jacmel - Haiti Observer Blog

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Haiti Preps For First-Ever Mountain Bike Race

Are you into mountain bike racing? Do you love nature? Do you want to conquer undiscovered places in Haiti? If yes, then don't let yourself get left behind. It's time for you to register at the upcoming Mountain Bike Haiti Stage Race. The first-ever pro race will kick off on January 30 next year.

The race track runs through the Haiti National Park, some parts of which are still unchartered territory. During the five-day event, competitors are set to participate in ecosystem building projects. Then, they will race through a total of 85 miles, biking along the Chaine de la Selle mountain range; starting from Port au Prince to Jacmel. The participants are expected to traverse extreme terrains and rocky roads. The event will close with a Carnaval celebration, wherein participants will get to party with the locals in Jacmel community.

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First edition of the Festival of Friendship in Jacmel

The festive Jacmel has yet another annual reason of celebration. With the city's famous traditional festivals' "Festival Film Jakmèl" and "Festival Mizik Jakmèl" unfortunately long gone, the Festival of Friendship is expected to regain the pride of Haiti as a country of rich culture and festivals and be one of the most highly-anticipated happenings in the Caribbean, especially to tourists.

December 5 marked the start of the Festival of Friendship tradition in Jacmel. The official launching of the four-day, four-night affair was done in the city's Hotel Florita gardens. The closing ceremony of the festival on December 9 was done in different parts of the city. The festival paved the way for artists from different parts of the globe to showcase their craft and their talent. Some of the visiting aritsts were from the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, and Martinique. Jacmel residents and foreign visitors were able to enjoy several art galleries and displays, as well as dance and music concerts, film showings, and fairs.

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Bishop Launay Saturne Year of Faith Focuses on Christian Haitian Youth

Mgr. Launay Saturné, named Bishop of Jacmel by Pope Benedict XVI on April 28, 2012, appeared at an assembly of high-church officials on October 21, 2012. The year 2012 has been designated the Year of Faith by the Haitian Catholic Church.

During his remarks, Bishop Saturné spoke in particular of the younger generation of Christian Haitians, who would soon reach adulthood. He wants to commit much of his pastoral duties towards helping them engage their faith more confidently. This call-to-action to young Christians to embrace their faith-based values comes in the face of the continuing spiritual devastation the 2010 earthquake wrought the inhabitants of the island.

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Jean Helson Royal: Vice-Delegate, District of Jacmel

Haitian governance is divided into a series of departments, districts and communes in order to decentralize its executive power and to ensure that every Haitian in each area are able to receive public service. To make sure that the welfare of its citizens is being met, the Martelly administration has recently announced on the 13th of July the three new vice-delegates for the South East department of Haiti. For the district of Jacmel, the department's capital, Jean Helson Royal was proclaimed as its vice-delegate.

Royal is known for being the former campaign manager of current Haitian senator Edwin Zenny. In his acceptance speech, he promised that he shall commit himself in strengthening his district, as well as encouraging economic development and prioritizing the well-being of Haitians in the region. Royal's Jacmel has a population of about 250,000 and consists of four municipalities. It is also a popular tourist destination in the country.

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Allegation that Senator Edwin Zenny (Edo) spits at Judge Bob Simonis' Face

The first Senator of Southeast, Edwin Zenny, was unable to control his anger last Saturday. He actually committed one of the most despicable act to a fellow Haitian. While judge of Peace in Jacmel, Bob Simonis and Professor Pierre Lucien participated in a radio show hosted by the journalist Etzer Pierre, he got involved in an exchange with the first senator of South-East, Edwin Zenny (Edo) who was not invited into the show.

Senator Zenny who is a close ally of President Michel Martelly called judge Bob Simonis a thief on the radio station, following the release of these four individuals. As you can imagine, the situation got worse. Ultimately, according to report, Senator Edwin Zenny, not being able to reach judge Bob Simonis to punch his face, did the next best thing. According to reports in all the media, he would collect mucus and spit on the face of judge Bob Simonis. Professor Pierre Lucien who was seating close by the judge also received a good portion of the Senator's spit as well.

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Loan to upgrade Cap Lamandou Waterview Hotel in Jacmel

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a nonprofit making organization that was formed after the 2010 earthquake. It was at a time when President Obama requested former presidents Clinton and Bush to organize fundraising for Haiti. It was formed to collect money from well wishers, and the money collected was to be used to reconstruct Haiti by increasing job opportunities and causing economic improvement. With these two opportunities being created Haiti is believed to improve gradually.

Clinton Bush Haiti fund is meeting its role by giving $2.59 million loans to improve four businesses and workforce development programs. The four businesses were Regis College, Cap Lamandou Waterview Hotel, CLYF Quincallerie and SOFIHDES. These will ensure that Haiti will gain stability in its economy.

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Emmanor Deroneth Named Vice-Delegate for GOH Decentralization Initiative

New Vice-Delegate Emmanor Déroneth has been appointed by presidential decree to serve Belle Anse county in the Government of Haiti's (GOH) decentralization program. Déroneth and his co-appointees, Joseph Ponyon of Bain county, and Jean Helson Royal of Jacmel, were inducted into office at the Jacmel Court of First Instance, on Friday July 13, 2012.

Upholding his sworn duty to fulfill Vice-Delegate responsibilities, Déroneth took his oath of office in front of an audience of government and public officials. Among those who attended the swearing-in were Sagesse Ovilmar, South East Director of Police; Pierre Michel Lafontant, Department Delegate; and Edwin Daniel Zenny, South East first Senator.

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Tortug' Air: Haiti's National Flag Carrier

Tortug' Air plays a key role in Haiti's transportation infrastructure. Founded in March 2003, the airline is the country's national flag carrier, with over 200 employees. The road condition in Haiti is quite poor, giving people a difficult time to travel by land. With Tortug' Air, however, air flights to local and international destinations are made easier. Being one of the largest regional airlines also allows Tortug' Air to greatly contribute to the country's transportation industry.

The airline offers local flights to five destinations, which are Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Jeremie, Cap-Haitien, and Port-de-Paix. Not only it services local flights, it also has international ones. Passengers can book air tickets to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, as well as the Bahamas' Nassau, Provo, and Turks and Caicos. It also has charter permits to fly to other Caribbean islands.

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Haitian-Vietnamese Ketttie Jean on the Threshold of Major Recognition

Kettie Jean, a Haitian-Vietnamese female actor, is part of a young generation of actors and filmmakers, who are experimenting with digital filmmaking, the technology that gave more creative freedom to filmmakers in the late 90s.

She is the lead actor in a new series airing on YouTube, "The Silent City", shot in isolated areas in New York City. A story of survival after a city has been wiped out by a catastrophic event, leaving only the remaining survivors, it is a film in the tradition of 1980s "Mad Max", a post-apocalyptic film. Kettie plays the role of mystery woman, Otsu, whom the story centers around. She is being trailed by an anonymous character, played by Eric Stafford, who discovers her footprints towards the end of episode one.

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Rehabilitation Projects of Historical Center of Jacmel

The small town of Jacmel in Haiti's south is known for its rich history. Its buildings and infrastructure date back to the early 1800s and has been tentatively proclaimed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But the beautiful town filled with great potential in becoming one of Haiti's main tourist destinations was severely damaged by the 2010 earthquake that hit the country.

With the Haitian government looking at Jacmel as being a major tourist attraction in the country in the near future, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, along with the Ministry of Tourism's Stéphanie Balmir Villdrouin and the ministers Planning and Finance, launched the planned rehabilitation projects for the town's historical center. This was announced after the Prime Minister's return from touring the United States and the United Kingdom for potential cooperative efforts with these nations. This announcement was in line with the previous announcement by the Haitian government in December 2011 approved $40 million funding for Haiti's tourism industry under the Petrocaribre Fund.

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