Marmelade, Land Of Coffee And Bamboo
The Haitian town of Marmelade, known as Mamlad in Creole, is best known as the boyhood home of Rene Preval, past president of Haiti, who succeeded the troubled and turbulent presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. During the era when the island of Haiti (known as Hispaniola then) was ruled by nobility, Marmelade was recognized as a duchy.
Situated high in the Marmelade mountain range between Cap Haïtien and Saint Marc, it overlooks the jewel-toned, aquamarine Atlantic Ocean, which lies 17 miles northward. It is also bounded by the equally breath-taking Caribbean Sea on the westward side.
Marmelade, referred to as Marmeiade or Marra Town by its 7,000 local residents, is a Christian community that is predominately Catholic. They attend baptisms, holy communions, weddings, funerals, and Sunday masses at St. Martha Catholic Church, 18 miles from Cap Haïtien International Airport.
Marmelade is one of two city-ships of the Artibonite Arrondissement, a third-tier administrative department, the other being Saint-Michel-de-L'Atalaye. Other city-ships near Marmelade are Gonaïves, Limbe, and Cap Haïtien.
During the rule of President Preval, Marmelade rose to become a model city of successful farmland resource development. Its main micro-industry, furniture production, particularly bamboo, put Marmelade on the map as a manufacturing center. It demonstrated the potential of Haiti as a source of private investment.
Besides manufacturing, Marmelade is also a coffee-growing center. Its premium coffee beans are sold under the Café Marmelade brand. As part of a first-tier coffee-growing collective, it is certified as a fair-trade producer of coffee-bean exports to the U.S, Europe, and elsewhere.
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