Page 1

Forever

Jacmel Edwidge Danticat:

Sharing the depth and breadth of Haiti Sophie Paris:

Jacmel... bon bagay Le Village de Port-Jacmel


HAITI FOOD & SPIRITS FESTIVAL September 23rd - October 2nd 2011

Food & Spirits Tasting Event Ritz Kinam September 23rd 2011

Restaurant Week

Food Expo

Participating Restaurants September 24th to October 1st 2011

Parc Historique de la Canne a Sucre October 2nd 2011


Editor’s Note Dear Readers,

It is with great joy and much satisfaction that Le Nouvelliste, Haïti’s oldest newspaper in collaboration with the Association Touristique d’Haïti (Tourism Association of Haïti) is re-launching Magic Haïti. We have been working fervently to produce the new Magic Haïti and it is with great pride that we are presenting you, “the tourist (short or long term visitor),” a new full-color monthly version of the publication that will help you experience the culture, cuisine, and panorama of Haïti and build lasting memories. With a fresh eye-catching aesthetic, Magic Haïti’s philosophy and traditions of fusing informative articles with a unique outlook and a stylish presentation will be maintained. As the old adage states “pictures are worth a thousand words,” we pay particular attention to the selection of pictures that not only complement the text, but also tell their very own story. The goal of the magazine is to promote local tourism by encouraging foreign professionals and businessmen residing in Haïti for whatever length of time, Haïtians living in the Diaspora visiting family and friends, as well as locals to explore and discover the depth and breadth of Haïti. As you flip through these pages, you will be able to identify must see destinations; uncover an array of distractions, from sandy coastal beaches, to boutique hotels, to eateries, and even art galleries and open markets. In this first edition, the focus is on Jacmel, the art capital of Haïti, an animated city that has always welcomed visitors with open arms. Jacmel’s colorful artistic tapestry has intrigued and attracted celebrities and artists alike and as a result, there are projects underway that will significantly impact the city while keeping her distinctive her culture and traditions alive. In “Haïti On My Mind” you will meet successful Haïtians in the Diaspora who have kept close ties with their beloved island, while “Why Haïti” will feature stories on foreigners opting to make Haïti their home. Magic Haïti will also inform you about Hot Dates (upcoming events) to mark on your calendar. Admittedly, Haïti may not be the island that comes to mind when planning a magical Caribbean getaway for rest and relaxation or a vacation, but reconsider and you will be pleasantly surprised. We encourage you to simply Discover Haïti and experience the Magic!

Roxane Kerby


MAGIC HAITI Why Haiti ?

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 4 10 6

Artmosphere The Art of Sequins: Raoul Saint Florent Pure, Simple, and Elegant Stone Carvings

Lamanjay La Coquille: An Oyster of Tradition

8

Spotlight REBO Expresso: A Taste Of Haiti

26

Tablet pistache “YO”

12 On The Rise Le  Village de Port-Jacmel

18 Escapade La Reserve an untouched sanctuary

Sophie Paris

28

24

Executive Editor Staff Writers Copy Editors Contributors Graphic Designers Photographers Printed by Publisher

Florita Hotel a step back in time

20 Haiti on my mind

Edwidge Danticat: Sharing the depth and breadth of Haiti

Roxane Kerby Maureen Boyer Sherri Casting Nastasia Boulos Kristina Delatour Farah Doura Rachele Viard Rody Victor Clarens Courtois Frederick Alexis Homere Cardichon Richarson Dorvil Imprimeur II SA Le Nouvelliste

30 Postcard in motion Bassin bleu

32 Kreyol Flair by Chef Stephan Spicy Conch Ceviche

33 Travel companion 35 Restaurants 38 General info


Welcome to Haiti

Note from the Tourism Association of Haiti Dear readers After about two (2) years of trial and error and with the support and dedication of many, Magic Haiti is finally emerging as a tool designed to promote and encourage local tourism. This magazine, whose mission will remain mostly the same, currently has its own dedicated editorial staff. The Tourism Association of Haïti (ATH) is proud to be associated with this initiative. It will not only benefit the various tourism operators around the country, but, by infusing a positive image in everyone’s mind, the country will benefit tremendously as a whole Without repeating the concept defined in Magic Haiti’s mission, it is important that hopes and expectations are well understood by all concerned. First of all, for the tourist related business operators: What does Magic Haiti represents to you? Whether involved in the transportation industry ( international or local airlines or helicopter service, car rental, bus, shuttle, limousine and private taxi service, cruise lines, sail/motor boat operators etc.;) lodging ( city and beach hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, lodges, apart-hotels, camping grounds etc.;) food and beverage (restaurants, fast food, bars, catering, food importers and processors etc.; ) and also entertainment ( art galleries, crafts and souvenir shops, night clubs, natural-historic-cultural attractions, etc.;) you are all in need of a communication tool that improves your exposure and boosts your business. As such, advertising regularly in Magic Haiti, will provide a good return for your investment as well as help cover the basic cost to produce the magazine and distribute it free of charge to a targeted audience. Those of you who may not yet be members of ATH should know that this magazine is nevertheless intended to be yours as well. ATH active and allied members are strongly encouraged to support Magic Haiti. Second of all, for our civil servants: Whether in the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary branch or in City Hall or local Administrations, your support to both the Haitian and foreign investors in any tourism related commercial activities as well as your support to our visitors is now more so than ever needed. The presence of our newly elected President Mr. Joseph J. Martelly at Magic Haiti’s official cocktail launch recently, is a strong signal that is very much appreciated in the tourism sector. Additionally, the President’s constant public messages about the necessity for all citizens to offer a more positive image of the country is in line with the concept of BRAND HAITI, a project in which ATH is playing an active role. President Martelly’s Agence Citadelle S.A. Air Caraibes Air France Air Transat /Hamaserco S.A. Aldy Hotel Berling S.A. Brasserie de La Couronne Cap Lamandou Hotel Club Indigo Coconut Villa Codisa

Cormier Plage Encocha FondationFrançoiseCanezAuguste

Insel’Air Galerie Marassa Galerie Monnin Habitation Hatt Hôtel El Rancho Hôtel Ibo Lele Hôtel Karibe Hôtel Le Xaragua

enthusiasm should be embraced by all concerned in the public as well as the private sector to support the development of the country based on its assets rather than on its liabilities. Magic Haiti and ATH are committed to playing their part. Last but not least for the short as well as long term visitors, the main reason for this publication: You should, by the time you are reading these lines, have already received many BIENVENUE EN HAITI messages. If not, then let me then be the first to welcome you to our beloved Haiti. We do hope that upon your departure you will have had the opportunity to experience some of our magic and that your perception and memories of Haiti will be shared with your family and friends back home. Many of you are probably in some form collaborating with humanitarian missions, and as such, may be forced to travel out of Haiti for the mandatory R and R (Rest and Relaxation) after a few weeks of work. Hopefully, with your support, this regulation may well change in the future. If you are based in the North, South or Central part of the country, you will have the choice to spend your time off enjoying the many restaurants, night life and shopping facilities located in the greater Port-au-Prince region. You can also spend some quiet time in one of the many beach hotels located in the Côte des Arcadins. If you are based in the Port-au-Prince area, you may experience the charming properties and attractions of the South, North and Central regions as well as our cool mountain lodges, all part of the diversified features of Haiti. We urge you to patronize the establishments of our advertisers, especially those bearing the ATH logo. In addition, be sure to mention that you have learned of their businesses through Magic Haiti; this will certainly be appreciated. We hope you will find the articles and columns of this edition informative and appealing and that you will become avid readers of Magic Haiti’s monthly publications. This magazine is yours and your suggestions are highly appreciated and encouraged. Send all comments to letterstoeditor@magichaiti.com. Until the next issue and on behalf of all ATH members, enjoy your stay in our Magic Haiti Cherie.

Hôtel Villa Ban-yen Hôtel Villa Créole Idéal Villa Hotel Imp. H. Deschamps Groupe Oasis Iphasa Kaliko Beach Kinam Hôtel La Reserve Le Montcel Le Plaza

Pierre Chauvet President Association Touristique d’Haïti Le Ritz Les Cascades Fusion Les 3 Decks Montana Suite Horizon Mosaïques Gardere Moulin Sur Mer Nabatec S.A. Palm Residence Parc-Canne-à- Sucre Prince Hotel Rhum Barbancourt

Société Labadie Nord Sogecarte SirepTours The Lodge Top Line Uniglobe S.A. Visa Lodge Voyages Lumière Voyages Plus Cap Wahoo Bay


Artmosphere

The Art of Sequins:

Raoul Saint Florent

T

he art of beads and sequins originates from the culture of voodoo. As part of sacred rituals, sequined and beaded voodoo flags and rum bottles, that bear the chosen spirits’ vèvè (religious voodoo symbol) and portraits, are used in elaborate shrines. The originality of the carefully patterned bright sequins and shiny beads launched this intricate form of art to popular Haitian culture, sought after not just as religious artifacts but by avid art collectors. Sequin art is not only reserved for flags and bottles but can also be found on objects such as shoes, wal4 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

lets, purses and even clothing. It is is one of the most exported genres of Haitian art, and can be found in any upscale art gallery worldwide. Raoul Saint Florent is an artist whose vibrant color schemes and designs evoke the mystery of Haiti. He meticulously places every sequin to create the colorful finished pattern; he first draws the vèvè symbol on a fabric, pastes it to the wooden object and intricately hand sews each sequin and bead on the fabric. Although Saint Florent is aware of the religious significations of


sequined art, it is not at all spiritual to him, “If someone asks me which vèvè is on something I can answer that, but I don’t know the details of the spirits or the kinds of offerings to give.” Nonetheless, it is still a source of great inspiration for Saint Florent. Saint Florent embroiders sequins and beads on mostly wooden materials like mortars, pestles, bracelets, jewelry, chest boxes, and even cases for eyewear. His“oeuvre d’arts”enabled Saint Florent to create a small business out of sequins. This business has expanded to include his wife and his children, when they are not in school. When speaking to Saint Florent one gets the sense that he grasps the importance of both the craft and the financial aspects. Ironically, Raoul Saint Florent never planned to become an artisan. “My brother used to work with sequins in my house growing up but I was never interested in it. One day this man who worked with him dared me to weave sequins on a mortar. He left; once he came back I was already finished. That’s how I began my career working with sequins; it has been 17 years.” After the earthquake on January 12th of 2010, Raoul Saint Florent lost his workshop along with all his materials. With the help of a loan from a non-profit agency, he was able to get back on his feet. Now he works out of his home, which hinders his clientele because of the inconvenient location. Saint Florent believes that there should more accessible methods to grow his business. Saint Florent’s works are very much in demand at the

annual artisan and craft fair, “Artisan en Fête”, in which he participates. In fact, he was on his way to Labadie, a popular tourist location, when the Magic Haiti staff chatted with him. Whether he considers his career a success or not, Saint Florent says, “Well it depends on what success means to you. I consider myself successful because I love what I do and people truly appreciate it. Financially, I think I’m working my way there.” Saint Florent’s aspires to one day open his own gallery where his signature pieces can be prominently showcased, thereby affording him the opportunity to gain more exposure and reach a broader network of fervent art connoisseurs. AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 5


Lamanjay

La Coquille:

An Oyster of Tradition

By Farah Doura

I

n a time when the world has entered globalization, many customs are abandoned to make way for more uniform practices. While a trend that has influenced most aspects of life, however, the core of certain habits still remains untouched, namely in the matter of gastronomy. Most cultures have demonstrated when food is of the essence the roots are hard to deny. Every nation has a dish that feeds the senses to connect with the origins. Inheriting its particularity from the many ethnic groups that occupied its portion of Hispagnola, Haitian Cuisine fuses French and African cuisine as a primary influence with Taino and Spanish culinary techniques. Local spices usually call for garlic, thyme, parsley and peppers resulting in dishes that are rich in flavor, moderately spicy but not too fiery in taste. Haiti’s Caribbean climate allows for tropical fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, cherries and passion fruit to grow in abundance making the “ji natirèl” (natural juice) a local staple. As many restaurateurs seek to provide comfort and theme to their diners, La Coquille does just that with their buffet. Enclosed in a warm setting and cozy atmosphere, this restaurant carries its name very well creating a refuge in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city. 6 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

Upon arrival, the patron can decide on either feasting in the dining room, the terrace for its afternoon breeze, or yet the gazebo for the “anba tonèl” experience. The theme is consistent and natural; the speakers diffuse Konpa oldies in the background, guests engage in a coordinated “va et vient”, as courteous waiters in uniform pass for moving art with their Karabela shirts. La Coquille is the result of love for Haiti and its culinary tradition. The story behind the place? “At home, there had never been a traditional restaurant, I visited many countries with traditional restaurants and given that I love this country very much, I wanted to establish one here” shares the proprietor, Mrs. Legagneur. The varying buffet can offer: mixed vegetables, bannan peze (fried plaintain), lanbi ansòs (conch in kreyòl sauce), griyo (marinated fried pork), lalo (stew of wild leaf rich in Iron), diri (rice) and makawoni ograten (Haitian mac and cheese). Lanbi, considered a delicacy and a favorite on the menu, is the first dish to go. The griyo is tender subtly seasoned with citrus, herbs and garlic and the lalo satisfying. It’s soul food. When asked about her role in the kitchen, Mrs. Legagneur willingly informs she was the hand behind the recipes. With one daughter in the kitchen and two others


managing, la Coquille is a family venture capable of hosting an average of 100 guests any given day, while still being able to grind spices the traditional way, with a mortar and pestle: “we don’t use machines, it’s by hand” our host guarantees. The refreshing servings of natural fruit juices don’t disappoint and the dous kokoye (sweet coconut pudding made with ginger, cinnamon, evaporated milk and sugar), served here is known to have quite a following.

A number of diners have a waiter they know by name because this is the kind of place you turn into your “lunch spot.” With future plans of expansion, this eatery, in time, can inspire tradition, one lunch spot at a time. La Coquille located at 10 Re Rebecca in Pétion-Ville is open 7 days a week for lunch Monday through Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and breakfast is available at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Sunday serves the traditional Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup). Catering is also an option.

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Spotlight

REBO Expresso: A Taste Of Haiti By Rachele Viard

J

ust like people who appreciate the value of fine-arts, music and the opera, true coffee connoisseurs are going to be passionate about REBO Expresso. Though the very first REBO Expresso was opened in June 2010 at the American Airlines departure lounge at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, I had the pleasure of visiting its newest location in Petion-Ville. Often referred to as the “local Starbucks,� REBO Expresso is quite unique because of its attractive combination of Caribbean charm with a modern twist.

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Walking through the doors you are greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and other sweet and savory treats. All of the beans used to brew the REBO coffee is locally grown and expertly crafted. Each cup is freshly brewed by the baristas and the espresso-based drinks are not just a feast for your taste buds but are also mini works of art that feed the body and soul. Though one of the most popular drinks is the REBO’ccino Glacé, Mr. Gilbert Gonzales, Vice President, states “I am a purist when it comes to coffee in the sense that I always ask for my espresso.” This picturesque café, which boasts comfortable seating, a lounge area, and free Wi-Fi, emanates from REBO Café, a forty year old local coffee company. “REBO Expresso’s main focus is to serve high quality and well made coffee and espresso. REBO Expresso is completely geared towards coffee and products that are paired with coffee; it is a mixture of local culture at international standards” mentions Gonzales. Quite a few of the flavorful creations include local treats such as papita, bonbon sirop, kasava, and they are all simply scrumptious.

Customer service is a high priority at REBO Expresso, each customer is made to feel welcomed and special. Mr. Gonzales points out that prior to opening the Café, time was spent to train staff on both the use of equipment as well as in customer service. One of the main motivations for opening a shop like REBO was that they not only wanted to sell the product, but they also wanted to set the standard on how it is supposed to be served. Beyond that, the atmosphere is ideal for a coffee date, business meeting, catching up with friends, or to enjoy a cup of latte. You can expect the same great coffee and service in future REBO Expresso shops, as REBO Expresso is an expanding company with two more Cafés in the works. REBO is a must visit spot for coffee culture enthusiast. And if you do happen to stop by, do try the REBO Caramel Macchiato, also a customer favorite. It is simply delicious. 25 Rue Metellus, Place Boyer, Pétion-Ville Monday to Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 9


Artmosphere

Pure, Simple, and Elegant Stone Carvings

Jean Almétone Frémont

R

iviere Froide, literally translated as Cold River, is a mountainous region west of the Haitian capital where river stones are abundant. It is there that, in the 1960s, artist George Laratte developed the art of stone carving in Haiti. Decades later, it remains a major art form on the island and artists like Jean Almétone Frémont, a prominent stone carver in Petion-Ville, have become national and international successes. A native of Jérémie, Frémont, or Sculpteur Frémont as he introduced himself to me, considers himself selftaught in the art. As a young boy, Frémont always created small carved stone heads at school, where the principal made it mandatory for students to be involved in arts and crafts. Years later, realizing that this could be

more than a hobby, Frémont moved to the capital to pursue his dream of becoming a successful stone carver. Frémont’s work depicts images of women, masks, percussionists, lovers and dancers. “When I create a piece,” he says, “I want it to evoke an emotion. I want the people who view it to become connected to the piece. That is why I spend a lot of time on details and on creating soft lines”. And, with a large smile on his face, he adds: “I am always asked why my pieces show female busts,” he says. “I tell them it’s something I love to carve very much. I love to sculpt women’s breasts because they represent life, women represent life”. In 1994, with the help of internationally acclaimed filmmaker Arnold Antonin (who had been introduced to Frémont and had loved his

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work) the sculptor presents his first successful exhibit, showcasing 35 pieces at the Pétion Bolivar Center in PétionVille. Ten years later, in 2004, he presents 10 pieces at the widely recognized Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C, a testament to how far he has come in his career. Mireille Jerome, owner of Les Ateliers Jerome, has showcased Frémont’s works of art in her gallery since the 1990’s

while serving as an advisor and supporter. “From the time he began sculpting,” she says, “Frémont distinguished himself from other stone sculptors from the Riviere Froide area. While their works are massive and concentrate on facial expressions, Frémont concentrates on the expression of the body and his pieces are pure, simple, and elegant”. Frémont cites Francois Sanon, a friend and promi-


nent wood sculptor, as a source of inspiration. “Although his art does not have a direct connection to mine,” he says, “his lines and his approach are fascinating. I try to create a style that matches that of the wood sculptors.” In December 2010, Fremont’s lifelong dream of traveling to Africa became a reality when he was invited to participate in the World Festival of Black Arts in Senegal. “When my feet touched the soil in Senegal,” he says, “I felt like a transformation took place. In one of the galleries I visited I saw a mask and it was exactly like one of my own, with just slight variations. It is at that moment that I realized that our spirits are really connected. It was an emotional moment for me” he states, adding that “going to Senegal was indeed an honor.” Frémont recounts how amazed he was when he visited the “Village of Arts” in Dakar. “In this village, you

find all types of artists and these artists have their own studios and are supported by the government. If our artists, who have extraordinary raw talent, were afforded the same infrastructure and support mechanism, Haitian art would be even more valuable than it is now and the artists would flourish financially. I hope that one day such a center will exist in Haiti,” says Frémont. This year, he was selected to sculpt the trophies for the “Guardians of Books” presented during the past Livres En Folie held in June 2011 in Port-au-Prince. This award is presented to six individuals and institutions who have contributed greatly to the preservation of Haitian literature. He was asked to create six of the same sculpture, but says he could not. “The six sculptures are similar but they each have

something uniquely, and subtly, different. It is very difficult for an artist to precisely replicate a piece of art” he states. “I hope that the readers of Magic Haiti will be inspired by the articles and that they will take the opportunity to patronize the various art galleries and street artisans. I also encourage them to add various Haitian works of art to their collec tions” expresses the talented sculptor, before we part ways. AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 11


On The Rise

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Revitalizing the City of Light! Le Village de Port-Jacmel

Le  Village de Port-Jacmel Jacmel, Haiti

As we approach an historic building by the harbor, which served years ago as a coffee sorting house, Michael Capponi begins to share his vision: a multi-phase project that is going to turn a 19th century relic into a modern boutique resort hotel and play a significant role in revitalizing this effervescent city striving to regain its prominence as a key economic and cultural center in the southeast. Founded in 1698, Jacmel, an enchanting city south of Port-au-Prince is the fifth largest city in Haiti with an estimated population of 60,000. In the Le Village Port-Jacmel 1900’de s, Jacmel’ s harbor was the port Jacmel, Haiti that connected this Caribbean island

to Europe. In 1925, Jacmel was the first city in Haïti to have electricity and as such it is referred to as the City of Light. Capponi dashes out of the car and beckons us to join him

LOCATION MAPS

as he begins to vividly describe the Hotel. His enthusiasm is contagious as he points out the outdoor café, the location of the bar, the view from the property; it is indeed breathtaking. We

13

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 15


On The Rise

t-Jacmel

now revert and walk towards the entrance of Le Village and once inside, he and the project’s architect Kobi Karp discuss window placement, bathroom location, and various other details to the music of pattering hammers and construction workers’ chatter. Capponi shares the renderings of the resort with us and upon first glimpse, I am reminded of the beautiful architecture that characterizes Haiti, once known as the “Pearl of the Antilles.” Michael Capponi travelled

to Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake of January 12th with a group of doctors and firefighters he gathered from Florida to provide relief. Capponi, a promoter, entrepreneur, and developer who has been recognized for having played a key role in crafting South Florida’s image to the rest of the world, is also a humanitarian who felt the urge to assist a people in need. Capponi’s first encounter with Haiti was at a time of crisis; yet

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through this misery, the soul and spirit of a people surfaced, and he was mesmerized. Upon his return to the States, he delved passionately and aggressively into the pursuit of funds to provide immediate assistance. An apt fundraiser committed to making a difference, Capponi collaborated with the United Way of Miami-Dade

and purchased 700 tents, built a camp for 3,000 individuals in Belleville and continued to travel back and forth to Haiti. This project evolved when, in November 2010, Capponi was invited by long time friend and actress Maria Bello to visit Jacmel. He developed an immediate


connection with the city which has been tentatively accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is not surprising that the ocean was the catalyst that brought this avid surfer face to face with a local businessman resulting into this multifaceted project that has the potential to reinvigorate the city and the surrounding coastline. The Jacmel Advisory Council was established and includes various stakeholders such as international and local investors, entrepreneurs, local residents, and activists. Le Village de Port-Jacmel, a 44 room resort, will maintain the European influenced design esthetics so germane to the city. It will have retail shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars, a marina, French Patisserie, and a one of a kind entertainment deck overlooking beautiful

historic Jacmel and the Bay of Jacmel. It will also include amenities that tourists expect such as a spa, gym, sporting equipment, and entertainment. “It is not enough to build an appealing property; one must also create events and activities that will continually attract the right kind of visitors all year long� says Capponi. The construction of the resort will be completed in two phases. Initially, Le Village de Port-Jacmel will open its doors in late December 2011 with 7 rooms, restaurants, a bar and a tourist information center. The second phase is scheduled for completion in June 2012. To ensure that his vision is fully executed, Capponi and Karp pay attention to the smallest of details. They both want to ensure that the integrity of the original architecture is preAUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 17


served and keep the traditional-Caribbean style, brick built and open to the outside. Part of Le Village’s décor will include an infinity pool on the second floor with a spectacular view of the bay. “I see the sight itself sitting in a very unique historically significant location within the architecturally rich environment of Jacmel. It’s very exciting to see Michael take the time and effort to restore the buildings with new and modern functions which extend the buildings’ life and reinvigorate the town itself” says Karp. Capponi shows us the grounds of perhaps the most compelling aspect of this project, the Venus Williams After School Haitian Academy. The Center will afford Jacmelian students an extremely unique opportunity for growth and learning in a nurturing environment while being taught to play tennis by instructors trained by the tennis icon. The inclusion of the Academy is further proof that as a humanitarian Capponi understands the

dire need to pay it forward. As we leave the resort’s quarters, Capponi points out that the building directly across the street will become the artisan center. Talented local artisans will be able to display their works of art at the Center. He then points to a building adjacent to the Arts & Craft center, a dilapidated house that will become an expansion of Haiti’s only film school, Ciné Institute founded by actor David Belle. The Institute will be adding new divisions to become a full university for arts and technology. “Haiti is a nation of artists. It

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also has an extraordinary history, culture and beautiful environment” states Belle. Capponi then continues to drive to the Rue de Commerce and La Grande Rue. Standing in the middle of the street he shows us the renderings of the proposed new downtown area, which captures the essence of the city’s architecture and culture. It’s simply elegant. “We are here to restore and preserve the local culture of Haiti and showcase it to the world” states Capponi with a huge smile on his face and a sense of pride in his

eyes. “This project brings a lot of hope, it is going to enable Jacmel to become a tourism destination” states Ronald Andres, mayor of Jacmel. “Through preservation of Jacmel’s historic center, education and training in new creative industries, and a culturally based touristic development strategy, we envision the rebirth of one of the nation’s most important cities” says David Belle. Michael Capponi, his partners and team have accomplished so much in such a short time. He firmly believes that Jacmel’s cool new look and cool new vibe will serve as a model to attract tourists and investors alike. The December 2011 opening of Le Village de PortJacmel indicates the dawning of change, redefining a coffee sorting house as a dynamic and inviting seaside resort destination. The renovation of downtown Jacmel signals the spawning of economic rejuvenation and the revival of this vibrant city. Capponi is planning the grand opening of Le Village de Port-Jacmel with a New Year’s Eve bash to be rivaled by no other. And the City of Lights will shine on.


Escapade

La Réserve

an untouched sanctuary

When first entering the grounds of La Reserve you get a sense of having stepped in the heart of the Amazon and can even expect to be greeted by Tarzan and Jane as they swing from a tree branch. Walking up the steps, approaching the

property, and seeing the hotel perched in the middle of the lush garden, gives the impression of it being added accessory to the foliage that surrounds it. The air is fresh, the trees are majestic and the vines are mystical. It’s no wonder La Reserve

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is known for its enchanting and very green landscape. It’s all outdoors, tastefully decorated with low lighting and lots of plants, inspiring an ambiance of serenity. La Reserve has a bohemian charm yet at the same time

it has all the comfort and amenities of a modern hotel with a Caribbean flare. The Hotel attracts different types of local and international clientele, from businessmen, families vacationing or those wanting to experience the Hotel after hav-


ing heard about it from friends. When guests choose to retreat to their room, they will enjoy quite distinctive quarters with Mahogany furniture, plush beds and large windows allowing for plenty of natural light. The restful and calming décor is a delight, with 22 rooms overlooking wonderful views of the landscape, allowing guests to enjoy comfort with practically no interruptions. The set up at the bar is perfect for reading or catching up with friends. A variety of beverages can be savored ranging from coffee, cocktails, wine, the local beer to natural juices. The fruit punch is definitely a

must have, made daily with fresh fruits that send your taste buds on an exotic journey. The menu offers dishes satisfying every palate such as Mexican Quesadillas, seafood, and local staples such as “griyo” marinated fried pork. One of their most popular plates is the juicy, wellseasoned T-bone steak served to your liking. While looking out from the terrace into the large courtyard, guests are cut off from daily urban noises or sight of sidewalks because the plot is enclosed by imposing trees. The terrace has a tin roof with wooden beams for decor and hanging lights adding a sultry accent. It’s nice

to hear the patter of rain while staying dry on a rainy day, or, when the weather is clear, to sit in the courtyard, where the chairs are all comfortable and great for lounging. Having a drink here evokes the need to unwind, slow down and relish the day. The hospitable service offered to guests is one that will surely keep them coming back. The aim is to please and provide personalized service to maintain a certain relaxed atmosphere. Compared to most hotels in the country, La Reserve stands out not only because of its unique location, where

guests may be surprised upon their arrival to see the lavish landscape, but also for being among many properties within Haiti with a historic background. The property and the entire neighboring area once belonged to Louis Borno, a former president. His son, Yurri Borno, inherited the land and passed it on to his children who later sold it to a Congregation of Dominican priests. With its rich landscape and wonderful service, guests will definitely find themselves in their own private sanctuary where they will experience La Reserve’s philosophy of calmness and serenity.

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Haiti on my mind


EdwidgeDanticat Sharing the depth and breadth of Haiti

A

lthough revered author Ediwige Danticat has resided in the United States for the past 30 years, she always kept close ties with her beloved Haiti. Danticat’s love and passion is captured through her words sharing the depth and breadth of Haiti. She is undeniably one of the few authors who have written the most about her homeland, as a character. Magic Haiti had the opportunity to sit down with Danticat during her visit as the Honored Guest of “Livres en Folies,” the annual national book fair. During our time with Danticat, we had the chance to become acquainted with the woman behind the books, the captivating tales and the poignant words. Despite leaving Haiti at the age of 12, Danticat frequently traveled back to Haiti, at times to visit family, to teach, and at times for work. This trip as the Honored Guest of “Livres en Folies” was very special; it afforded her the opportunity to merge her literary life and her personal life. For many of her family members in Haiti, it was the first time they had the chance to see her, Edwidge Danticat, as the esteemed writer, “I got to fuse those experi-

ences, what it’s like to be here both as a person and as a writer. It’s the first time that I felt like both of those individuals were one. It’s truly the first time I’ve ever felt that.” Naturally soft-spoken, writing has always been Danticat’s voice, “I was a very shy teenager, a very shy girl and the only place I wasn’t shy was in my writing.” At 14 years old, Danticat published her first story in a youth produced publication, New Youth Connections. The story titled “Haitian Christmas: Cremace and Creole Theatre” was a way for Danticat to dispel stereotypes about Haitians and to share Haitian holiday traditions particularly for the students with whom she attended school: “That was my first experience in seeing how something you write can have a positive impact on somebody, about the way they perceive a person or a place, and, in this case Haiti.” In many of her trips to Haiti, Danticat was able to discover towns and villages outside of Port-au-Prince. One of the places she frequently visits is Jacmel. In 2001 she even wrote a book about Carnival in Jacmel. “Through the carnival you can learn so much about the history of Jacmel and Haiti. It enables you to AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 23


Haiti on my mind

Edwidge Danticat with her husband and two daughters

also understand Jacmel’s cultural significance, not just in the present but throughout time. For example, some of the costumes have German influences, there’s that European connection to Jacmel, from the unique architecture to the carnival. The carnival is almost like a visual manifestation of history and its culture and its social commentary, all of these things in one day. I wrote the book with that in mind, a way to explore history through the activities of carnival. Jacmel has a certain charm and is a town with literary ghosts.” Danticat finds Carnival in Jacmel so festive and so very colorful. It is not surprising that she is able to capture the essence

of Haiti so well, since she has seen so much of the country. For many years Danticat along with American students would come to Haiti to teach a summer course. The Program was based in Montrouis at the Université des Caraïbes located less than an hour north of Portau-Prince. They taught the students during the day and in the afternoons they would take advantage of the beautiful beaches of the region and indulge for a swim. The exciting aspect of this course was that they had the unique opportunity to go on many excursions during the weekend. The group visited many beautiful towns including Cap Haitien, further north and breathtak-

24 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

ing beaches like Gelee near les Cayes in the south. “This was a great way to not only visit the towns but to get to know the people and their traditions.” These weekend getaways followed the schedule of the Fête Champêtres. The Fête Champêtres are religious parties where the town celebrates their patron saint. “It was a perfect time to visit these towns because of all the celebrations and revelry.” It is a time when of religion both of western and African descent, music and gastronomy are center stage. The syncretism that occurs at these Fêtes Champêtres is the essence of our Magic Haiti. All genres of Haitian music are played from

meringue pronounced “-- “ to compas to mizik rasin (root music). Edwidge Danticat is a big fan of mizik rasin, many of the lyrics from the traditional songs written long ago still resonate to her in the present, “It seems like something that has been passed on from generation to generation.” Among Danticat’s favorite places in Haiti is Camp Perrin which she considers a secret hideaway. The waterfalls, cleanliness and natural beauty of the town enamored the writer, “I visited the big waterfall there, Saut Mathurin, and I was in awe. It just seemed so untouched.” She also enjoys Bassin Bleu in Jacmel, Port Salut and La Citadelle, which is


a monumental landmark and significant in Haiti’s history. “I would recommend anyone visiting Haiti to get outside of Port-au-Prince. There are so many things that the countryside and the provinces have to offer, if you’re interested in the environment, my favorite green site is Seguin, the national “Parc La Visite.” That’s actually one of the most beautiful trips I’ve made. And there are hidden things like tombs and mausoleums in Seguin, they almost look like they’re from the middle east.” Located 2,000 meters above sea level and in “La Selle,” the Caribbean’s most impressive mountain range, Seguin is a tropical version of Switzerland and well worth the hike from Kenscoff or Furcy. Edwidge Danticat’s family is from Leogane, a city she visits often and has fond childhood memories of playing in the mountains, going to the beach and eating her favorite dish “Lambi Boukanen,” grilled conch. This appetizing dish is normally served right out of the water with limes and a spicy sauce. Danticat has many recollections of making “fanal,” decorative paper lamps, as a child during Christmas. “The visual arts are probably Haiti’s best ambassador because that’s what people remember the most. It is the one item that most people don’t leave Haiti without, one of those vibrant canvasses. They buy them in the streets or in the galleries.” Even the decorated public busses and trucks demonstrate the Haitian creative range for Danticat “Haiti is one of the only places I know

where functional art exists and the “Tap Taps,” colorful public buses in all shapes and sizes, are such a powerful example of this medium. You see what’s happening in Haiti on the Tap Taps as they like moving paintings.” Although Danticat’s daughters, Mira and Leila, were born in the United States, they visit Haiti often and were present during this recent trip. If given the choice, six year old Mira would love to live with her paternal grandmother in Cavaillon. The girls have had the chance to have a connection with Haiti through their grandmothers, “They have an organic interaction; grandmothers are very strong trans-

mitters of culture.” Danticat and her husband attend a Haitian church; they live in Little Haiti in Florida and only speak Creole with the children. Her love for Haiti and all things Haitianrelated is evident in her writing and in her life. Whether it’s meeting

different people, exploring Haitian subcultures, sipping some freshly made soursop juice, savoring a mouthwatering meal, or inhaling the arts; it is no wonder that Danticat’s work itself is quickly becoming a significant staple of Haitian culture.

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 25


bon bagay

Sophie Paris: Jacmel... By Farah Doura

Driving up a natural pathway, noticing a small vintage cemetery on the left, Sophie Paris is leading the way. Organic by nature, this Salem, Ohio born woman finds herself here in this tropical country where her colored eyes and blond hair fit perfectly with the setting. As we approach her palm leaf fence, the anticipation of finding out what it guards, grows. Once you pass the gate you understand the person you’ve come to interview. The habitat is what they call a “kay pay” (thatch roof shack) with a long terrace accentuated with local crafts like calabash lampshades, hand painted floor pillows, and straw mats. The place is welcoming, warm and functional. Knowing a bit about our subject makes one wonder if anywhere else but Haiti would have been a good fit for this pioneer-like character. Lover of life but most importantly lover of this country, which she’s been a great promoter of, Sophie didn’t refuse the opportunity to support. When asked to participate in this interview, “Absolutely” was her reply. Brought here primarily to document the harsh reality of a nation’s uprising, Sophie in contrast discovered the core beauty of a country, more particularly that of the southern town of Jacmel. In the late 19th century, Jacmel was inhabited by wealthy coffee merchants who lived in gracious mansions. Having bonded with the area, it is now her home. One can’t help but notice her use of “we” when explaining town life to strangers affirming that she has roots here. Faithful to the spirit of a city that inspires many things, Sophie’s sense of social responsibility contributes to the sustainability of an already paradisiacal city. FD: What brought you to Haiti? Sophie Paris: “The UN sent me in 2004 to photograph the situation, I was given a six month contract and I decided to keep renewing it, fell in love with Haiti and it all began. I quit the UN, freelanced and started a business. Then I left to go back to school in New York, and the whole time I was there I was trying to figure out a way to get back to Haiti, it was like a hole in my heart not being here, you know. It was very hard for me to function without being in Haiti. It was constantly on my mind. I was in New York struggling as a photojournalist when the earthquake happened and then the UN sent me 5 days later on Janu-

ary 18th, last year and that’s how I ended up back here…then I knew…they sent me for 15 days, I knew that was it, I was never going back to New York and I knew I was going to stay here no matter what.” FD: Why Jacmel? SP: “I started coming to Jacmel in 2004 to visit various friends for the weekend and I would rent houses throughout the years. I’ve always loved this place and I feel very much at home here so I decided when my contract was ending with the UN, I wasn’t renewing it this last fall, this would be the best place for me to come live. I had no idea what I was going to do when I moved here. The only thing that was


Why Haiti ? in my head was that, after what I witnessed after the earthquake as a photojournalist, I really felt I had to do so much more for this country. I felt like I wanted to directly work with people and have a direct impact on people and their lives. I knew that much.” FD: Is that what you do right now? SP: “When I moved to Jacmel I kind of decided I would just see how it goes, listen, learn, see, and observe. Not come here and say I’m gonna do anything. So I went and observed the work “Fondation Le Mabouya” was doing. I’ve known Patrice (the founder) for years and I was always very intrigued by the work he was doing. One day, he started talking to me about trash…all of a sudden it hit me, yeah (laughing) I think we need to deal with trash. Let’s do something with trash. I’ve been working on a plan for trash collection and processing center for Cayes-Jacmel. What we are going to do with the mayor’s blessing, we are going to collect and separate trash for the entire commune, which is about 40,000 people.” FD: Describe the area where you live in Jacmel SP: “I live in the commune of Cayes-Jacmel in the locality of Tessere. How do I describe this place? It’s almost magical. I sometimes feel I’m in a childhood nursery rhyme, like Hansel and Gretel. It’s so lush and so beautiful….there is an insane amount of fruits. I sleep with my doors and windows opened, my living room is outside. For the last two days

I’ve been falling asleep to the sound of distant drumming in the mountains. I have everything here I can possibly ever want. I eat fresh food from the mountains right above this house and it’s like a pure organic diet. We eat the fish that are caught fresh out of the sea, lobster. It’s just… (shaking her head in disbelief).” FD: How do you explain the local culture to your friends and family back home? SP: “I describe it as this old fashion sense of community, your neighbor needs water, you have water you give it to them. I also tell them it’s this beautiful Caribbean island with moun-

tains towering over the sea, beautiful crystal blue waters. Ti kay pay , little houses made out of straw roof are colorful, bright and you live outside. You are very much in touch with nature. When my family comes to visit I take them hiking, we rent a boat and go out with one of the fishermen. There is a waterfall in the area, Bassin Bleu. There’s a source there (pointing further up the hill) with a giant Mapou tree, you can just lay in the basen (bassin) and let the cold water run down.” FD: You like the music, you like the food? SP: “Love the food! I eat

Haitian food all day everyday (laughing). When I lived in the US for a few years, I almost died without bannan peze, plikliz, griyot (laughing) And music wise, absolutely! I adore Haitian music…roots, rasin, the percussion, heavy drumming. And the art, I can’t believe…even starting with little three year old kids who are building their own toys on the beach, literally out of nothing and that blows my mind….so innovative. There is in fact quite a lot of recycling that goes on here and I really like that a lot…turning objects into toys or art pieces.” FD: Have you ever regretted that move? SP: “There was a split second when I found out I was pregnant, where I was a little nervous about healthcare in this area but after visiting the Cubans in the hospital in CayesJacmel, they offer free healthcare, I felt much better. They have a fully functional hospital. I do have healthcare available to me 24/7 if something were to go wrong. But it was a just split second thought.” FD: Do you have a favorite expression in kreyòl? SP: (Long laugh)”I named my first dog in Haiti Bon bagay (good stuff). Bon bagay of course has always been my kind of cherished little phrase. Yeah I love the phrase bon bagay, cause when I say it now I think of my first dog in Haiti; it was a street dog, who had a great affinity for me and wouldn’t leave me alone one day in Port au Prince, so I put him in my car and took him home with me…so bon bagay, I guess (laughing)”

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 27


Spotlight

Blending tradition with innovation:

By Nastasia Boulos

O

tablet pistache “YO”

nce the most profitable sugar exporting colony of the New World, Haiti has produced more than its share of sweet confections ranging from coconut patties to Haitian gingerbread. But perhaps the most popular of these is the Tablet Pistache, delicious sugar candy embedded with peanuts, made and sold on the streets across the country. Madeleine Anglade, a Quebecoise woman who has been living in Haiti for over two decades, has taken this traditionally hand-made Haitian treat and turned it into a marketable product, capable of being mass produced while still maintaining an authentic taste. I met with Madeleine at her small office and factory in what used to be a profitable part of Haiti, and she told me about how she began producing these treats. In 1997, Anglade and her husband started a small ice-cream making business in downtown Port-au-Prince.

Fourteen years later, the Anglade family business, which now includes both her son and daughter, are still selling ice-cream to local supermarkets. In addition, the business, which employs over thirty people, has expanded to include a new line of products called, simply, “YO”. The “YO” brand started with cereal bars made with local ingredients, but consumers soon requested the confection they love: tablet pistaches. Thus Madeleine recruited a man from the Arcahaie region of Haiti to teach her how to make these famous and typical Haitian treat. “We wanted it to have an authentic taste,” says Anglade. “But we also wanted to be able to produce it rapidly and on a grander scale.” The recipe originally presented to her didn’t allow easy shaping of the product, so they changed it up a bit. “We added our own touch to it,” she says, a smile of pride forming on her lips.


Anglade buys the peanuts at the local marché, both in order to promote local production, and “because Haitian peanuts have their own special taste.” The peanuts go through a primary ‘visual’ cleaning: the bad ones and any unwanted impurities are manually taken out. They are then grilled, left to cool, and the shelling is taken off. The entire process takes about two days. Once the peanuts are ready to use, it’s time to prepare the actual candy. While Madeleine couldn’t reveal her recipe, typically cane sugar is melted to make syrup, and salt and spices ranging from cinnamon to ginger are added. The mix of syrup and peanuts is laid down in a pan and left to cool. Then, a machine cuts it up into rectangular-

shaped pieces ready to be packaged. This mix of manual labor and machines makes it possible to produce good quality products faster, while “still providing jobs for people.” A staunch supporter of local production, Madeleine believes that if done correctly, Haitian products can be sold and exported in quantity. “There needs to be more support for Haitian-made products” she says. Sold in all main local supermarkets for about 15 Haitian Gourdes (US 38 cents at current rate of exchange) the “YO” tablet pistache is wrapped in simple but appealing packaging, thus increasing its chances of being properly marketed and eventually exported. With just the right amount of “chewiness”, the “YO” tablet

pistache is a perfect balance of sweet and salty. The combination of a nice packaging

and a new way of being produced blends tradition with innovation.

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 29


Escapade

Florita Hotel a step back in time

L

ocated on Rue du Commerce, in the center of the town of Jacmel and one block from the ocean, Hotel Florita is reminiscent of the old architecture that makes the downtown area so historic. The Hotel provides a haven to visitors by preserving Jacmel’s antique charm. With an attractive white and blue façade, it is difficult not to be

30 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

lured in to at least explore. Once inside, where the walls are covered with post-colonial bricks, you find yourself in the Hotel’s popular restaurant furnished by an equally popular elongated wooden bar. At the end of the restaurant you are greeted with the amicable smile of Senatus Jean Ruid, the manager of the charming Hotel Florita.

The quarters where the Hotel Florita is currently housed was built in 1888, when affluent families in Jacmel acquired their wealth through coffee. Due to change in the economy, the Florita’s doors were closed in the 1950’s until the seventies, when well-known poet, writer, and art aficionado, Selden Rodman purchased it and turned the first


floor into an art gallery. Rodman presented the richness of Haitian art in general, and Haitian Folk art in particular, to the west through his many writings. In doing so, he was instrumental in popularizing these art forms. Selden spent the winter months in Jacmel and rented the space

the other months for close to twenty years. The Cross family purchased the house in 1989 and transformed the Florita into a hotel in 1991. The managers of Hotel Florita try to keep the property as authentic and classic as when it was first built in the 19th century. The cozy hotel

comprises of 7 rooms and 2 suites that provide a home-like and unique atmosphere for its guests. The Hotel retained the original wooden floors and cast iron stair railings used during the construction of the house. Each room is furnished with antique furniture; a bed, a desk and a dresser, all made of dark wood, and the bathrooms are all modern. Due to its history, it is no wonder that Haitian art is omnipresent at the Florita. The rooms, hallways, bar, bathrooms, and the courtyard serve as a platform that showcases original Haitian paintings and arts and craft. Mr. Jean Ruid explains, “I always feel as if I’m living in the old age when I am here. I developed an appreciation for everything antique. When we were furnishing the Hotel, we made sure that it was time-honored. We didn’t want many rooms; we wanted to keep the house as when it was built. If we made too many modifications, the house would have lost its originality.” Covered with a tin roof and centered by a palm tree, the Hotel’s restaurant and bar occupy the space that once served as the coffee depot. Both are widely patronized by guests, visitors, as well as the residents of Jacmel. The bar is known as an entertainment spot in Jacmel, where patrons can order original rum drinks and dance all night. The Hotel’s restaurant serves mostly traditional Haitian cuisine, although Mr. Jean Ruid is currently searching for a Chef de Cuisine to spice up the menu and create new innovative dishes while keeping the Kreyol tradition.

Mr. Jean Ruid considers the Hotel Florita as a point of reference in Jacmel. The Hotel has welcomed guests like the Queen of Spain, celebrities, ambassadors, including the Ambassador of Spain recently. The Hotel Florita offers varied amenities to its guests to ensure that their stay is memorable and fun-filled. Despite Hotel Florita’s status in Jacmel, management would like to improve the facilities. The Hotel is currently repairing two rooms damaged during the earthquake. Mr. Jean Ruid is also looking to expand the Florita not by adding on but instead through the acquisition of certain surrounding properties. They have already rented an additional area where a vintage pool is located. Mr. Jean Ruid emphasizes, “The objective is to always keep the historic look. We are not looking to be in competition with other hotels. We want to stay unique.” In addition, Mr. Jean Ruid aspires to make the Hotel Florita completely green, powered entirely with solar power. One of the first steps undertaken in going green is the discontinuation of the use of plastic because of its effects on the environment. Visit the bar, partake in the appetizing seafood dishes, lounge in a 19th century room, and enjoy the antique décor. The Hotel Florita is a great custodian of Jacmel’s rich historical memory. Mr. Jean Ruid concludes “To me, the Hotel Florita is a hideaway; every time you come back you discover something new. It’s magical and romantic at the same time.”

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 29


Postcard in motion

BASSIN BLEU As you laze around in Jacmel and immerse yourself in the culture, the arts and the cuisine, consider adding to your sightseeing agenda an excursion to Bassin Bleu, an amazing series of waterfalls located 40 minutes from the city. This natural attraction will enable you to reconnect with nature and recharge as you listen to the flowing waters. Formed from a river bed in the mountains north of Jacmel, the striking Bassin lures visitors to dive in and forget the hustle and bustle, the stress and drama of everyday life. The road to the waterfall is tough (the trek should be made in a four

32 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

wheel drive,) the splendid sights of the bay of Jacmel during the drive will begin the decompression process.

small ladder and descend using a rope.

Upon arrival at “Grand Fond,” the entrance to the Bassin, you are greeted by tour guides. Though there is no set entrance fee to visit the waterfall, a donation is strongly encouraged. A 7 minute walk is necessary to reach the magnificent Bassin Bleu waterfall.

The abundant greenery that surrounds the waterfall is equally breathtaking. Hike through the forest that surrounds Bassin Bleu and uncover the various indigenous trees of the area. If lucky while bathing in the Bassin, you could be serenaded by the many birds that dwell in the area. Relax and let Bassin Blue soothe your body and soul.

The waterfall supplies three ponds, including “Clair Bassin” the most spectacular of the waterfalls but also the most difficult to access. To view this sight, one must climb a

Many mysteries loom over the waterfall. According to legend, the Basin Clair cave is inhabited by a mermaid who surfaces at nightfall. Only a great adventurer such as you, can uncover the truth.


Should you opt to discover Bassin Bleu •

• • • • • • •

Check with your local resort to ensure that you can be accommodated at Bassin Bleu (restrictions are in place to preserve the Bassin as well as provide a tranquil experience) Travel via a four wheel drive, getting to Bassin Bleu requires crossing a river Wear sneakers or hiking boots to trek through the forest and to get to the pools you will have to use a rope Pack a bathing suit, water and sun tan lotion Consider making a donation to the for maintenance and conservation of the site Have small change in hand for purchases Tip your guides, who have the rope you need to access pools, between US $5 to $10 dollars Leave Bassin Bleu in its pristine condition

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 31


Kreyol Flair by Chef Stephan

Spicy Conch Ceviche Ingredients

4oz Marinated Lambi sliced very thinly (marinate an hour prior) 1/2 a teaspoon of black caviar Yields 1 serving/8oz

32 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

Preparation

Season avocado with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice In a small mold, add the slices of the marinated lambi. Add diced avocados, cut papaya, and black Caviar Add the lambi marinade Garnish plate with the plantain chips

Marinade:

4oz of sour orange juice 2.5oz of lemon or limejuice 1oz of finely chopped Habanero peppers Sea salt and Black pepper to taste


travel companion Abakabay

Le Recul

Port Morgan

Aldy Hôtel - ATH (Aquin) nancyecomeau@yahoo.fr +509 3458-2566 / 3741-0532

(Ile a Vache) abakabay@hotmail.com +509 3721-3691 / 3683- 6253 www.abakabay.com

Côte Caraïbe Cap Lamandou- ATH

Jacmel +509 2941-4000 +509 3720-1892 3920-9135 / 3720-1436 caplamandouhotel@yahoo.fr

Hôtel Villa Ban Yen

(Petit-Goâve-Vallue) absept60@yahoo.fr +509 3420-2091 / 3941-2091

Auberge du Mont Saint Jean

(Vallée de Jacmel) aubergesaintjean@yahoo.com Phones : +509 3702-0510 3707-0605 / 3401-1789

L’Amitié Guest House :

Ti Mouillage, Cayes Jacmel (509) 2942-7156 / 3417-7582

Hotel Florita

Located in Jacmel +509 3785-5154 2288-2806 / 3905- 1732 hôtelflorita@yahoo.fr www.hôtelflorita.com

La Colline Enchantée

(Marigot- Jacmel) lacollineenchantee@gmail.com +509 3703-0448 / 3701-96 97

Cyvadier Plage

(Cyvadier- Jacmel) hotelcyvadier@hughes.net +509 3844-8264 3482-2585 / 3844- 8265

(Ile a Vache) portmorgan@hughes.net, www.port-morgan.com +509 3921-0000 3922-0001 / 3663-5154

(Camp Perrin) valnuma@yahoo.fr +509 3454-0027 / 3727-3589

Kaliko -ATH kalikobeachclub@hotmail.com +509 2940 4609 / 4640 2223

Manolo Inn

(Petite Rivière de Nippes) lemanoloinn@mac.com +509 3461-7108 3768-2059 / 3752- 3838 3727- 0201

Hôtel du Village

(Port Salut) portsaluthotelduvillage@ yahoo.fr +509 3713- 9035

Auberge du Rayon Vert

(Port Salut) aubergedurayonvert@ yahoo.fr www.aubergedurayonvert.com +509 3713-9035 / 3779- 1728

Dan’s creek

(Port Salut) danscreekhotel@gmail.com www.danscreekhotel.com +509 3614-8143 3664- 0404

Relais du Boucanier

(Port Salut) lerelaisduboucanier@hotmail.com www.leboukanier.com +509 3558- 1806 3702- 1066 / 3554-1806 3720-1144

Auberge du canal d’Avezac Levy (Camp Perrin) +509 3739-2800

Côte des Arcadins

Wahoo Bay -ATH wahoo@dadesky.com +509 3735- 2536/ 3735-2831

Côte Atlantique

Moulin sur Mer -ATH info@moulinsurmer.com + 509 3701- 1918 2813- 1042 / 3702- 1918

Hostellerie du Roi Christophe -ATH - (Cap Haitien) hotroi24@yahoo.com 3 687 8915

Club Indigo- ATH

contact@clubindigo.net, reservations@clubindigo.net + 509 3651-1000 3650-1000 / 3441-1000

Résidence Royale

(Cap Haitien) golfromes@hotmail.com +509 3602-6676 2942- 0540 / 2813- 7959

Xaragua Hôtel - ATH

lexaraguahotel@yahoo.fr +509 2510-9559 / 3795- 5983

Hôtel Mont Joli-ATH

(Cap Haitien) hotelmontjoli@gmail.com +509 3943-1110 / 2262-0300

Ouanga Bay

+509 3756- 5212 3932-5810 ouangabay@hotmail.com

Auberge du Picolet

(Cap Haitien) auberge.picolet@gmail.com + 509 2945- 5595 / 3438-6357

Hôtel Beaux Rivages

(Cap Haitien) beaurivagehotel@yahoo.fr +509 2262-3114 / 3682-5583

Cormier Plage- ATH cormier@hughes.net +509 3702-0210 3804- 6673 / 3556- 1549

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 33


travel companion

Habitation Hatt-ATH Le Ritz-ATH + 509 2510-2635 / 2940-0135 +509 2943- 0303 apartement@hotelkinam.com sachasaieh@hotmail.com, catering@hotelkinam.com villalaila@habitationhatthotel.com Ibo Lélé-ATH

Port-au-Prince Coconut Villa-ATH

3, Rue Berthold, Delmas 19 3 179 3752 / 2 510 4901 3 556 1549 coconutvilla19@aol.com

El Rancho-ATH

5, rue Jose Marti, Avenue des Hôtels, PV 2 944 0707

elsabaussan@yahoo.com, jvinchy@yahoo.fr +509 2514- 0166 2514- 0161 2940- 8503 / 2940- 8504

Ideal Villa

6 Delmas 53, Rte de Delmas

Karibe Hôtel-ATH info@karibehotel.com 2812- 7000 3701-1138 / 3701- 1140 www.karibehotel.com

Le Plaza-ATH

info@plazahaiti.com, reservations@plazahaiti.com 2940- 9800/ 3701- 9303 www.plazahaiti.com

Montana Suite Horizon-ATH Rue F. Cardozo 3 880 6610

Palms Résidence

palm.events@gmail.com +509 3706-7342 3454-0053

Prince Hôtel-ATH Kinam Hôtel-ATH princehotelha@yahoo.com info@hotelkinam.com , +509 2517- 0597 reservation@hotelkinam.com 3791- 1549/ 2944- 0422 +509 2944- 6000 2945- 6000 /2945- 6001 2511- 4400 www.hotelkinam.com

The Lodge -ATH Furcy +509 2510 9870 / 3458 5968 3458 1052 Villa Créole-ATH

+509 2941- 1570 / 2941- 1571 2941- 0965 / 2941- 1040 villacreol@aol.com www.villacreole.com

Visa Lodge-ATH

services@visalodge.com +509 2813- 0777 / 2510- 3424 www.visalodge.com

CAR RENTAL 20, Rue Mais Gaté, Route de lAéroport 2 229 6399’/ 2 941 5555

+509 3452-3065 / 3510- 5026 3510- 4678 / 3940- 0182

Budget Rent-a-Car

Le Montcel-ATH

CENTRE Hotel l'Ermitage de Pandiassou

(Hinche) 3472 -5934 / 3474-1599 3741-8753 lermitagedepandiassou@ yahoo.com

Hotel Maguana (Hinche) 2277-0528

Wozo Plaza

(Mirebalais) 3455-7730/ 2942-1256 wozoplazahotel@yahoo.fr

34 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

Port-au-Prince www.villabambouhaiti.com 2 813-1724

Avis

La Réserve Guest House-ATH

(Kenscoff- Belot) montcel@aol.com/ www.montcelhaiti.com +509 3701-4777 3701-1744 / 3702-7202

The Inn at Villa Bambou

Corner Rue Léonard & Route de l’Aéroport 2 813 1094 / 3 856 4988

Dollar Rent-a-Car

Blvd, Toussaint Louverture, Route de l’Aéroport 2 813 1800 / 3 724 0950

Europcar

13, Blvd Jean-Jacques Dessalines, PAP 2 518 5555 / 2 518 5556

Hertz

Route de l’Aéroport 3 779 0700 / 2 816 0700

Secom

564 Route de Delmas 2 942 2940 / 2 942 2941


restaurants Acajou Restaurant & Bar

Domino's Pizza

Anba Tonèl, Bar & Grill

Emina's Garden

Hôtel Montana Rue Frank Cardozo, Bourdon 2 940 0584 • 3 880 6610

Fast Food 91, Rue Panaméricaine, PV 2 514 7574 / 2 813 1446 / 2 813 1447

Haitian Cuisine Angle des Rues Clerveaux et Villate. PV 3 403 0822

Italian Cuisine 36, Rue Magny, PV 3 747 1177 / 2 816 2005

Assiette Créole

Itilian Cuisine 26, Rue Louverture, PV 2 257 8433

Haitian Cuisine 6, Rue Ogé. PV 2 940 0041

Fabrizio

Fior Di Latte

Haitian Cuisine 254. avenue John Brown. Lalue 2 813 1912

Italian Cuisine Choucoune Plaza, Angle des Rues Lamarre et Chavannes, PV 2 813 0445

BreakTIme

il Vigneto

Haitian Cuisine 38. Rue Darguin. PV 3 515 6262 / 3 554 0027

Italian Cuisine 7, Rue Rigaud, PV 3 419 2050 / 3 736 5414

Café Com' Ça

HANG Sports Bar & Grill

Babako

Fusion Complexe Promenade. Angles Rues Grégoire et Moïse, PV 2 943 20.4 / 3 444 0607

Café de l'Europe

French Cuisine 17. Rue Mangonès. Berthé. PV 3 406 8525•/ 3 464 0468 /•3 702 5591

Chez Wou

Chinese Place Boyer, PV 3 777 6625 / 3 777 6626

Chicken Fiesta

American and Chinese Cuisine 124. Rue Panaméricaine. PV 2 813 9866

Citronelle

Haitian Cuisine Shodecosa, 5 Rue des NÎmes 3 558 8387

31, angle des Rues C1erveaux et Rigaud, PV 2 942 4264

Intrigue

Italian Cuisine Hôtel Ibo Lélé, Montagne Noire, PV 2 940 8504

Kay Atizan

Haitian Cuisine 43, Rue Magny, PV 3 456 6989 / 3 452 1772

L'Olivier

Haitian Cuisine 37, route Montagne Noire 3 455 4454 / 3 467 0707

La Coquille

Haitian Cuisine 10, Rue Rebecca, PV 2 942 5225 / 3 466 3908

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 37


restaurants La Plantation

Le 3 Decks - ATH

Le P'tit Creux

Papaye

La Réserve - ATH

Le Christo Villa Russo

Le Paris St Tropez

Pizza Garden

Corner Rue Faubert & Ogé, 3 736 4166

88, route de Kenscoff, Laboule 12 3 410 7219

La Souvenance

Le Coin des Artistes

Les Délices Burger

Presse Café

Haitian Cuisine 59, Rue Panaméricaine, PV 3 747 1163

Fast Food 97, Rue Grégoire, PV 3 646 1600 / 3 646 1601

La Table de Cauis

Le Florville

Les Jardins de Gérard

Quartier Latin

French Cuisine Rue Borno, Bois Moquette, 2 2 941 6334

2, Rue Marcel Toureau, Berthé, PV 2 940 0190

French Cuisine 48, Rue Geffrard, PV 3 475 9795

16, Rue Legitime, Champs de Mars 2 940 7227

Fusion 3 bis, Fermathe 54, 3 418 8511 / 3 462 6201

Haitian Cuisine Kenscoff 3 551 3535 / 3 449 6161

Haitian Cuisine 87, Rue Rebecca, PV 2 942 3892 / 2 942 3893

Haitian Cuisine 28, Rue Rigaud. PV 3 701 0092

17, Rue Pinchinat, PV 3 449 5943

Look-Nun's Thai Restaurant

Rebo Expresso 25, Rue Métellus. PV 2 949 0505

Mikaz

The Bookstore Cafe & Wine Bar

Fusion 56, Rue Geffrard, PV 2 256 2659 / 3 727 5951

Esperanza Building, 87,Rue Grégoire. PV 3 774 6729

Mozalk

The Lodge

Fusion 89, Rue Grégoire, PV 3 702 3939

Fusion Furcy. après Kenscoff 3 458 5968 / 2 510 9870

Mr. Grill Steak House

The View

Fusion 39, Rue Rigaud. PV 3 620 4954 / 3 620 4844

Muncheez

Fast Food 2. Rue Rebecca, PV 3 713 1393 / 2 942 1392

O Brasileiro Social Club

103, Rue Louverture, PV 3 813 1050

Reservations: 509

Italian Cuisine 36. Rue Chavonnes, PV 2 813 2100 / 2 813 2200

Fusion 10, Rue Gou/ard. Place Boyer. PV 3 460 3326 / 3 445 3325

Thai Cuisine 35, Rue Villate, PV 3 724 1661

depuis 1947

Fusion 48. Rue Métellus. PV 3 558 2707 / 3 771 3678

Océane Bar & Grill

Haitian Cuisine 3 bis. Rue Derenoncourt PV 2 940 2449

Fusion Complexe Le Belvédère. Angle des Rues Chavannes & Clerveaux. PV 3 632 7706

Tiffany Restaurant Haitian Cuisine Boulevard Harry Truman. Bicentenaire

5 Coins

20, Rue Panaméricaine, PV 2 511 1044 / 2 257 0277

Celeri Rouge

88, Rue Panaméricaine, PV 3 719 9670 / 3 587 9670


AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011 MAGIC HAITI 39


general info Insel Air International

Airlines Air Caraïbes - ATH +509 2 813 1037 www.aircaraibes.com

Air Canada

+509 2 810 5857 www.aircanada.com

+509 2 813 0403 www.fly-inselair.com

Spirit Airlines

+ 509 2940 4421 / 2 940 4422 www.spirit.com

Turks & Caicos Airways

www.airturksandcaicos.com

Air France - ATH + 509 3 115 5000 www.airfrance.com

American Airlines +509 2 250 1176 www.aa.com

Continental Airlines www.continental.com

Copa Air

+509 2 940 2326 / 29402327 www.copaair.com

Receptive Operators

Ground Transportation Capital Coach Lines

info@capitalcoachline.com +509 2 512 5989 / 3 455 1777

Caribe Tours

caribetours@gmail.com +509 2 257 9379 / 3 785 1946

Terra Bus

chatour@hotmail.com

Agence Citadelle/ American Express Travel - ATH

Email: info@agencecitadelle. com +509 2 940 5900 / 3 445 5900 www.agencecitadelle.com

Uniglobe - ATH

Obonsoins

Voyages Lumière - ATH

Pharmacie du Boulevard

Email: uniglobe@haine.net +509 2 941 0742

Email: voyageslumierehaiti@ gmail.com + 509 3 607 1321 www.voyageslumiere.com

Voyages Plus Cap-ATH vpcap1@gmail.com +509 3443 0823 / 2940 0484 38 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

PHARMACIES 107, Rue Loverture, PV 2 512 5260 /3 800 3737

1, Corner Blvd. du 15 October & Rue D. Lespinasse, PAP 3 459 6553 / 3 808 9050

Pharmaximum 12, Rue Ogé, PV 2 816 0116


general info PASSPORT & VISA No visa is required for stays less than 90 days. A valid Passport is mandatory. Visa required only for citizens of Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic & Cuba.

ELECTRICITY 110 V, 60 cycles, American outlets

CURRENCY The national currency is the Gourde (ISO Code: HTG) The U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere. Currency exchange is available in many banks or hotel front desks. The current rate is around USD1.00 for HTG 41.00 It is advised to convert your home currency into USD before leaving since the local rate of conversion is not always advantageous.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Public transportation is not very well organized and is part of the folklore. The Tap-Taps, minibuses, are colorful moving Haitian paintings. Private taxis as well as car rentals (sedans and 4x4s) are available from various agencies. Local incoming travel agencies can also arrange cars & minibuses with drivers & guides for transfers and excursions.

INTERNET ACCESS Major hotels offer Internet access Wi-Fi in public areas & in rooms. Cyber Cafes & Hotspots are available everywhere.

40 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

CREDIT CARDS

Visa, MasterCard & American Express accepted in most tourist establishments. Cash Advance is available in some banks and ATMs.

TELEPHONES Country code for Ha誰ti: 509 Local numbers increased to 8 digits. The first digit indicates whether it is a fixed phone (2) or a mobile phone (3). The three mobile phone carriers have booths at the airport.

MEDICAL CARE The hotels have a list of private doctors available for emergencies. Private hospitals offer better services than public hospitals. Air ambulances may be required for cases requiring transportation to facilities in the region. Several drugstores and pharmacies are available.

LOCAL AIR TRANSPORT Several local airlines offer regular flights with aircrafts of up to 19 seats to the following cities: Cap Haitien, Jeremie, Les Cayes, and Port de Paix. Aircrafts and helicopters for air taxi/charter services can also be organized to various other areas of the country.

BANKS Local & international banks have an extensive urban coverage. A limited number of ATMs is available.


44 MAGIC HAITI AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011

MAGIC HAITI  

Monthly magazine showing the treasures of Haiti

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