Fort Des Oliviers, Saint-Louis Du Sud
With the Ministry of Tourism and its minister, Stephanie B. Villedrouin, along with the Martelly administration pushing to rebrand Haiti as a tourist destination, speculation is rife as to why certain untapped spots remain out of the running for the spate of planned rejuvenations set to revive many a local, historic and beatific locale. One such place is Fort des Oliviers.
The 18th century fort, built by the French in their struggle against the English, lies upstream of Saint-Louis du Sud's bay and has recently been said to be 'history hiding in plain sight.' Apart from the natural beauty of the area, Fort des Oliviers has over 128 km2 of sights of historical importance. Yet, despite its manifold attractions and its small number of inhabitants, 76,000 last told, the site remains overlooked, undeveloped and wholly neglected by the powers that be.
A grassroots movement to self-promote the Fort of Olives has begun and continues to bear fruit for the abandoned relic. The Festival of the Siren takes place in August and helps to attract thousands of tourists to the city each year from around Haiti and the Diaspora. Tours of the site take about an hour and have the added attraction of the sister site fort for the British opposite Fort des Oliviers.
The hope of these endeavors is to bring modernization, revitalization and the eyes of the world on the city. Promoters of the festivals and other Saint-Louis du Sud activities wish the government to see what they've long been missing.
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