San Pedro de Macorís Malecón

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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Whoa! Shows you how long it's been since I've been to SPM. When did Howard Johnsons close? Reason?
My guess is 2012? 2013?
My husband said they used to use it to train hospitality staff. It’s a nice complex but the decline I’ve witnessed since the years above is drastic.
It’s likely taken over completely by squatters.
 

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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Opps, wrong Playa, but having said that, there was no massacre of Haitians there and it seems to be a common name for a beach.
Yes. And so appealing, right?
When I saw the name on the sign at the east end of the malecón, I was shocked. Why not rename it something…anything else? Anyway within the past 5-10 years it went from non-existent to an attempt at an actual beach.
True or false, local lore is that the Haitians were not actually killed on the beach but elsewhere & their bodies washed ashore from up the coast from the west, or from a boat.
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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The Haitians that were killed were in situ, the ones that washed ashore in San Pedro were the Dominican victims of the dictatorship who disappeared and their bodies were never found again (including some foreigners such as Jesús de Galíndez who was a Spaniard and whose remains were never found after he was kidnapped in NYC and taken to SD to be tortured and killed for writing a manuscript on the Trujillo dictatorship).

There are reports and news articles from the era where it becomes clear by simply putting attention to the details of certain things. For exampke, the complaints and increase of Haitians running away from the massacre was exclusively on the northern border. That was the main reason the Haitian government sent a delegation to that part of the border only to investigate. Several hospitals in northern Haiti from Juana Méndez to Cap Haitian received many injured. Outside of that area of Haiti not one hospital received any injured. The Haitian government itself gave a much smaller estimate of the total victims that was less than 5,000 (don't remember the exact figure) until the USA got involved and pushed for the Dominican government to indemnicize the victims via the Haitian government. From that point forward their "estimates" increased since the indemnizarion was on a per head basis. While the Dominican government did paid an indemnization to the Haitian government, there is no evidence any of that money were given by the Haitian government to the families affected. Plus, the actual figure is much greater than is typically cited, because that figure is of dollars at that time and not taking into account what that qmount would be in today's dollars,

There is no evidence at all that San Pedro was anywhere near the northern border or that any Haitian was taken to SD or elsewhere.

As said previously, human remains are discovered on a yearly basis in the DR such as the discovery of a burial site in Samana or a few years ago of another burial site in Moca. They send samples to institutions abroad, usually to the USA or Europe, to analyzed things such as Carbon-14 to have an estimate of how old they srr snd other aspects of the DNA to know from where they likely were from (in the Moca discovery not only was that from colonial times, but the discovered a hodt of places of origins of the remains including Great Britain which shocked many people.) It's a mystery they haven't found a single one pointing either to that time or origins in Haiti. The logical explanation is that there has been muchh exageration regarding this for political issues. You can't find what isn't there.
 
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NALs

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Btw, right now I remember I read somewhere of the findings of remains from the Trujillo era in San Francisco de Macorís (not San Pedro), but those were Dominican victims. The Haitian victims continue to be elusive (assuming it was as big as it's claimed nowadays).
 

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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I think it’s great that you went and researched all that.
 

NALs

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I think it’s great that you went and researched all that.
Perhaps, but I've known that for several years. Discovering a beach with a weird name like that will always lead to figuring out how that nsme csme to be, though sone places seem to not have any known history to their names such as the mountain "Nalga de Maco" or the "Hoyo del Diablo." Who the heck names these places.

The DR isn't the only place with weird names. In PR it's visible from the highway the "Tetas de Cayey" and I thought that was how it was known colloquially. Turns out that iz the actual name.
 
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Kipling333

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Jan 12, 2010
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It definitely is not a dump and I think the Dominicans who go there to drink and sing would resent that description. I sometimes go to Church nearby, the Good Shepherd, and at lunch time on Sunday there are many families there and many young people swim there. The Dominicans like the place. I think there is normally a grain of truth in what locals tell you and so you have to dig deep to work out what happened in SPM during the Trujillo period because before he came to power SPM was a thriving multicultural city with a busy port.The Haitians did not work the cane fields there until after the Trujillo period and from various histories of the Sugar Industry they were imported mainly from Cuba as many owners were Cubans. San Pedro de Macoris was violently opposed to Trujillo and the thugs that Trujillo employed ,for example in Nagua where the beach was littered with murdered farmers, went to SPM to try to suppress the population . The thugs had little success so SPM received no money from Trujillo. It could have been the dead from the fights between SPM and the Trujillo thugs or it could have been dead Cuban workers who starved during a sugar downturn in 1930s and their bodies were carried down the Rio Higuamo and swept by the tide onto Playa de Muertes as the large logs are these days. The downturn of SPM and the decay of the beautiful part of the city in the streets near the river came from the economic starvation of SPM by Trujillo. SPM was also violently opposed to the two main USA occupations of the DR and it is quite possible that both Dominicans and Cubans living in SPM were killed by the American troops and thrown into the ocean. More than 3000 Dominicans were killed by Americans in the last occupation. The one thing that is fairly certain is that it was not Haitians killed by the Trujillo thugs . Interesting history.
 

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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The mayor is pitching the Malecón remodel as though it’s going to bring tourists to San Pedro. Ummmmm. 🙄
 

NALs

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May 1, 2023 Update

IMG_9884.jpeg


IMG_9885.jpeg


 
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MariaRubia

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I walked through the works that they are doing to the malecon in Santo Domingo Este the other day (running beside Avenida España) and have to say that they will be nice when finished. The other section of the malecon running south of the Colonial Zone to Lincoln hasn't fallen into disrepair and is heavily used. My point is that when they do these types of works to the malecon, they seem to get it right, they create a space that Dominican families like to use and when you walk along there during the evening there's a nice atmosphere. So hopefully they will get it right in San Pedro, they have a good model to use from the capital.

People often tell me San Pedro is dangerous and you wouldn't want to live there. The place seems to have a bad reputation, no idea why.
 

Kipling333

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Jan 12, 2010
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The increase in delinquency in both San Pedro de Macoris and in La Romana is a result of far more young people owning motor bikes .This is what the police think and here in La Romana ,motor bikes are stopped every day as the Police seek stolen bikes, as well as unregistered bikes.. You only have to be 16 to drive a motorbike in the DR. In San Pedro there are quite nice areas with wide streets but there are also ghetto type barrios that I am sure are very dangerous. There are always reports on the radio stations in La Romana and San Pedro of assaults on people by delinquents . Maybe if there was good lighting every night in the streets the delinquency would fall.
 

JD Jones

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Speaking of motorbikes, I went by the old dog track a couple of days ago and it's a sight to see. They must have thrown another 10-20 thousand motorcycles in there. It is packed to the gills.