Cotui is one of the oldest cities of the New World, capital of the province of Sanchez Ramirez, located in the south Cibao region, in the center of the Dominican Republic. Nicolas de Ovando, who was the governor of the Hispaniola Island, the Dominican Republic is on the eastern side of the island, ordered Rodrigo de Trujillo de foundation of this city. Cotui is the name of a Taino leader (Cotoi) who was ruling a well organized taino population of that area.
Besides their agricultural activities, these Taino Indians were also involved in mining of the outcropping Pueblo Viejo gold deposit. The Spanish rulers mined this gold deposit from 1505 thru 1525 when the mine was abandoned for the gold mines in Mexico. The first African slaves in the Hispaniola Island arrived in Cotui to work at the gold mine.
Archaeological excavation at Pueblo Viejo is proving that this was the first gold mine built by the Spanish settlers in the New World.
In 1562 this city, together with other spanish settlements, was destroyed by an earthquake. It is understood that the Spanish colonization in the Hispaniola island started here!
Cotui and Pueblo Viejo, which is a part of the city, are situated in the Yuna valley in the Cibao region, in the central mountain range, which runs from the Haitian border to the Caribbean Sea, with the highest peak of the Caribbean, Pico Duarte of 3,175 m. It is a highly gifted place with rich soils producing agricultural products such as rice, plantains, pineapples, cacao, passion fruits and yams! The beauty of its landscapes is highlighted with its crystal clear river waters and the largest artificial lake of the Caribbean, Presa de Hatillo, Hatillo Dam. Also its prehistoric caves, called guacaras, with drawings and pictographs of the Taino Indians, are of great interest. Thousands of migrating ducks from Canada come to spend winter in this habitat.
Cotui is also rich in gold, silver, bauxite, iron, nickel and marble mines!!
As at December 31, 2013, Pueblo Viejo had proven and probable gold reserves of 9.7 million ounces and a mine life of 25 years and beyond!!
From Mining.com, which ranked the gold mine in Pueblo Viejo number 7 in their top 10 list of world’s top 10 gold deposits, we quote” It might surprise some that this small island nation is rich in mineral reserves. The open pit mine is very new and began production in January 2013. It also has large silver and copper reserves to complement its gold deposit. As it ramps up to full production, it will also be one of the largest producers in the world, but we’ll save production figures for a separate Top 10 list.
One of the oldest Carnival celebrations took place in Cotui, although it was introduced by the Spanish colony, with its cultural influence, it was enriched by African customs after the gold mine was closed.
Cotui is also hometown of Mets pitcher Duaner Sanchez and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jose Capellan, but the province of Sanchez Ramirez, where Cotui is located, has produced many more baseball players who are playing in the big leagues.
Probably you are already wearing Dominican gold jewelry, who knows, but we like to share our natural beauties, our treasures and much more with you.
Dominican Republic has it all!!