The small town of Jacmel, nestled on Haiti’s beautiful southern coast, features all the picturesque qualities associated with a Caribbean locale. Located at the end of a small, enclosed bay, alongside a mile-long beach of fine sand, Jacmel boasts a covered ironworks marketplace, garden fences graced by flowering bougainvilleas, and some fine examples of the gingerbread architecture popular at the turn of the century. When in Jacmel, tourists can sample flavorful dishes of the French-inspired Haitian cuisine, purchase some Haitian art (including the local specialty of papier mâché masks), or arrange a visit to nearby natural wonders. Bassins Bleus, a string of blue-colored pools of water perched high above the west of the city, is a popular destination; the two-hour horse ride in the hills offers impressive panoramas of the bay of Jacmel, framed by the flamboyants (tropical trees renown for their colorful flowers) lining the road (figure C.1). One may also trek up the footpaths crisscrossing the La Visite National Park to the northeast. The park boasts some of the last forests remaining in Haiti and offers a foray into the inimitable atmosphere of Haiti’s remote countryside: tiny fields, low huts, or kay, women balancing on their heads the goods they are bringing to market, the throngs of children that are everywhere in Haiti, and row after row of steep hills, or mornes.
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- 1.Quoted in Patrick Forestier, “La démocratie chimérique d’Aristide,” Paris Match no. 2851 (January 8, 2004), 47.Google Scholar