The President of the Republic of Haiti S.E.M. Michel Joseph Martelly along with his wife, the First Lady, Madame Sophia Martelly went to a small town, Verrettes (Artibonite), to inaugurate Park Michelet Destinoble on Tuesday May 22.
Olive Martelly, the Advisor to the President Martelly in sports, led the initiative of the structure "Foutbòl power Chanjman" which means 'Football for Change'. The Haitian President stressed on the modernization of the Michelet Destinoble park in Verrettes Artibonite and rehabilitation of the integrated program during the inauguration program.
Mr. President also assured that efforts are underway to make opportunity to engage more youth in sports. He expressed his interest and desire for adequate play areas with all kind of possible facilities. Any impediments that hinder youth development will be solved cordially, he added.
Amiot Metayer was a controversial Haitian gang leader whose operations were based in the city of Gonaives, in the Artibonite region of Haiti. He was the leader of the Cannibal Army, a rebel group which wreaked havoc among many. Metayer formed the group in the 1980s to oppose the young Duvalier, who, like his father, shamelessly continued to dictate his ways over the people, with constant crushing of anyone who tried to oppose him.
Amiot supported the military regime from 1991 to 1994 together with his gang. He also supported President Aristide during his second term, until July 2002 when he was jailed for arson. His stay in the Gonaives prison was short lived, for mass protests emerged following his condemnation. His gang broke him out in August 2002. He depicted some resistance to the government of the day, before switching sides and alleging his loyalty to the president.
Little was known about Buteur Metayer prior to the assassination of his brother, Amiot Metayer in September 2003. It is said that he came to Haiti from the United States with the objective of avenging the death of Amiot. Bateur took over the operations of the Cannibal Army, a rebel group which his brother had founded in the 1980s to resist the dictatorial rule of Duvalier.
Buteur Metayer then renamed the army, giving it the name Artibonite Resistance Front, which he used to fight off President Aristide's policemen. He was very significant in the hostile takeovers of Gonaives and other towns as his group demanded for the immediate resignation of Aristide for corruption and for siphoning money from the poor.
Desdunes is a small town that is part of Haiti's Artibonite department. It is a home for about 27,000 people. It was originally called Ti Desdunes and it is 54 miles from Port-au-Prince while 12 miles away from Gonaives. Moreover, the distance between the northwestern part of the town and the Caribbean Sea is some 10 miles. As a matter of fact, people can already see and witness the beauty of the Caribbean Sea when they are in Desdunes.
Because the town of Desdunes is so small, the supply of clean water and basic medical services are not enough for the residents. Given this, various organizations are working to provide the necessary assistance to the townspeople. The Operation Blessing International's local arm called Operation Blessing Haiti Relief is just one of the groups helping Desdunes. The organization reached out to Desdunes residents last year, when they launched a clean drinking water and medical program. Under the program, residents received free supply of clean water, as well as medical assistance in a span of 10 days.
Haiti's Artibonite Department would not be complete without the town of Ennery. Located on the northwestern side of the country, Ennery is one of the municipalities comprising the Gonaives Arrondissement. It covers 217 square kilometers of land and houses some 46,590 residents. Also known as Ville de l'anse, the town of Ennery consists of several areas such as Pascal, Hamel, Boutique and Durand. It also has four communes namely Puilboreau, Chemin Neuf, Savannah Square and Queen Pass.
It might be difficult for some to get to Ennery because the town is hilly, meaning one has to hike in order to reach it. Air travel, however, is not that inaccessible because the town is not that far from Cap Haitien Interntional Airport, Toussaint Louverture Airport and Port-de-Paix Airport.
Gonaives Arrondissement is a crucial part of Haiti's Artibonite Department. It has faced a lot of challenges over the years but it remained strong. Around 264,000 people live in this municipality, which is also the capital of the entire Arrondissement.
Located on the northern part of the country and 110 kilometers from the national capital of Port-au-Prince, Gonaives is an agricultural municipality. Cotton, sugar, coffee, mango, banana and cabinet wood are among its most common produce. It is a great municipality but it has gone through a lot.
Hurricanes and floods are common in Gonaives as it is situated in a valley with many hills and mountains surrounding it. Not only that, it is also adjacent to the Caribbean Sea. Different natural disasters have already wreaked havoc in the town. In September, a tropical storm named Jeanne hit Gonaives, killing over 2,500 people. The storm triggered floods and mudslides that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
Gros-Morne is not just a town in Haiti's Gros-Morne Arrondissement. It is the entire arrondisement's capital and it is part of the country's Artibonite Department. It spans 397 square kilometers and is located 175 kilometers from the north of the national capital of Port-au-Prince. There are some 350 residents in every square kilometer, bringing the total population to 142,000. Several communes comprise the municipality and among these are Hanged, Acul, Richard Boucan, Ravine Gros-Morne, Mill, White River and Savannah Square.
Gros-Morne offers a beautiful view and atmosphere, thanks to its green mountains and geographical zone. People can clearly see the mountains covered in fog, which makes the view more exciting and fun.
Dessalines, which is located in the Arrondissement of Dessalines in Haiti's Artibonite department, is known as the world's First Black Capital. It spans 259 square kilometers and is 16 miles from the Caribbean Sea and 51 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince. Around 13,000 people live in Dessalines, with some 280 people residing in every one square kilometer.
Dessalines is also called as Marchan Dessalines. It is named after a revolutionary leader named Jean Jacques Dessalines, who was the first person to lead Haiti after gaining its independence. Jean Dessalines loved the town so much as it became the capital of the First Black Free Country, which was established in 1804. He was a key figure in giving freedom to the black race by opposing slavery and colonialism.
It may be a small town but Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite has a great significance to Haiti. Why? Because this is where the battle for Haiti's independence was fought. Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite is one of the four communes in Artibonite Arrondissement, the other three being the Dessalines, Grande Saline and Desdunes.
Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite is located near the east of Saint Marc. In 1802, Jean Jacques Dessalines led the forces of black people in a revolution against the French and defended the port of Crete-a-Pierrot in this town. The French colonial army under the leadership of General Charles Leclerc tried to take over the fort but Dessalines' forces held on and defended it. When the Haitian revolutionaries ran out of food and ammunitions, they were forced to leave the fort and pass through the French defense en route to Cahos Mountains. The French side then managed to gain control over the fort but with heavy consequences as it lost a lot of its people. The fighting then led to a deciding battle, wherein the Haitian revolutionaries drove away the French forces who decided to retreat.
One of the towns comprising Haiti's Gross-Morne Arrondissement is Anse Rouge. Some 32,100 people live in Anse Rouge, making it a little bit overcrowded. Though a lot of people live here, the town is still described as a paradise. It is a beautiful place where people can revel in the beauty of the blue and cloudy sky, as well as the sea in the distance. However, the climate changed over the years. The town used to get a high amount of rainfall but now, it rarely rains in the area. As a matter if fact, the ground has become too hard and dry because of the lack of rain. It now looks like a desert, leading to lower agriculture production.
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