|• Total||458.49 km2 (177.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation ||31 m (102 ft)|
|• Density||31/km2 (79/sq mi)|
– Santo Domingo
Jimaní is the capital and the second largest city of the Independencia Province of the Dominican Republic. It serves as one of the two main thoroughfares to Haiti (with Dajabón), with a duty-free open-air marketplace operating on the border with the Haitian town of Malpasse. Half of the town was completely washed away in the flash flood of May 25, 2004, killing many of the citizens during the night. It is still in the process of rebuilding.
We have the reference that the first inhabitants have origin in the different communities of the southwest such as: Neiba, Duvergé, El Estero, Las Salinas, Azua de Compostela, Santa Cruz de Barahona and other communities, as well as the Haitian immigrants that married or had common-law marriages with Dominicans, forming families in the most populous neighborhood of the community, known as Jimaní Viejo.
By the decade of 1930, Jimaní belonged to Neyba and in 1938, became a section of the commune of La Descubierta and Duvergé, all of them being part of the Province of Neiba, later to be known as Baoruco. At that time, Jimaní was not recognized by the historians and it did not even figured in the map of the Dominican Republic, appearing only Arroyo Blanco and La Furnia, which do not survive to the present day.
Due to its border location, Jimaní became part of the strategic plans of Dictator Rafael L. Trujillo Molina for "Dominicanization" of all the region of the border with Haiti, which resulted in the genocide of thousands of Haitians by Trujillo's agents known as the Parsley Massacre.
After a phase of moderate development, Law 299 of 1943 raised Jimaní to the category of Municipal District, belonging to the commune of La Descubierta.
In 1948, Jimaní became a municipality. Dictator Rafael L. Trujillo Molina wanted to turn it into a more beautiful and magnificent city. At that time many concrete buildings were made for soldiers and public officials brought from the interior of the country to assume public duties, due to the lack of local qualified personnel and widespread low literacy levels in the community.
Origin of Name
The name "Ximani" is of native Taíno origin. Historian Dr. Rafael Leonidas Pérez y Pérez in his book "Annotations on the history of Jimaní", says that Ximani was a cacique of the chieftainship of Jaragua (Xaragua) that had the control of these lands. Another version of the origin of the name attributes it to some "Count of Jimani" of French origin; however Dr. Pérez y Pérez argues the Count took his name from the town and not the other way around, and that the Jimaní name, being very old, predates the existence of the Count.
Jimaní has a popular duty-free open-air marketplace with Haiti that is also visited by people from adjoining towns and even from distant regions of the country. In this market, products of the basic food basket are sold, as well as foreign beverages, clothes, shoes and new and used electrical appliances.
The customs zone of the border is called "The Door" and it is visited by foreign tourist that come to observe the dynamics of the business and intercultural and interracial relation between Dominicans and Haitians.
The municipal City Hall receives monthly RD$1,000,000.00 as mandated by the General Law of Budget, through the Dominican Municipal League. The authorities of the City Hall estimate the internal tax collection to be some RD$15,000.00 monthly.
The municipal districts El Limón y Boca de Cachón receive monthly $RD500,000.00 each one, from the transfer ordered by the law through the Dominican Municipal League.
There are two financial institutions in Jimaní. A branch office of the Reserve Bank and a branch office of the Cooperative of Savings and Credits of Neiba (Coopacrene).
There are some six basic schools with two daily schedules and four public high schools, three of them for adults. There are plans for a University of the Independencia Province in Jimaní for 2014.
The area of health the Municipality has a municipal hospital and 4 rural clinics or hospitals. The hospital normally is visited for the national of the neighboring country, Haiti, being they who greater use give to the services of said hospital.
The majority of the jimanisenses prefers to seek medical attention in the Regional University Hospital Jaime Mota of Barahona, due to that beds are almost always filled at full capacity by Haitians, especially with women crossing the border to give birth (as well as in Dajabón).
Culture & Religion
Jimaní is mostly Roman Catholic. Local holidays are celebrated March 19, in honor of their Saint San José. A carnival is being added to the Patronal Feast, to expand the celebration. Also being instituted is the celebration of a Cultural Week each year, in memory of the flood that destroyed a big part of the population in May 2004.
As a historic-cultural monument, Jimaní conserves intact and conditioned the "Mansion of Trujillo", one of many the dictator built in the border region, although he never spent the night in this particular one.
Recent public works
In recent years, local governments have carried out different works for the community, such as the reconstruction and restructuring of the municipal cemetery and the reconstruction of street gutters in the streets, rehabilitation of electric lighting in the urban area and in the sector of Tierra Nueva. There are also ongoing projects to enlarge the aqueduct network for the neighborhoods of La Cu and El Cerro.
In Jimaní there are several community associations. For example, in each one of the towns that conform the Municipality there is an Association of Farmers as well as and an Association of Mothers.
There is also a Lions Club, the Association of Minibuses Jimaní-Barahona, a committee that represents the Association of "Jimanisenses" in Massachusetts USA, a technical team of World Vision, Fundasur (Foundation of the South) and Conani (the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence).