 million visitors in 2002, making it the busiest airport in the Dominican Republic. In 2007, Punta Cana received more than 3 million passengers. The operators plan to upgrade the airport, including adding another runway.
Touristic Sites 
- Punta Cana
- Boca de Yuma
- El Parque Nacional del Este
- Basílica de Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Higüey|
- Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
- De la Fuente, Santiago (1976). Geografía Dominicana (in Spanish). Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.
- Censo 2012 de Población y Vivienda, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
- José R. Oliver (2009). Caciques and Cemí idols: the web spun by Taíno rulers between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. University of Alabama Press. p. 195.
- José R. Oliver (2009). Caciques and Cemí idols: the web spun by Taíno rulers between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. University of Alabama Press. pp. 194–6.
- José R. Oliver (2009). Caciques and Cemí idols: the web spun by Taíno rulers between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. University of Alabama Press. p. 81.