Jean Rabel - Haiti Observer Blog

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Jean Rabel in the North West department of Haiti

Christopher Columbus landed in a section of Haiti, populated by the Tainos, called Marien. Today, that mountainous district 150 miles to the north of Haiti's capital is called Jean Rabel. Part of Haiti's North West Department, the county of Jean Rabel can be found in the Mole Saint Nicolas district and contains many subdivisions.

The locale offers the delight of virgin territory to the visitor, having been largely unvisited by foreigners as no direct flight can take you to the remote, but aesthetically pleasing place. Even the number of inhabitants (shakily established at around 125,000 by information from an under-informed census), don't offer much by way of number, but some think this an advantage. Aside from the area remaining relatively unindustrialized, and so still full of Haitian flora and fauna, the relative remoteness has made the inhabitants extremely self-sufficient.

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Hill Lakes Project in Northwest Department Nearly Finished

Last July, Haiti President Martelly participated in launching the National Program of Hill Lakes (NPHL), sponsored by government of Haiti (GOH) in Jean-Rabel and Baie-de-Henne. At the two artificially-constructed lakes, he dispersed hatchlings into the water, while Ministers of Agriculture and Brother Armand, Community of the Incarnation Director, looked on.

HPHL addresses issues of crop and livestock survival, water conservation, and food self-sufficiency. With Brother Armand's outreach efforts, 160 hill lakes have been established with volunteer laborers, who have excavated earth to build artificial lakes with tools and machinery provided by GOH.

After nearly a year into the project, Prime Minister Lamothe and Senator Melius of the Northwest Department met with Brother Armand in Petite Place Cazeau to present to the media the NPHL, its progress, and further goal-setting.

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Fete Champetre, Major Cultural Event in Haiti

Tourism has been on a substantial descent over the last 20 years. But one series of events, the Fête champêtre, continues to give hope to a struggling industry as tourists, local, from the Diaspora, and international, flock Haiti to witness the countryside festival.

One of the main avenues for entertainment to the 18th century elite, a Fête champêtre (a country feast or pastoral festival) was a type of garden party much loved at court. With pretensions to simplicity, the Fête champêtre was patronized by the well dressed, entertained by musicians hidden in the trees, as they enjoyed the beauty of landscaped park.

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