Ouanaminthe and Free Trade Zone

Ouanaminthe is one of the largest cityships situated within the Nord-Est Department. It has a population numbering 100,000, 10% of whom live in the metropolitan area. Located close to the Dominican Republic border, the Ouanaminthe people cross over via the Massacre River to peddle their wares twice weekly at the Dajabón market.


Ouanaminthe has a well-developed education system. It follows the Haitian model, beginning with Kindergarten, advancing to Primary, then Secondary, and finally University level. Private schools are numerous and church-sponsored. As part of the effort to make education accessible to all residents in Ouanaminthe, the Faith and Joy non-government organization, funded by the Jesuit Refugee Service, is building several new primary schools.

As would be expected, Ouanaminthe is primarily a Christian community. Roman Catholics and Protestants make up the two dominant denominations, with a smattering of Voodoo practitioners adopting some of the Christian rituals.

The main channel of employment in town is garment manufacturing. But the plant supervisors have been known to mistreat workers, underpaying them, denying them wages for overtime, and abusing them physically, mentally, and sexually.

Some farming occurs in town, mainly tobacco and pistachios. A few residents are also beekeepers and market honey for consumption at Dajabón. The government of Haiti wants to establish a free-trade zone in Ouanaminthe, but the townspeople fear the takeover of their farming lands if such a plan goes through.

Ouanaminthe does not possess an airport, depending on the Colorado Springs Butts and Mergellina Harbor airports for air travel.

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Read more: town, Free Trade, Tabaco, Ouanaminthe, Pistachio, Nord-Est Department, Massacre River, Dajabon, City

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