Surveyed Communities

Community 1 - 100 households in Haiti

The first community in the Haiti data set is located in Jacmel, a costal town located in the Département du Sud-Est. (The country is divided into nine Départements). Once a prosperous coffee port, Jacmel is about 45 km away from the capital, Port-au-Prince and has a population of about 30,000. The mixture of New Orleans ironwork and gingerbread architecture lends plenty of character to Jacmel which is easily accessible by car. In fact, the road to Jacmel is in relatively good shape for a nation known for bad roads. Isolated by many mountain ranges, Jacmel has been spared much of the political turmoil that is associated with Haiti, in particular its Capital. Indeed, as a result, the city has been able to foster a small but growing tourist industry. Its art galleries, craft shops, and seaside hotels have attracted a number of tourists to the country. The cultivation of fruits and vegetables (especially tangerines) is ubiquitous in the surrounding areas of Jacmel. This makes for a lively market life located in the towns famous Iron Market.

The community is composed of a large peasant population engaged in some form of petty commerce and a visible middle class, who owns shops, provides social service, and in some form caters to tourists: Because of its relative tranquility, Jacmel has become a resting place for elites coming from Port-au-Prince: bank managers, NGO employees, and government officials rent, or own, homes along the town?s famous coastline. There is also a small mulatto and Syrian elite who control the tourist industry, the bulk sale of food products, and the sale of construction materials, among other things.

One of the first things that strikes visitors is the number of schools that line the main street. The city has an enormous amount of elementary schools created to address the demand for education. These schools are private enterprises, whose quality is suspect as indicated by the colloquial name they go by l'école borlette (lottery schools). Beyond these private institutions, Jacmel has several high schools (Lycées), some of which are considered among the best in Haiti. These educational institutions are a magnet for students from the surrounding area. For example, many children from the community of Cayes Jacmel, which is about 5 km away, attend school in Jacmel - a trek that many students do by foot. Although there are no general universities in Jacmel, the town is distinguished for having a law school.

Public services in the city are, to some extent, impressive. The main streets are paved, electricity is available 24 hours a day and the main streets are lit at night. As a town with a long and illustrious history, Jacmel was the first town in Haiti to receive electricity in 1896. Home telephone service is available for those who can afford it, but for the most part access to telephone use is obtained largely through the local branch of Teleco - the national telephone company service bureau..

Community 2 - 100 households in Haiti

Community 3 - 103 households in Haiti

About Us | Site Map | Contact Us