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APRIL 2012







view of Haiti’s coral reef

Editor’s Note Dear Readers, Lent has come to an end, Easter is upon us and many Haitians will be celebrating the most religious holiday of Christianity. Most of them will head to church donned in their Sunday best, and many will even be decked out with brand new outfits. As the last bell tolls, ending the service, you can be sure that most will be heading home or to some family members’ for a copious feast. I love April not just because it brings May flowers, but also because it signifies that springtime is upon us. Springtime! Though it is quite different here in Haiti, it symbolizes hope and declares that change will soon bloom before our eyes. And this year I am more hopeful than ever, more optimistic than ever, that the May flowers will not only blossom but will begin to disclose our potential. I learned so much from the articles in the April issue. Never before had I imagined that our coastal reef could be so stunning! I knew that my beloved corner held a lot of beauty but I, like you, am discovering the extent of its splendor. I was reminded of a time when Haiti was “the Caribbean tourist destination,” and I continue to be mesmerized by our artisans’ talent. And I am happy to find or rediscover eateries and lodgings that need to be featured. The goal of the magazine is to promote local tourism by encouraging foreign professionals residing in Haïti for whatever length of time, Haitians living in the Diaspora visiting family and friends, as well as locals, to explore and discover the depth and breadth of Haïti. Our country is rich in culture and more specifically in the arts. Admittedly, Haïti may not be the island that comes to mind when planning a magical Caribbean getaway for rest and relaxation or just a simple vacation, but reconsider and you will be pleasantly surprised. Stay a while, see the blossoms, and take a piece of Haiti home. I encourage you to simply Discover Haïti and experience the Magic!

Roxane Kerby


APRIL 2012


12 34

Lamanjay 5 Coins Restaurant : Thank God it’s Fritay SHisHa : A taste of the Middle East

Spotlight 18 32

Saveurs d’Haiti : “Trying to Start a Revolution”

Words in Print Georges Corvington : A Love Affair with Port-au-Prince

Executive Editor Roxane Kerby 509 3492 2289 Managing Editor Nastasia Boulos Copy Editor Kristina Delatour

Yole Desrose


4 16 43 6 22 26 31

Contributors Maureen Boyer Farah Doura Rachele Viard Kassandra Elizée Taïna Mayard Joanne Cantave Gousse Alain Menelas Kristine Belizaire Christina Jean-Louis Angela Galbreath Smith Joseph Graphic Designers Rody Victor Clarens Courtois Senior Photographer Frederick Alexis

Bring the tropics home with Zirod Milot

Photographer Homère Cardichon Ludmillo D. Pierre Printed by L’ Imprimeur SA

Son Jean Joseph : Impeccable Metal

Publisher Le Nouvelliste

Serge Gay : Born to Sculpt



Escapade A History of Friendship : L’Amitié Guest House Love the Water, Need to Relax? Visit Ouanga Bay

+509 2816-0224 / 2941-4646

Cover Photo by Jeff Kerzner

Postcard in Motion Ayiti Plonje : Dive Haiti

Why Haiti ? Stanley Urban : A Land of Opportunity

product of


Bring the tropics home with Zirod Milot


right hummingbirds, vivid hibiscus flowers, colorful fruits, and so many other well designed objects, are all brought to your home by Haitian artisan Zirod Milot. The delicately designed objects come in all shapes and sizes, such as coasters, placemats, key chains, or as purely decorative pieces. They afford Milot a chance to do what Haitian artisans do best: transform. Turn 4 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

By Maureen Boyer | Photos by Frederick Alexis bland pieces of plywood and hardboard into beautiful and functional pieces of art that will infuse the tropics into your life.

Milot grew up in the outskirts of Jacmel, one of the most artistic cities in the country. “Even as a boy,” he says. “I was inspired by the creativity that existed all around me.” At the age of 22, after watching his cousins design and sculpt various objects out of pieces of hardboard

and plywood, he joined an art center in his hometown. There, he discovered that he had an inherent talent and was able to sharpen up his craft. He started by making nice placemats and serving trays. And as demand for his sturdy and artful products increased, he felt inclined to move to Port-auPrince to be more accessible to his clientele and to obtain new ones.

Today, Milot runs a workshop with four workers in the commune of Delmas. His most popular items are still the table accessories, beautiful serving trays, placemats, coasters, painted with vivid tropical colors and designs. But, he also makes key chains, magnets, jewelry boxes, mirrors, picture frames, and wooden flowers. Some depict bright birds, while others are painted to look like fruits. His most exceptional work, however, are the placemats shaped and painted to look like hibiscus flowers (I, myself, use these everyday at home). The passion he has for his craft is vividly apparent as Milot explains the step-by-step process utilized for creating his pieces. He oversees all the different phases, and always puts the final touches, both technically and creatively on all his pieces. First, he draws the desired design, on either plywood or hardboard. “I am inspired by nature and my immediate surroundings,” he says, “unless a client has something specific item in mind.” Once the bigger pieces are sketched, they are sent to professional carpenters to be cut. A machine in the atelier, which can create the necessary details, does the cutting only for the smaller pieces.

Milot never fails to participate in the art fairs and exhibits held around the country. In fact, perhaps as a testament to the quality of his work, he participates every year in the annual national art fair, Artisanat en Fête. In 2011, he received a “Best Pro-duct Award” for his plywood and hardboard creations. His dream is to eventually expand his atelier and to be

Workers then sand down the wood and Milot paints it, using very bright colors and adding nuances to the drawings. The piece is then polished and ready to go. “Bright reds, blues, greens and yellows bring life and warmth to the pieces,” he says. “My customers are usually drawn to these tropical colors; it makes the piece more striking.” Indeed, when I look at Milot’s pieces they always bring a smile to my face because they re-

veal so much of our culture and island. This creative entrepreneur sells his products to several galleries around Port-au-Prince and in Pétion-Ville, such as Kay Atizan and Men Nou. There is also a lot of demand for his work in the southern town of Les Cayes. He makes custom pieces as well (put your creative thinking cap on and give Milot a call).

able to export his work internationally. With the quality of work that he delivers time and time again, I have no doubt that he will achieve this goal. Zidor Milot can be reached by phone at 3743-6459. Some of his pieces can be found at Kay Atizan, 43 rue Magny, Pétion-Ville or Men Nou, 30, rue Goulard (Place Boyer), Pétion-Ville



A History of [Friendship] [L’Amitié] Guest House


Serge Le Maistre

By Taïna Mayard | Photos by Frederick Alexis

n Haiti, elders convey history in the comfort of their front porch. They make history out of what initially feels like myth, for instance the discovery of an unknown secret within the canvas of a well-known town. Here, it is a history of friendship I’ve come to learn about, materialized through a humble guesthouse called “L’Amitié.” The storyteller is its owner, Patrice Le Maistre. The story began in December of 1972 with two friends, presidential delegate Serge Le Maistre and the French Ambas-


sador to Haiti Bernard Dorain, who were inseparable. So much so that despite the strenuous path from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, Dorain traveled for days just to see his friend. He subsequently decided to convince His Excellence, Georges Pompidou, the French president at the time, to sponsor the formation of a road to Jacmel. Le Maistre christened the road, which was completed in 1975, Route de L’Amitié Haïtiano-Française (HaitianFrench-Friendship Road). Le Maistre constructed an orphanage with the same name, which was closed upon his passing. When his grandson, Patrice Le Maistre, decided to

open a restaurant over twenty years later, it was a longtime friend who inspired the name, by suggesting that ‘the friendship continues.’ L’Amitie Restaurant was created in 1999. Upon rallying with new friends from all over the world, L’Amitié grew from a small restaurant to a small hostel of two rooms located on the infamous beach of Ti Mouyaj. December of the year 2000 marks the date when his first important client, Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Cook, came for a stay with his

family, providing Le Maistre with the initial funds to start building 7 more rooms. He pleasantly recalls the nights when these seven rooms were full. He spent them mostly awake and excited

about having a full house but also anxious to refill his small generator every two hours, to keep his guests comfortable. He warmheartedly reminisced on the circumstances that led to further expansion of the guesthouse. It was about five (5) years ago when a man called Marc Robbards visited the hotel. He and Le Maistre became fast friends and, like many others before him, he grew fond of L’Amitié. In respects to the established tradition of friendship, he contributed to its growth and Le Maistre had all of the furniture custom made in a room for him. Until this day you will find this furniture in that room, the last one of the building towards the beach, ready to accommodate him if and when he comes back. The two (2) room guesthouse has grown to become a sixteen (16) room hotel. Yet, it retains its homey/ guesthouse feel, and the friends that have come and gone over the years mark each of its rooms. At the entry is a parking lot leading to the reception area. You walk in and, perched on the top left corner of the left wall is a black and white picture. It is a photo of the late Serge Le Maistre, whom strikingly resembles the current owner of

L’Amitié. You then have to make one of two choices: the stairs on the right towards the additional rooms upstairs or the exterior space on the left. The first path leads to an inviting long hallway often reserved exclusively by families and friends who want to spend a great time together. “Sometimes they’ll isolate themselves up there for days at a time. They’ll order their diner to be sent there, they’ll stay up all night playing dominos and card games, laughing till out of breath,” says Le Maistre. The ladder path reveals an endearing courtyard surrounded by neighboring balconies. White tiles with

blue intricate designs adorn the pathway, while beautiful ironwork frame the windows of each room. While heading to the beach, you can make a slight left and walk onto an elevated dining area. Or walk straight ahead to dining tables under soothing parasols, as you take your sandals off and let your feet enjoy the sand beneath them. Finally, passed a small wooden gate, there it is: the shoreline of Ti Mouyaj and the many friendly faces ready to ask you to join them in the tradition of friendship at l’Amitié. L’Amitie Hotel is located in Ti Mouyaj, Cayes Jacmel. Tel: 3812 3297, 2274 1221, 3417 7582





A Haitian Legend By Kassandra Elizée | Photos Patrice Dougé

I felt somewhat panicked when I saw Yole Derose, a beautiful slender woman dressed in a colorful outfit, standing right outside of her gate, patiently waiting for me to arrive. It hit me then that I was about to meet one of Haiti’s greatest legends. I absolutely had to make a good impression.


“I inherited fair and precise ears, which is a must in this field,”

Photo from

e sat down on her outside patio at her modest home in Delmas to begin the interview, and I have to say that it struck me to see how she possesses the many qualities and virtues that make Haitian women some of the most beautiful beings on earth, inside and out. She is soft-spoken, gentle, and warm. Her compassion for her country and its future, which to her essentially lies in the youth, reverberated through her every word, gesture and initiative. Born in Port-au-Prince, Yole comes from a family that has always been deeply rooted in religion. She sang in her church’s choir as a very young girl. “That was inevitable, there was no way around it. It was the only distraction I was allowed to enjoy,” she says. Growing up under the rule

of a strict but loving father, as was typically the case for many young Haitian girls, outside of school, church was the only place where Yole was able to make, chitchat, and play with friends. She vividly remembers being expected to join the choir as part of the chorus and at times, as a soloist.

This, she says, obligated her to develop a musical discipline which has served her throughout her career. Yole played the piano and learned music theory, which she deemed was absolutely necessary. “I inherited fair and precise ears, which is a must in this field,” Yole proudly states. APRIL 2012 MAGIC HAITI 9

“Through this company, I thrive to give back to the country that has given me so much.”


Now a producer, singer, dancer, composer, and much more, Yole first emerged in 1979 after taking part in the Fifth International Festival of Music and Voice in Puerto Rico. There, she interpreted the song “Merci” (‘Thank You’ in French) along with her late husband, mentor and author of that piece, Ansy Derose. This particular song has marked her career the most, and it has ‘an immortal beauty to it.’ Her success on the LatinAmerican scene was such that upon returning to Haiti, she held a show at the Rex Theatre, introducing herself to the Haitian public. From that moment, Yole and Ansy went on to sing and dance and as a result they moved and impressed thousands and thousands of admirers. The public was simply in love with the duo. And it wasn’t long before Yole’s personal success caught up with Ansy’s, an already acclaimed performer nationally and internationally, and she became one of the most prominent female artists in Haitian history. Reminiscing on her past

with a serious and piercing gaze, Yole claims that one of the strongest moments in her career was at a concert that was scheduled to take place at Carnegie Hall in New York City on a rainy evening. It was the first time that a couple of Haitian singers would ever perform at the famed venue. “I was torn between the jitters and fright,” Yole says as though reliving every moment of that night. But then what came next is still unthinkable to Yole. As

she peeped through a window, she saw an interminable line of fans impatiently waiting under the rain with umbrellas, for the duo to grace the stage and hit the notes they were so famous for. “Haiti was present that night and those images are forever engraved in my memory,” Yole says with a sound of gratefulness in her voice. After the passing of her husband, Ansy Derose in 1998, the famous duo vanished from the scene. In 1999, Yole decided to reintegrate the world of arts from behind the curtains and established the Yole Derose Productions Company. Since then, Yole Derose Productions has made a name for itself notably through its important educational and training programs geared towards mentoring artists in their pursuit of successful careers.“Young singers in Haiti often lack that kind of supervision they need to make it in the industry,” Yole says, stating that her institution tries to play a significant role in filling that void. “Through this company, I thrive to give back to the country that has given me so much.” Based on her experiences,

Yole’s insightful advice for the young Haitian artist who has nowhere to turn to for guidance, is to look for institutions and people who are like-minded, have ideas and are already doing well in the field. The importance of this practice is so that they can learn from

them and hopefully collaborate with them. Yole also encourages any artist to pursue studies in his or her field.“Wanting to sing or to pursue an artistic career requires a lot devotion and perseverance. Having a beautiful voice is just not enough to make it in the industry these days,”Yole warns.

Yole Derose Productions has given birth to some of the finest Haitian productions since its inception, one of the latest being “Haiti Coeur de Femme” (Haiti Heart of a Woman), which took place in January of this year. Eleven women performed that night for more than two hours, dancing and interpreting songs from important Haitian singers and celebrating life, nature and this beautiful piece of land that Haiti is. Derose is proud of Haiti’s many extraordinary sites which she says are capable of putting into ecstasy any human being coming from anywhere around the world. The first place that comes to her mind is the “Enchanted Hill,” situated between sea and mountains, a few minutes from Jacmel on the South Coast of the coun-

try. “It’s a little exotic corner of happiness,” she says. A strict vegan, Yole adds, “you also eat well when you go there.” Derose believes that Haiti has everything at hand to become one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, which is her dream for her homeland. She says she has learned to visualize and give life to her dreams. Yole never doubts that her hopes for this country will turn into reality in due time. “Haiti will become what she once was, that I am convinced of. I have been paying attention to what’s developing in tourism these days and I have to say that for once, I am very confident that we may be going somewhere,” a hopeful, smiling Yole says before getting up to join the photographer for a photo session.



5 Coins Restaurant :

Thank God it’s

Fritay By Kristine Bélizaire

Photos by Frederick Alexis & Homère Cardichon


n a small table in a corner, an old man sits with friends, drinking beer and telling stories. On the opposite side, a businessman skims through his phone while he waits for his dinner. Outside on the patio young students talk and laugh about the day’s classes. When you walk into any 5 Coins Restaurant, it feels as if you’ve entered a Haitian home. The décor, set with warm colors,

creates a relaxed and comfortable environment. The staff is friendly and always smiling. They explain the menu and even offer some suggestions. As for the food…well, it’s unparalleled, authentic Haitian cuisine that will have you begging for more. The menu at 5 Coins is mostly organized around its delicious fritay – deep-fried meats, fish, and side dishes. These can be eaten alone or combined in any way you please. The restaurant offers the opportunity to order the meat and seafood by the pound, thus allowing customers to control their portions (and their wallets) and to get the amount of food that they really want. 12 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

“When I created the first 5 Coins,” says owner and manager Joacin Andre, “I wanted it to be a great affordable place where you could have a fun, dine either with friends or alone, or come on a casual date with a new

love.” The original 5 Coins opened its doors in July of 1992, right near a five-street intersection (hence the name) in Carrefour-Feuilles. Twenty years later, there are now three franchises in the Port-au-Prince area, one of which is in Pétion-Ville and the other in Tabarre. All three restaurants offer the same quality fritay and drinks in a comfortable atmosphere. I sampled the griyo, fried marinated pork chunks, which were tender and crispy at the same time. The meal was topped off with pikliz, spicy vinegar-based coleslaw, it was a delight. The fried chicken was full of flavor and texture, practically falling off the bone when I took a bite. As an avid seafood fan, I

If you prefer to stay away from the fried foods (though you will be missing out big time), the restaurant offers other choices, healthier, such as their green been salad and Bouillon, traditional Haitian soup with meat and vegetables (so good!). There is also an array of fresh fruit juices and local sodas. My favorite is the papaya milkshake. Smooth and creamy, it is the perfect finish to any Haitianstyle meal at 5 Coins. Yum!

the flavors of the rice, and it never fails to bring back memories of my mother’s cooking. The fried plantains and sweet potatoes are thickly cut with just the right amount of salt. My personal favorite side is the akra, fried malanga pieces that are crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

You can try the 5 Coins food at any of its three locations: 20, Avenue Panaméricaine, Pétion-Ville; 50, Tabarre 36; and 163 Angle Ave. Magloire Ambroise et Rue Nicolas in Port-au-Prince.

could not pass up the fried red snapper. It did not disappoint with its crispy skin sizzling from the hot oil. The fish was perfectly cooked and, when squeezed with a bit of lemon, incredibly delicious. For the more daring dish, I recommend the tassot cabrit, marinated goat meat that is slow-cooked then fried. It is one of the restaurant’s most popular items, and, as I took a bite with pikliz, I could see why. But 5 Coins isn’t just about the meats, it’s also about the various sides that you can choose from. For instance, the rice and beans, a savory and aromatic dish. There is always great depth and warmth in APRIL 2012 MAGIC HAITI 13


Salads, Sandwiches & Sushi 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Open Daily for Lunch L’Esplanade | 2 Rue Darguin, PV 4 412-3138 / 3 761-0012


6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Daily Lunch Special - 300 Gdes

Open for Lunch & Dinner 59. Rue Panamericaine. PV 3 747 1163



Dinner Troubadour w/ Ti Coca 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Gdes Daily Lunch Special - 300

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner 43. Rue Magny. PV 3 723 3571 / 3 452 1772

SATURDAY LE P’TIT CREUX Local Buffet & Live Music

Noon – 4:00 p.m.

Open Daily for Breakfast & Lunch 87, Rue Rebecca, PV 2942 3892 / 2942 3893


1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lunch (Salad Bar, Grill, Soups) Monday to Friday, Noon - 4:00 p.m.

Open Daily

for Lunch & Dinner 2, Rue Marcel Toureau, Berthé, PV 2 940 1190 - 2 946 1111


11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday Live Sax Player Friday Tapas Night with Troubadour 17. Rue Mangonès. Berthé. PV 3 406 8525 / 3 464 0468


Lamb Couscous


11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Salad Bar & Dinner


Visit Saut d’Eau & have Brunch

Lunch & Dinner Special

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner 81, Rue Gregoire, PV 2944 1313 / 3415 9184


Open Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Route du Saut # 22 4 408-0824

Dinner 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Featuring Mais Moulin

Djon djon

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Kenscoff 3551 3535 / 3449 6161



Son Jean Joseph


By Maureen Boyer | Photos by Frederick Alexis


ouailles, a commune of Croixdes-Bouquets, is a small artistic village where imagination comes to life through the utilization of none other than steel drums. There, you can find scores of items made from metal, including jewelry, frames, mirrors, tables, chairs, candleholders, intricate wall decora-


tions and the list goes on and on. You’ll find cutouts in the shape of animals, people, crosses, voodoo symbols, and creative repetitive yet distinctive patterns. This village is the center for fér découpé, an art form that has grown expeditiously in Haiti

over the past decades. Literally translated as ‘cut metal’, it is a process by which metal drums (and other types of metal) are heated up and flattened to use as material for artistic and functional pieces. Here in Nouailles, there are countless small oneroom workshops that coexist side by side. The best artists stand out as a result of the

perfection of their pieces. They are admired by the other artisans who continually challenge themselves to attain their level. And Son Jean Joseph is one of those artisans that has garnered their respect as is products are adeptly made. At twenty-three, he already runs his own workshop and exhibits a new level of creativity and passion and is also training others in this craft. Growing up in Croix des Bouquets and inspired by all the metal artisans around him, Jean Joseph started making metal art when he was just seven years old. He soon started working for other artists, learning as much as he could. He

even attended ENARTS (the National School of the Arts) in order to perfect his painting skills. In 2005, at the age of 16 years old, he opened his very own workshop. “A lot of people don’t know much about metal art,”he tells me, with the rum- pus of clinging metal

in the background. “As artisans we try to be as creative as we can in order to survive and maintain our edge.” Jean Joseph tries to keep his work modern and innovative inspired by anything and any place. He’s concocted a variety of sculptures using large spoons and forks, such as little men holding guitars, which have become extremely popular among his clients. He smiles when he tells me how he came up with the idea: “One day while eating, I told myself that I had to do something with utensils. The spoons became arms and legs for my sculptures” and the rest is history. Some of this young artist’s metal objects are painted with flamboyant colors and others are painted with bronze. But all of his pieces have intricate details, whether it’s the smile on a cut out goat or the cane in the biblical figure’s hand. He makes sure to add his personal touch to everything he makes. Indeed, though his four employees do the primary work, Jean Joseph himself puts the creative details to the metal. He is also greatly inspired by the voodoo religion, of which he’s a practitioner (his father was even a voodoo priest).

He participates in many national fairs, including Haiti’s biggest national art fair, Artisanat en Fête. For him, it is not only a chance to expose his work to a wider audience, but also to m e e t other Haitian ar tists. Eventually, he’d like to participate in international fairs. His dream is to travel abroad, in order to draw inspiration from totally different environments beyond his immediate location. With a baby face and round belly, Son Jean Joseph physically stands out among the taller, slender artists surrounding him. But it is his energy and love for his work that really sets him apart. “I eat, sleep and breathe my work,” he says. “I love metal art!” He truly believes in his products and knows that, in order to make it further, he has to work as hard as possible. With smarts and vigor, he is determined to take over the Haitian art world and beyond. Son Jean Joseph can be contacted at 373808270



aveurs d’Haiti S

“Trying to Start a Revolution” By Rachele Viard | Photos Frederick Alexis


ith a history in the meat industry since 1973, Yanick and her Canadian-born husband Léon Letendre have made a good living trying to provide the best possible quality of meat and other food products and yet at the same time placing immense importance on nutrition and health in everything they offer. The couple initially opened one of the first slaughter houses in Mariani that met international standards, while also opening Ma Boucherie, a butcher shop in Lalue where they cured their own ham and made their own sausages and bacon. Three years later, they sold both the slaughter house and the butcher shop, left Haiti, and returned to Léon’s hometown of St. Thomas d’Aquin approximately 30 minutes from Montreal. And soon after their arrival, they did what they

knew best, bought and operated a butcher shop where quality continued to be of key importance for the couple. The winter months got too frigid and consequently in the Spring of 1980, they returned to sunny Haiti with their daughters. The dynamic duo once again built a striving meat business based on quality, reliability and always at the cutting edge of technology. They purchased the first refrigerated truck of the country that delivered meat to the butcher shops in Port-au-Prince and Pétion-Ville. Due to political unrest, they sold their shares in 1986 and opened another factory that Léon managed which mainly exported meat, while his wife and kids traveled back and forth from Miami.

Yanick, Nancy and Léon Letendre


Throughout these years, however, they were always concerned about the way most of the population ate. So much grease and so unhealthy. They were committed to opening a factory that produced affordable food products for the masses in order to provide them with healthy meal alternatives. And so in January 2011 along with their daughter Nancy, they opened Saveurs d’Haiti, a company that specializes in making healthy great tasting pre-cooked items which are also quite convenient. With their experience in curing and butchering meat for over 45 years they know quality and make sure that only the best cuts of meat go into their ham and cheese sandwich and their pizza.

All the ingredients that go into their products do not only enhance their flavor but they are healthy as well. They would not divulge the recipes but Yanick states that they use as much local products as possible such as tomatoes, hot peppers, various spices and the other fact that we know is that their cookie is oatmeal based. To ensure quality control, they had technicians from Canada train the staff and make certain that they were competent not only as it pertains to the use and maintenance of equipment but equally

important their comprehension of processes that guarantee the flavor and quality people have come to associate with Saveurs d’Haiti. I believe, as

Yanick stated, that they are ‘trying to start a revolution’ in the way most of the mass cooks, eats and even thinks about food.


It was a vast pleasure visiting the Saveurs d’Haiti factory full of state-of-the art equipment and more excitingly seeing where all the magic happens. Though truly magic has little to do with it as Nancy explains to me, it takes quite a lot of work and they are all very involved in the day-to-day activities of Saveurs d’Haiti. It is a clean spacious factory that seems to run like a well oiled machine. Though a lot of the supermarkets such as Délimart, Tag Market, Big Star, and Giants carry a lot of recognizable “heat and eat” meal brands, Saveurs d”Haiti really does have that home cooked touch and is by far the most inexpensive. The family’s dedication is not only to providing appetizing quality foods, but they also strongly believe that it should be accessible to the everyday Haitian, which I also believe is very important. Although the current three products they carry (pizza, ham and cheese sandwich and cookie) are very delicious (contain the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals) and also sold in cer20 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

tain neighborhoods of Portau-Prince by distributors including a minivan, it is taking the Letendres a great deal of effort to get the population to taste them, develop a liking so that they buy the products out of desire. Though they have come a long way because now their street sales surpass those of the traditional markets, “there is so much more to do” says Yanick. With their products sold in markets and in the streets, provided at different schools for lunch people both young and older are falling in love with Saveurs d’Haiti’s pizzamia, sandwichmia and biscuitmia. I am looking forward to seeing what other delectable mia ideas this family comes up with in the next phases of Saveurs d’Haiti’s success. My afternoon and visit to the Saveurs d’Haiti headquarters was again very exciting and I would highly recommend you to give their famous pizza a try, you’ll want to thank me afterwards!


Ouanga Bay

Love the Water, Need to Relax?



By Maureen Boyer | Photos by Hom猫re Cardichon

uanga Bay is the oldest, and most intimate, hotel on the C么tes des Arcadins, the popular beach coast north of Port-au-Prince. It was built in 1978 by Raymond Roy, a savvy businessman and a visionary who quickly perceived


the potential of the area and laboriously created the hotel. Today, it is owned and managed by his daughter, Marie Florence Roy Daniel, who takes a very active role in keeping things running smoothly, and continually adds her own personal touch to every aspect of the hotel.

Covering 350 meters of beach property, Ouanga Bay may be rather modest, yet its warm and cozy nooks are quite inviting. Each of the thirty two (32) rooms is uniquely and colorfully decorated, airconditioned and outfitted with locally made furniture. All of the rooms face the

carefully manicured landscape and beach, which give guests the illusion that they are staying at their very own little beach house. Six more rooms will be built in the near future. A conference room, frequently used for seminars, is decorated with seashells throughout, giving it a soothing and calming vibe which might be the right atmosphere to discuss any coral reef or environmentally related issues. In addition free wireless internet is available throughout the property. The restaurant, located on a bungalow directly over the water, offers a fulfilling complimentary breakfast that includes coffee and fresh juices, as well as omelets, spaghetti, bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Traditional and refined Haitian cuisine is served for lunch and dinner. As a self-proclaimed selective eater, Mrs. Roy Daniel prioritizes the quality of the food that is served. She buys her provisions from local merchants to promote local production and sees that the dishes are skillfully prepared. The most popular meals among the guests are the grilled lobster and the fish,

all fresh and cooked to perfection. Other popular items in the menu include the variety of sandwiches and burgers. Large wooden lounge chairs and straw covered umbrellas on the sandy beach provide the ideal setting for stretching out by the ocean, listening to the sound of the waves while immersed in a good novel. A wooden bar with sturdy wooden stools serves thirst-quenching sodas and juices. If you’re in the mood for some alcohol, the local bartender Salvador, known to loyal customers as “Ti Ador,” can mix you an incredible rum sour. At times, a local acoustic band is engaged to provide entertainment and enable the guests to get their groove on. And if you’re a “water fish” then Ouanga Bay is your niche; they offer the opportunity to partake in several exhilarating activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Many explorations take place in the Côte des Arcadins, seek and you shall find. As we tour the hotel, Mrs. Roy Daniel’s pride for the property her father built is evident, as is her APRIL 2012 MAGIC HAITI 23

admiration for him. Also, her respect towards the individuals who help keep this comfy hostelry it running, is easily discernible. The attention she gives to her staff (she knows each person by name, often asking them about family members) is reflected in the quality of the service. The waiters are very pleasant and attentive. She is


also a strong believer in supporting the local community, by providing employment but also by offering training for people of the area. She is involved in a project to build a hospitality school for the growing number of young adults working in and around Ouanga Bay. There are definitely many hotels and resorts to choose

from in the Côtes des Arcadins. But for a more tranquil experience, Ouanga Bay is the perfect option. It provides a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere to accompany the breathtaking natural landscape. Mrs. Marie Florence Roy Daniel’s hands-on approach has made it a warm, familiar place to spend vacations. Enjoy the comfortable rooms, or

the delicious seafood dishes; enjoy the amiable faces or just soak up the sun, Ouanga Bay encourages you to peacefully enjoy everything splendid about Haiti. So pack your bags; it’s time for a short vacation. Ouanga Bay is located at Km 63, Rte Nationale N0 1, Cote des Arcadins. Tel: 3756-5212, 3932-5810


Postcard in Motion

AYITI PLONJE Article and Photos by Jeff Kerzner

Dive Haiti!



or kindred spirits who have an adventurous edge and a strong attraction to the sea and all of its wonderfully colorful reefs and diverse creatures, I’m delighted to shine my dive light to illuminate the secret treasure that is diving in Haiti. Though I’ve logged numerous dives around the world, and have gone scuba diving in various places in Haiti, including Les Arcadins, La Gonave, Jacmel, Ile-a-Vache, Petit Goâve, Cap-Haitien and even inside Bassin Bleu (which required hiking up to the waterfall on foot with all of our gear!), I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface of the exceptional scuba diving opportunities Haiti has to offer. Haiti is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, and surrounded by world-class dive spots such as Turks & Caicos, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. It therefore stands to reason that this nation would provide similar turquoise blue, warm and gin-clear APRIL 2012 MAGIC HAITI 27

water. Here, there is often 100+ feet (33+ meters) of visibility, and one must typically only don a 3mm wetsuit, full or shorty, to be comfortable getting wet for that hour or so communing with the fish and fauna below. In Haiti’s waters you will see small schools of fish, moray eels, crabs, lobsters (the clawless variety found on your plate here in the Caribbean) and the occasional spotted eagle ray, sting ray, barracuda or reef shark. You can also spot some of the largest elephant ear sponges in the world and healthy reefs that have surprisingly eluded the coral bleaching that has affected other areas in the Caribbean. What Haiti hasn’t escaped, however, is the invasion of lionfish that have made their way from the Pacific. Whilst beautiful to look at, these creatures are poisonous predators. 28 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

Given that they are exacerbating the depletion of the local fish population, it is actually encouraged to hunt them. So, bring out your spear gun and come back with some nice fodder for Ceviche or Lionfish Tacos (just be careful not to touch the spines while preparing the fish!). You can buy some locally sold oysters or grilled Lambi (conch), drink an ice cold post-dive Prestige beer, and enjoy the feast! Given its extensive and nearly virgin coastline, one could literally spend years here searching out new and unchartered underwater territory to explore. Luckily, there are several old salts (sailors, divers etc who have spent most of their life on, or in, the water) in Haiti who have already done the leg work for you by identifying the best and most easily accessible sites. Pegasus Diving & Services, run by Jose

Roy, located at the Kaliko Beach marina, it is a relatively quick and easy drive on the newly paved Rte Nationale #1. Pegasus is fully equipped with rental gear for those who don’t have their own, and a dive boat that can accommodate up to 12 divers (they also take snorkelers, for those who are not yet certified or who just prefer to stay at the surface to take in the wonders below). Pegasus can also provide PADI and CMAS certification courses for those who want to get into the game. Wreck diving is one of my favorite dive specialties, given the associated challenge, history and abundance of marine life that typically inhabits artificially created reefs.

There are several nice wrecks located around Kaliko, including a PT boat that lies at about 90 feet next to a wall that descends into the deep blue abyss, allowing one to combine the wreck dive with a potentially narcosisinducing deep one. The Tina D is a small tanker whose upper structure lies at about 50 feet and whose hull sits at about 130 feet, so it’s good for advanced divers and underwater photographers. Lastly, the Elie Jeanne is a grain carrier that was scuttled a few years back and lies from 110 feet to 250 feet, so mostly advisable for experienced deep or tech divers. Given Haiti’s history and strategic geo-

fantastic upcoming attraction for tourists! For people who already have a dive buddy and want to go out exploring, you can rent tanks from Kaliko and go shore diving anywhere along the coast. I’ve been meaning to jump in Zombie Hole near St Marc, which purportedly has one of the largest elephant ear sponges anywhere. For that matter, I’ve been meaning to check out Mole St Nicholas, Les Cayemites, the other side of La Gonave, Port de Paix (to see schooling hammerheads), and I am considering the idea to go out to explore La Navasse, a US territory between Haiti and Cuba alleged to be the Galapagos of the Caribbean.

graphically location, there are also a number of Spanish galleons and pirate ships that have wrecked along the coast, including some used by Christopher Columbus and the infamous Captain Morgan. While the location of these are kept largely under wraps, the two other principle dive operators in Haiti, Gilbert Assad at Fort Bucanier on Ile-la-Vache, and Jean-Claude Dicquemare at the Cormier Plage Hotel close to Cap Haitien, have scuba gear for rent and can arrange a private charter to take you to dive on wrecks and reefs in their respective areas. I did have the privilege of diving on several wrecked pirate ships with Gilbert, and there is a plan in the works to relocate the 60 cannons and other artifacts found on them to create an underwater museum on Ile-à-Vache, which will be a

Given that there is no hyperbaric chamber in Haiti to treat dive emergencies, I would be remiss if I didn’t stress that you should practice safe diving while here (as anywhere). Remember to buddy check, take only photos and leave only bubbles – and, above all, have fun!! For more information about diving excursions, and/or to find a new dive buddy, please join the listserve ayitiplonje@


Jose Roy

Pegasus Diving & Services Kaliko Beach Marina (509) 3555-9633, 3624-9486, 3411-4775 (Haiti) (809) 624-2809 (DR)

Gilbert Assad

Fort Buccanier, Ile-la-Vache (509) 3734-2410, 4738-1481

Cormier Plage Hotel

Route de Labadie, Cap Haitien (509) 3702-0210, 3800-2004



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Why Haiti?

Stanley Urban A Land of

Opportunity APRIL 2012 MAGIC HAITI 31

By Christina Jean-Louis | Photos by Ludmillo D. Pierre


riven by his curiosity for venture capitalism, Stanley Urban first made his way to Haiti in 1967 to scope what many investors were forecasting to be the Taiwan of the Caribbean. The streets were bustling with activity and magic was in the air. Urban, a tall inquisitive New Englander from the town of Ware, Massachusetts, promised himself he would one day return to this charming little country, where opportunity lay at every corner. At the time, he had been living in Senegal, West Africa- a country dear to his heart- where he served as the program director for the Catholic Relief Services. For the next couple of years, Urban, always 32 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

up for an adventure, traveled to Puerto ban’s vast imagination and entrepreRico, the Bahamas, and Brazil, working neurial spirit immediately led him to for various prominent companies such as create hundreds of jobs in the country Moore Business Forms de Puerto Rico, S.A he has now called his home for over and the Otis Elevator Company S.A. But 40 years. With degrees in Marketing, despite his many expeditions across the International Commerce, and Finance, Atlantic for those few years after his initial he was able to form, just within a few visit, Haiti was always on his mind. In 1972, months of his arrival, Manufacturing the multilingual Urban S.A. With 400 workWith degrees in Marketing, ers, the company asunhesitatingly kept his promise and came International Commerce, and sembled electronic back to Haiti. There, he Finance, he was able to form, parts for prestigious met the love of his life, engineering compaNicole Gardere, and just within a few months of his nies. And this was embarked on the ad- arrival, Manufacturing S.A. only the beginning. In 1979 he created venture of a lifetime. Wide-eyed Urthe Haitian Develop-

ment Authority S.A. (HDA) to procure and manage foreign grant monies for the Haitian government. Subsequently, in the 1980s, he served as one of the founding members of the HaitianAmerican Chamber of Commerce (HAMCHAM) in Haiti. Throughout his time as HAMCHAM’s president, Urban was also a distinguished journalist- founded, edited, and published Business Haiti Magazine. Within the swarm of inaccurate and misleading reports this magazine served as a medium to accurately investigate the magnitude of Haiti’s investment potential and showcase the country’s true splendor. “Haiti is a country which was once the richest colony in the world,” he says, a place filled with a resilient people, a people who fought for their independence and were victorious, who not only pioneered a revolution but helped save the Americas. This is a beautiful country filled with hope, but most importantly, with endless opportunity.”

And while it seemed Urban’s schedule a strong and clever Haitian businesscouldn’t get any busier he also pioneered woman, stands as a pillar amongst this a number of successful businesses with his dynamic duo. The warm, passionate Urban, now wife. They launched and ran “La Belle Époque” a restaurant for a number of 71, has tried to slow down a bit from years, housed in one of Pétion-Ville’s the hustle and bustle of the day-tooldest gingerbread houses which was day life. He and his wife still run the known for their delicious prime ribs. Lodge at Furcy and the Lodge 2 at Due to the wide success of the resSubsequently, in the 1980s, he taurant, they consequently opened le Chateau de la Montagne Noire, served as one of the founding meman enchanted white manor which bers of the Haitian-American Chamber served as an exclusive cozy hotel, of Commerce (HAMCHAM) in Haiti restaurant, and bar. And nestled against the majestic mountainsides of Furcy, Urban literally built the Obléron just before Furcy. But the Lodge - hotel, bar and restaurant - from curious American (though after forty years, can’t we now say he is Haitian?) the ground up. But none of this would have been is still hungry for an adventure. He possible without his beloved wife Nicole has drafted a bucket-list of activities Gardere he affirms. “She is the best thing he wishes to carry out, which includes that ever happened to me.” Urban’s smile (but is not limited to), paragliding grows wide as he proudly attributes all of across the scenic destinations of his success to the love of his life who has Haiti, sky-diving, and one of his favorites, stood by his side for over 40 years. Nicole, skiing.



A taste of the Middle East


By Rachele Viard | Photos by Frederick Alexis

rowing up between Haiti and Lebanon, sisters Nancy and Nathalie Antoine learned to cook in their mother’s kitchen. Watching her make typical Arabic dishes one day, and traditional Haitian meals such as du riz djondjon (rice made with dried mushroom) one of their sibling’s favorite dish the next day, the girls developed a love for cooking at a very young age. For a while, this passion for food lead them in different directions. Nancy established a catering business, Mme Talamas, which became quite


popular in Haiti, and Nathalie pursued academic studies in culinary arts in the Dominican Republic. Upon her return to Haiti in 2007, the siblings decided to fuse their skills and talent to create Shisha, a refined restaurant specializing in Arabic cuisine. After more than a year of planning, selecting and reselecting colors, opting on designs, choosing between various decors and fabrics, settling on dishes that would be included in menu, and determining the final touches that would set the place apart, Shisha opened its doors on December 15th, 2011. Since

Nathalie Antoine Nancy Antoine

then, it has slowly been making a name for itself, as a new hot spot on the map of culinary destinations here in Haiti. This traditional while at the same time modern and quaint restaurant is located right in the heart of Pétion-Ville, across from the famed Patisserie Béliard, offers a diverse menu. “We made decisions to ensure that the culinary experience was beyond

the food, beyond the service, beyond the atmosphere, but almost entirely centered on the patron’s exclusive pleasure,” Nathalie says. “We want the overall experience to exceed expectations thereby ensuring repeat customers.” As I walk in, my first impression is that the outdoors have been brought indoors with an open, airy feel and

small fountain; touches of nature that bring a certain added charm. Highlighted with aqua blue and gold throughout, the décor makes you feel like you are truly in a restaurant in the Middle East, as one patron points out. Traditional Hookah pipes of different sizes and colors line the walls of an outdoor bar area, which adds to the casual lounge vibe. You


can’t help but want to take your time to savor your meal, as well you should, and indulge in smoking a flavored hookah (middle-eastern pipe from which flavored tobacco is smoked). As for the food, it truly reflects the work of two experienced and creative cooks. “We wanted to expose all things Arabic,” they tell me. “But also share both of our cultures, the Arabic side as well as the Haitian side. We infuse a lot of local spices into our dishes, thereby giving them a special zest.” Indeed, the Kibby Naieh


(raw spicy seasoned ground meat) served with Haitian hot peppers and Hummus with olives and pita bread were perfectly seasoned. It was the very first time that I ventured to eat raw meat and I was pleasantly surprised. The Greek Salad was mixed with the freshest ingredients and savory dressing and plenty of Feta cheese. The next dish to come out, and yes, I still had room in my stomach, was the Mediterranean Pasta (penne in a tomato sauce with chicken). Cooked to perfection, it was

simply delicious. Now for those of you who are not quite that adventurous, there is the famous Steak au Poivre (Pepper Steak) and other dishes that are a little less exotic. But be sure to save room for dessert! There are so many tasty treats to choose from such as Backlawa (philo dough and

hazelnuts), Maamoule, (pastry made with cream of wheat filled with dates or hazelnuts), and the delicious Brownie a la mode. Whether you are interested in trying different types of cuisine or looking for a place to meet up with friends for drinks and hookah, I recommend you

give Shisha a try. The relaxing and laid back vibe and good music will set the tone for a congenial time. Shisha is located at #9 Angle Rue Faubert and Lambert and can be reached at 2813-8080 and 3784-3333.


Words in Print

Georges Corvington

A Love Affair with Port-au-Prince


By Kristine Belizaire | Photos by Marcel Isy-Schwart

eorges Corvington Jr. is widely known for his insightful historical account on the rich and fascinating history of Port-au-Prince. His most popular work, entitled Port-au-Prince au Cours des Ans, paints, in eight volumes, a picture of Haiti’s capital city from its foundation in 1743 to the ‘exceptionally pleasant’ period between 1950-1956. Corvington was born in the Portau-Prince neighborhood of Bois Verna, a relatively wealthier area at the time. Over the years, the family moved countless times to different neighborhoods in the capital (including to a house in Turgeau, built in 1932, which still stands today). This allowed him, especially in his youth, to see the distinctiveness of various parts of the city, and to gain a deeper understanding of how people from diverse financial backgrounds lived amongst each other. He attended the Petit Seminaire College Saint Martial, a Catholic school located in the heart of the capital, and then completed his studies at the Lycee Toussaint Louverture. He even attended law school in Haiti, obtaining his license in 1950. His passion for history grew from a love of books. Reading was always a part of his life even as a young child, he loved it. He remembers a time when he was 38 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

Cruise Ship in Haiti's during the 1950s

Haiti’s National Airport

Photo by Ludmillo Pierre

“We have inherited from a turbulent past; there needs to be a desire, an effort to learn from the past, from the mistakes we have made so that we can once again return to a more modern and innovativeBelleÉpoque.” – Georges Corvington


International Casino

Champ de Mars

required to purchase a history book for his social studies class. “I found the book so interesting that I finished reading it before classes even started,” he says, smiling fondly. In his spare time, he often went to the school library, until there were barely any books he hadn’t read. “I read a lot of Hugo, Balzac. I really loved novels.” So much so that at the age of

15, he wrote his first book: a historical fiction novel about a treasure quest. In his twenties, Corvington started to do his own historical research on Haiti. “Under the Duvalier regime, life was not so interesting, not very pleasant,” he says. “We were at the hands of the tontons macoutes. So, to get out of this negative ambiance, and since I loved history and I loved Port-au-Prince, I decided to do a comprehensive study of

Boulevard Harry Truman (Bicentenaire)

the city. It hadn’t really been conducted before.” Indeed, until then, Haitian historians of the 19th and 20th century had mostly dealt with politics in Haiti. The young man focused instead on the city he already knew so much about. His main goal was to present it in all of its aspects: daily life, the evolution of its population, customs, complications of urban expansion, the customs of the rich, the poor, cultural

Photo by Ludmillo Pierre

Port-au-Prince au Cours des Ans, Georges Corvington (Port-au-Prince Throughout the Years)


Tome I Tome II Tome III Tome IV Tome V Tome VI Tome VII Tome VIII

- The Colonial Period, 1743-1789. - Revolutionary Period 1789-1804. - Haiti’s metropolis in the 19th century (Part 1), 1804-1888. - Haiti’s metropolis in the 19th century (Part 2), 1888-1915. - The capital under the American occupation (Part 1), 1915-1922. - The capital under the American occupation (Part 2), 1922-1934 - The Contemporary Period (Part 1), 1934-1950. - The Contemporary Period (Part 2), 1950 - 1956

practices, carnival, fashion…a truly all-encompassing study. He researched various newspapers and books in his own library, and in other libraries in the city. He read old articles, history books, maps, and legal documents. Corvington also made use of what he had personally lived and seen, both the good and the bad. He spoke of the beautiful parks and gardens where families would come to enjoy nature and musical concerts in the downtown area of Champs de Mars. But, he also included the conflicts, political strikes, presidential coups, riots, and even the spread Communism. “If you were not a communist back in the late 1940s, you were not with the times,” he adds with a light chuckle.

The thorough work he compiled resulted in a narrative of the city that is simple, concise and yet so intriguing. “I was only going to write about the colonial period,” he says. “But then after each period, I felt the impulse to continue and segued on to the next epoch.” There are a total of eight books, each detailing a chapter in Port-au-Prince’s history. He wrote the last one in the 90s when difficult conditions in the country pushed him to write about a time when Haiti was known as the Pearl des Antilles: the 1950s. Indeed, Tome VIII of Corvington’s account, which covers the period of 1950 – 1956, presents refined and elegant stories that help to relive Haiti during its prime. At

Illuminated Musical Fountain in the Place D’Italie at the Bicentenaire

Théâtre de Verdure


View of the Vatican Chapel

Save more, do more


that time, the historian writes, Port au Prince was a major tourist destination. Cruise ships stopped here and visited the city’s fancy stores, restaurants, many bars and, often, various country sites. In addition, well known Haitian architect, Albert Mangones built the Théâtre de Verdure, a state-of-the-art openair theater which welcomed international stars such as Marian Anderson, the Grand National Opera of New York, Choeurs et Danses d’Espagne, Italian opera singer Tommaso Stataro, and Cuban born Perez Prado, creator of the “Mambo” among so many other celebrities of the time. Let’s not forget that great local artists continually graced this illustrious stage as well. Famous actors and actresses vacationed in Haiti on a regular basis. And then there was the Bicentenaire, not too far from the theater where families and friends congregated nightly to eat at restaurants, grab an ice cream, partake in nightly walks, or just sit to admire the fountain and its lights. The waterfront was exuberant. Portau-Prince was thriving In addition to his eightvolume work, he has written

books such as Pages de Jeunesse (Pages of Youth) and Le Palais national de la Republique D’Haiti (The National Palace of the Republic of Haiti). He has received numerous awards and recognition. In 2011, he was chosen as one of the Gardiens du livre, a prize given to seven Haitian artists and intellectuals who have worked to “protect and preserve the nation’s heritage.” He is a respected member of several organizations, such as the Haiti Memory of the World National Committee and The Haitian Society of History and Geography. His meticulous account of our main city, and to a certain extent Haiti, remains the biggest contribution Corvington has made to our society. The purpose of all of his work? “To learn lessons and to make better choices in the future,” he says. Georges Corvington’s books can be found at various bookstores in Pétion-Ville and in the greater Port-au-Prince area and online at We are also available online


Born to Sculpt By Cynthia Hage & Smith Joseph Photos by Ludmillo D. Pierre Born in 1953, Serge Gay was a potter and sculptor from an early age. “I was born into Ceramics,” Serge says. Unquestionably, every day after school and even on weekends, the young boy would work with his father, Jules Gay, a well-established potter and teacher of ceramics (who was also one of the first to study Ceramics in Haiti when an American sculptor established a school here in 1945). “I loved it!” Serge tells me.


e was so engrossed with the art, that even before completing his high

school studies, Serge joined the Centre d’Apprentissage de Saint-Martin, a vocational school for ceramics. There,

he developed skills in the craft under the tutelage of his own father, who in 1973 opened his workshop, Ate-


lier Gay Poterie (many of today’s best sculptors were trained there). In 1975, Serge obtained a scholarship to study Fine Arts at a prominent Mexican school, and was also fortunate to receive another one from the Organization of American States (OAS) to study Ceramology, which is the Restoration of ceramic pieces in museums. Upon his return to Haiti, he worked at the National School of the Arts workshop restoring paintings and sculptures. He taught Ceramics there from 1983 to 1986, before moving to the United States in 1987 due to political instability. In 1997, due to the death of his father and idol, he began


contemplating returning home. Two years later, as his youngest son (a grammy-nominated graphic designer and artist)

finished school, he moved back to take control of the workshop. “It was hard after such a long time in the US,” he says. “But I knew I couldn’t let my dad’s heritage and legacy fade away.” Serge, now 59, is running his workshop (now called Serge Gay Poterie) in Delmas 11 and a store in Pétion-Ville with eighteen employees. They work from brute clay that is taken from Hinche, a district in the Centre department of Haiti. This clay is brought to Po r t - a u - Pr i n c e in large trucks, pulverized, then put into large tubs of water to melt. It is mixed by hand before being put through a filter to remove all impurities. The ‘clean’ substance is then moved to another basin and the water rises up, creating a pat of usable refined clay. Three different

processes are employed in Serge’s workshop to create pieces. The first one is to use a potter’s wheel. The second is to shape the clay by hand. And the third, used mostly for reproduc-

tions, is to use a mold. Since he is now mostly focused on production, Serge creates a prototype and mold, and his

workers reproduce the piece. Serge makes all sorts of sculptures: lamp covers, pots, figurines… “I try to

make mostly functional pieces,” he says. “But I also have a few purely decorative ones.” As you walk into his store, framed

sculptures of expressive and refined faces, hang on each side. Plant pots of all shapes and sizes (including fun


ones that are turtle-shaped or shoe-shaped) are all carefully designed and sometimes painted. Perhaps as a testament to his talent and dedication, Serge was selected, in 2010, as the ‘Dean of Artisanat’ by President Michel Martelly, a title of honor given to the person who contributes the most to the development of art and art education in Haiti (two of his pots actually accessorize the president’s current office). He has participated in a number of national and international art fairs. He is currently working on setting up the Jules Gay Foundation, which will fund a school for ceramics. He is 46 MAGIC HAITI APRIL 2012

already training six students in his workshop, but would eventually like to create a workshop specifically for students. “There aren’t enough vocational schools in the country,” he explains. “So this is my way of helping.” Serge Gay Poterie is located at 5, on Rue Rebecca, Pétion-Ville. Tel: 3445-3108


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Anndex international Service CORP Anndex international Service CORP Licencee Federal Express Corporation Licencee of of Federal Express Corporation Ave Marie Jeanne 3333 Ave Marie Jeanne 2813-0078/ 2816-8456/3702-2348 Tel:Tel: 2813-0078/ 79,79, 2816-8456/3702-2348 8


Look-Nun's Thai Restaurant Thai Cuisine 35, Rue Villate, PV 3724 1661


L’Esplanade 2 Rue Darguin, PV 4 412-3138 / 3 781-0012


Mediterranean Cuisine 30, Rue Ogé, PV 3821-2121 / 3733-2525


Fusion 56, Rue Geffrard, PV 2256 2659 / 3727 5951

Presse Café

Haitian Cuisine 28, Rue Rigaud, PV 3701 0092

Quartier Latin

Fusion 10, Rue Goulard Place Boyer, PV 3460 3326 / 3445 3325

Rebo Expresso

Fast Food / Coffee 25, Rue Métellus, PV 2949 0505

Sankofa Salads Fast Food 43, Rue Rebecca, PV 2940 6262


The Bookstore Cafe & Wine Bar

Mr. Grill

The Lodge - ATH

Fusion 89, Rue Grégoire, PV 3702 3939 Steakhouse 39, Rue Rigaud, PV + 509 3114 2524 / 3620 4954


Fast Food 2. Rue Rebecca, PV 3713 1393 / 2942 1392

O Brasileiro Social Club Fusion 103, Rue Louverture, PV 3813 1050

Océane Bar & Grill

Esperanza Building, 87, Rue Grégoire, PV 3774 6729

Fusion Furcy. après Kenscoff 3458 5968 / 2510 9870

Tiffany Restaurant

Haitian Cuisine Boulevard Harry Truman, Bicentenaire


Fusion Complexe Le Belvédère. Angle des Rues Chavannes & Clerveaux, PV 3632 7706

Haitian Cuisine 3 bis. Rue Derenoncourt, PV 2940 2449


Fusion 48. Rue Métellus, PV 3558 2707 / 3771 3678

Pizza Garden

Italian Cuisine 36, Rue Chavannes, PV 2 813 2100 / 2 813 2200


travel companion Hôtel du Village

(Port Salut) +509 3713- 9035

Auberge du Rayon Vert

Côte Atlantique Hostellerie du Roi Christophe-ATH (Cap Haitien) 3 687 8915

Résidence Royale-ATH

Côte Caraïbe Cap Lamandou

(Jacmel) +509 2941-4000 +509 3720-1892 3920-9135 / 3720-1436

(Cap Haitien) +509 3602-6676 2942- 0540 / 2813- 7959

Hôtel Villa Ban Yen

Hôtel Mont Joli-ATH

Auberge du Mont Saint Jean

(Cap Haitien) +509 2943-1110 / 2942-6975

Auberge du Picolet-ATH (Cap Haitien) + 509 2945- 5595 3438-6357

Hôtel Beaux Rivages-ATH (Cap Haitien) +509 2262-3114 / 3682-5583

Cormier Plage-ATH +509 3702-0210 3804- 6673 / 3556- 1549

(Petit-Goâve-Vallue) +509 3420-2091 / 3941-2091

(Vallée de Jacmel) +509 3702-0510 3707-0605 / 3401-1789

L’Amitié Guest House :

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

Hotel Florita

(Historic District of Jacmel) +509 3785-5154 / 2274-2015

Hotel l'Ermitage de Pandiassou-ATH

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

Hotel Maguana (Hinche) 2277-0528

Wozo Plaza

(Mirebalais) 3455-7730/ 2942-1256 +509 3756- 5212 3932-5810

(Port Salut) +509 3713-9035 / 3779- 1728

Dan’s creek

(Port Salut) +509 3614-8143 / 3664- 0404

Relais du Boucanier

(Port Salut) +509 3558- 1806 / 3720-1144 3702- 1066 / 3554-1806

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

Le Recul

(Camp Perrin) +509 3454-0027 / 3727-3589

Aldy Hôtel- ATH

(Aquin) +509 3458-2566 / 3741-0532

Port-au-Prince Coconut Villa-ATH

3, Rue Berthold, Delmas 19 3 179 3752 / 2 510 4901 3 556 1549

El Rancho-ATH

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

Habitation Hatt-ATH + 509 2510-2635 / 2940-0135

Hôtel Le Jardin-ATH

9, Imp Hérard, Delmas 75 +509 2813-8008, +509 3486-6966

Ibo Lélé-ATH

La Colline Enchantée, +509 2514- 0166 2940- 8503 / 2940- 8504

Cyvadier Plage

Delmas 53 # 6 +509-2943-0470

(Marigot- Jacmel) +509 3703-0448 / 3701-96 97 (Cyvadier- Jacmel) +509 3844-8264 3482-2585 / 3844- 8265


Ouanga Bay


(Ile a Vache) +509 3721-3691 / 3683- 6253

Port Morgan-ATH

(Ile a Vache), www. +509 3921-0000 3922-0001 / 3663-5154

Manolo Inn

(Petite Rivière de Nippes) +509 3461-7108 3768-2059 / 3752- 3838 3727- 0201

Ideal Villa Hôtel-ATH

Côte des Arcadins

Karibe Hôtel-ATH +509 2940 4609 / 4640 2223 2812- 7000 3701-1138 / 3701- 1140

Wahoo Bay-ATH

Kinam Hôtel-ATH

Kaliko-ATH +509 3735- 2536/ 3735-2831

Moulin sur Mer-ATH + 509 3701- 1918 2813- 1042 / 3702- 1918

Club Indigo- ATH, + 509 3651-1000 3650-1000 / 3441-1000

Xaragua Hôtel- ATH +509 2510-9559 / 3795- 5983 , +509 2944- 6000 / 2945- 6000 /2945- 6001 / 2511- 4400

Kingdom Hotel

Tabarre 36 19, Rue Sol Solon 3 455-7822 / 2 943-2385 1 407-792-0738

La Réserve Guest House-ATH

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


Le Montcel-ATH

(Kenscoff- Belot) +509 3701-4777 3701-1744 / 3702-7202

Le Ritz-ATH +509 2943- 0303

Le Plaza-ATH, 2940- 9800 / 3701- 9303

Montana Suite Horizon-ATH Rue F. Cardozo +509 3880 6610

Palms Résidence +509 3706-7342 3454-0053

Paradis des Receptions & Hotel Frere 29 2 940-6624

Prince Hôtel--ATH +509 2517- 0597 3791- 1549/ 2944- 0422


Servotel +509 2812-7500

The Inn at Villa Bambou Port-au-Prince +509 2 813-1724

Art Galleries Collection Flamboyant Galerie d’Art 9 Rue Darguin¸PV 3 909-9231 / 3 555-9398

The Lodge-ATH

Expressions Art Gallery

The Palm Inn Hotel

Festival Arts

Furcy +509 2510 9870 3458 5968

Delmas 31 3, Rue Hatte 3 2 513-4810 / 2 519-0700

Villa Créole--ATH

55, Rue Metellus, PV 2 256-3471 / 3 558-7584 43, Rue Magny, PV 3 551-7311 / 3 401-3171

Galerie Marassa-ATH +509 2941- 1570 / 2941- 1571 2941- 0965 / 2941- 1040

17, Rue Lamarre, PV 3 558-8484 / 4 739-2923

Villa Ban-Yen

Galerie Monnin-ATH

Value (between Grand Goave & Petit Goave) +509 3420-2091/2941-2091

Visa Lodge-ATH +509 2813- 0777 / 2510- 3424

19, Rue Lamarre, PV 2 257-4430 / 3 680-3240

Galerie Nader

50, Rue Grégoire, PV 2 257-0855 / 3 709-0222

L’Atelier Boutique Fondation Theard Fermathe 59 2 513-9874

Les Ateliers Jerôme

68, Angle des Rues Rebecca & Lamarre, PV 2 513-5362 / 3 705-6825

Receptive Operators Agence Citadelle American Express Travel - ATH +509 2940 5900 / 3445 5900

Uniglobe - ATH +509 2941 0742

Voyages Lumière - ATH + 509 3607 1321

Voyages Plus Cap-ATH +509 3443 0823 / 2940 0484

Car Rental Avis

20, Rue Mais Gaté, Route de l’Aéroport + 509 2229 6399/ 2941 5555

Budget Rent-a-Car

Angle Rue Léonard & Route de l’Aéroport + 509 2813 1094 / 3856 4988

Dollar Rent-a-Car

Blvd Toussaint Louverture, Route de l’Aéroport + 509 2813 1800 / 3724 0950


13, Blvd Jean-Jacques Dessalines, PAP + 509 2518 5555 / 2518 5556


Route de l’Aéroport + 509 3779 0700 / 2816 0700


564, Route de Delmas + 509 2942 2940 / 2942 2941

Airlines Aerolineas Mas

+ 509 3704 4560

Air Caraïbes - ATH +509 2813 1037

Air Canada

+509 2810 5857

Travel Agencies

Transborder Bus Lines

Air France - ATH

Agence Citadelle – ATH

Capital Coach Lines

American Airlines

Chatelain Tours – ATH

Caribe Tours

Francheco Agence de Voyage – ATH

Terra Bus

+ 509 3115 5000 +509 2229 6000

Continental Airlines

Copa Air

+509 2940 2326 / 29402327

Delta Airlines- ATH

+509 2943 3582/2816 1666

Insel Air International- ATH +509 2813 0403

SALSA d’Haiti

Toussaint Louverture Int’l airport +509-2813-1222

Spirit Airlines

+ 509 2940 4421 / 2940 4422


+ 509 2812 8000

Turks & Caicos Airways

We are also available online +509 2940 5900 / 3445-5900 +509 3701-4570 +509 2940 1168 Goeland Voyages – ATH +509-2511 3883

Harmony Tours & Travel Agency – ATH +509 2813-0533

Multivision Agence de voyage – ATH +509 2941-0110

Napolitano Travel Service – ATH +509 2940-0750 / 2940-1402 +509 2 512 5989 / 3 455 1777 +509 2 257 9379 /3 785 1946

Airport Shuttle Service Airport Express + 509 3445 5902

Pharmacies Obonsoins

107, Rue Louverture, PV + 509 2512 5260 3800 3737

Pharmacie du Boulevard

Sans Souci Agence de voyage – ATH +509 1813-1564

1, Angle Blvd. du 15 Octobre & Rue D. Lespinasse, PAP + 509 3459 6553 3808 9050

Uniglobe – ATH

Pharmaximum +509 3607 1321

12, Rue Ogé, PV + 509 2816 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 Cuba. Dominicans, Colombians and Panamanians do not need a Haitian visa as long as they hold a valid American or Canadian visa.

ELECTRICITY 110 V, 60 cycles, American outlets


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 is not very well organized and is part of the folklore. 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.


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



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


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.


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


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.


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


Talk FREE all weekend. Top upFREE startingall at 600 Gdes. Talk weekend. Top up starting at 600 Gdes.



Nou se Ayiti

Nou se Ayiti



Magic Haiti - 8th edition  

Monthly magazine showing the treasures of Haiti

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