Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye An Example Of Haiti's Potential

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Saint Michel de L 'Atalaye

In Haiti, there exists no city more sublimely beautiful than Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye. Also known by the Creole place-name, Sen Michèl Latalay, its tropical topography of sweeping mountain ranges, lush farming tracts, and plentiful water sources is home to 130,000 residents. The neighboring towns of Marmelade, Ennery, and Maissade
surround it.

In addition to its enormous physical appeal and access to water resources, Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye has the advantage of lying outside the earthquake fault-line that curses geographically inferior Port-au-Prince. In another unflattering comparison to Port-au-Prince, Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye boasts a superior education system that is privately supported.

Agriculture, the back-bone of Haiti's economy, is strong in Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye. Farmers produce rice, mangoes, sugarcane, various types of vegetables, and other crops on verdant plots of acreage.

Originally colonized by Spain, it eventually became divided into two colonies, the Spanish-ruled, Santo Domingo, and French-ruled, Saint-Domingue. Although mainly a peaceful community, the 2004 coup d'etat of Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide caused conflicts between the Haiti National Police and the local para-military. The outcome produced a death toll of three, and incurred wide-spread destruction of homes and farm animals.

Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye celebrates its patron, Saint Michel's feast day, every May 8th. In contradistinction, voodoo adherents, who've absorbed Christian theology, travel to nearby Grotto Saint Francis de Asis and make offerings to the many deities of their voodoo faith there.

The most recent projects to improve Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye's infrastructure include a nearly-completed and government-sponsored housing development; a vocational program in woodcrafts creation and manufacturing; and Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye's new City Hall, a green-energy building.

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