Roche-a-Bateau, an Inspired City in Haiti

Roche-à-Bateau is a township located in the Côteau Arrondissement, under the Sud Department, with a population of 13,336 residents. It is located on the southwest part of the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti. Three communes comprise it: Rose-Beaulieu, Renaudin, and Boclos-Martinette.


The lore of the name Roche-a-Bateau has two versions. In the first, it is said an exploring sailor chanced upon Roche-à-Bateau port. Learning the topography of the village, his imagination saw it resembled the shape of a boat, or bateau in French. In the second version, the harbor teemed with sea vessels from foreign shores, all bringing exports to market. In order to keep boats from hitting each other, the merchantmen placed rocks in the bottoms of the boats, and the name of the village, Bateau, then became Roche-à-Bateau, or boat of rocks in English.

The residents of the village engage in agriculture, the backbone of the economy, as well as raising livestock and operating fish hatcheries.

Roche-à-Bateau is predominately a Christian community, and its church, St.-Michel Roche-à-Bateau, has an interesting history. Residents of the village, around the turn-of- the-century, saw a connection between the name of the town, meaning boat of rocks, and the Catholic gospels, in which Christ's disciples were fishermen, and St. Peter the rock of the early Christian church. The bishop of Roche-à-Bateau saw the connection as well and agreed to build a church. Twice the church was destroyed by hurricanes, but has been rebuilt as a proud symbol of the town and Catholic community.

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Read more: town, South Department, Roche-a-Bateau, Rose-Beaulieu, Renaudin, Boclos-Martinette, City


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