Cap-Haitian Cathedral Symbol of Catholicism in Haiti

Visitors to Cap-Haitian Cathedral in the town of the same name will discover the history of Haiti, before it became the first black-led republic in the world. Located on the main plaza, the church, now known as the Cathedral of Our Lady, is a well-maintained edifice that seems displaced in the garbage-strewn and dirty rest of town.

A piece of Haiti's slave history is remembered with the statue of revolutionary slave leader, Mackandal, situated on the cathedral site. He led a contingent of black slaves that had fled plantations, where they had labored cutting down sugar cane. The slaves fighting under Mackandal were called Maroons, a reference to the blood they shed while hewing sugar cane. Mackandal was killed on the plaza in 1758, 46 years before Haiti won its freedom from the French.

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Cap-Haitian, an overview of the City and its shape

Haiti got its name from the Arawak word meaning 'mountainous land', and the soaring, monolithic mountains, green and dotted by an assortment of trees, with very few visible settlements to interrupt nature's design on display in Cap Haitian, give credence to this moniker. However, Cap Haitian's man-made beauty also comes in the form of the streets and buildings where life abounds. Bustling towns, almost certainly overpopulated but opposingly free of traffic, pulse with a vibrant life-blood, set at the foot of these majestic hills which first met Christopher Columbus and his crew aboard the Santa Maria in 1492.

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Casal, Halti

Welcome to Polonia, a country within a country most of the world has never heard of. This is mainly because Polonia is not a real country, it is the name given to the section of Haiti's Diaspora that includes the descendants of Polish legionnaires who fought for the country's independence during the revolutionary war. The section of the country where most of these descendants still live, viewed as the Polish Haiti, is Casal. With a small population, Casal and its inhabitants remained largely obscure for many years. But, recently, curiosity about the blue-eyed Haitians that live there have shined the spotlight on the small city.

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The city of Cap-Haitian and its long History

Columbus' Santa Maria ran into a coral reef in 1492 and still, supposedly, lays there today, as much a ruin as the once-great city that was Cap Haitian.

The Spanish crew ultimately decided to settle in Santo Domingo in what is now the Dominican Republic, leaving Cap Haitian to the pirates who would influence its first name, Cabo Francés. The French revolution would inspire one in Haiti as well, as the 'freedom and liberty' so valiantly touted by the French masters about the French in France told of an unbearable hypocrisy to the African-descended slaves in Haiti. A 13 year war began and ended near Cabo Francés, with the resulting independence of the enslaved and the country of Haiti. Proudly, they renamed the cape Cap-Haitien after naming their country Haiti, considering it, the site of the most important struggles, the birthplace of their independence.

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Does the Island La Navase Belong to Haiti or United States?

The island of Haiti has been at the mercy of U.S. interests since the mid-1800s. In a greedy move, it appropriated the island of La Navase, just off the coast of Hispaniola. This action violated Haiti's 1801 Constitution that declares La Navase as one of its possessions.

The takeover of La Navase occurred in 1857 after U.S. Congress enacted Guano Islands Act in 1856. Because La Navase contains large deposits of guano over most of its terrain, any U.S. citizen could take possession of it. Guano, at that time, was a highly-prized fertilizer made from bird droppings.

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Government of Haiti Tells Diaspora Stop Investing in Canaan

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe arrived in Canaan on an exploratory mission on 6/17/13. Canaan is one of many towns near Port-au-Prince that received thousands of 2010 earthquake survivors. The survivors erected a tent city and received emergency supplies of food and water from the government of Haiti (GOH) and other non-government organizations (NGOs).

Lamothe talked about an urbanization program that will make Canaan a habitable place, supplying it with essential services such as electricity, water, and septic systems. But a conflict is brewing between GOH and the Diaspora, who have been building housing in the area. It focuses on the questionable necessity of the GOH to control the vicinity so the Unit for Housing Construction and Public Buildings (UHCPB) can perform its work. The GOH is discouraging the Diaspora from any further construction activity because it would interfere with the UHCPB's work. A collateral reason to prohibit more construction is the problem of squatters on the land.

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Hinche Ceremony Launches Administrative Complex Center

On Monday 6/17/13, Haitian President Michel Martelly, along with government officials, David Bazile, Philippe Cinéas, and Georges Garnier, attended the opening ceremony of the Socio-Cultural Center and Administrative Complex Center (SCCAC). The modern architectural design rises three stories and complies with green standards. The SCCAC will house all government administrative offices.

The Inter-American Development (IADB) funded the project at a cost of $2,670,000 dollars. The SCCAC is only one of dozen of projects the IADB has signed on to, since the 2010 earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince and outlying regions.

President Martelly, pleased with how the project turned out, expressed his gratitude to IADB. When the 2010 earthquake hit, it demolished much of the government of Haiti administrative offices, so Martelly is especially thankful.

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Belly Beach AKA, Coco Beach near Labadee and Cap-Haitian

Belly Beach, also known as Coco Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Haiti and over years, it has grown into a popular tourist destination. Located near Labadee and Cap-Haitian, it is a perfect sojourn for escapism from the busy urban life. Amidst the exotic beauty of the white sand, blue waters and the hovering greeneries, the Belly Beach is a beautiful little cove that offers various water sports and scores of other entertainments for the tourists.

Remote and almost virgin, the Belly Beach offers gorgeous clear waters and is a port for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. A tropical paradise, the Coco Beach is also known for its beautiful weather and an array of coconut trees surrounding the beach like an impregnable fortress. It is perfect for those who want their imaginations to run wild without being disturbed.

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Village Lumane Casimir in Morne-a-Cabris

On May 16, 2013, the Head of the State of Haiti, President Michael Martelly went ahead with a symbolic deliverance of keys to 8 out of 120 beneficiary families. The event was the part of 1st phase of rental housing construction in Morne-à-Cabris. The project aims towards building 3,000 rental houses in Morne-à-Cabris. Started in December 2011, this social project is a part of Martelly-Lamothe administration interventions targeted towards assisting Haiti's most vulnerable social group. The project kicked off under the guidance of UCLBP or Unit for Housing Construction and Public Buildings.

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Canaan, Jerusalem, Camp Corail-Casselesse and ONAville

A rose by another other name would smell just as...

This is not always so. The city of many names, born out of the efforts to house homeless victims, and launched in the presence of former President Preval and Hollywood celebrity Sean Penn, among others, the once shiny, new city built for the victims of the 2010 earthquake, fondly labeled Canaan, Jerusalem and by many other lofty names, can now be called by another name entirely, that of a shanty-town.

Corail-Cesselesse sits on about 11 kilometers square of land belonging to owners who are now considering making suit against the government to the tune of about $64 million USD. Adding to the colossal scope of the failure which is this new Canaan, is the deplorable state to which the homes and impromptu squatters' shanties that have popped up in the thousands have sunk. Between sixty-five and a hundred thousand people live in the flimsy, ramshackle buildings and the government now seeks to reorganize the area to create a more appealing living space for the masses.

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