"Fe respe ou; m’a fe pa m’." Show your respect; I’ll show mine.
-Haitian proverb

Arcahaie (Kreyol: Lakayè) is a commune in the L'Arcahaie Arrondissement, in the Ouest department of Haiti. In 2015, the commune had 130,306 inhabitants.


Location in Haiti






Municipal Building; Archahie, Haiti

Arcahaie, widely recognized as the City of the Flag, is a small semi-rural town known for its plantains and abundance of mango and is regarded as a gateway between Northern and Central Haiti. Its population in 2015 was 130,000, making it the 13th-largest city in the country. Arcahaie’s popularity is mainly attributed to its historical heritage, as a lot of significant incidents in the past occurred here. One of them is the memorable 1803 Congress, wherein the unity of Haiti’s black people and mulattos was signified. It can be recalled that the country’s founding father, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, replaced the French flag with a blue and red flag after tearing it apart during the Congress. It was the first time in three years of revolution that Haiti’s unity had been symbolized.


Welcome sign

Originally, Arcahaie was known as Kayaha, and later as Akaha during the French colonial period.

For more than a century, Arcahie was home to a thriving mining industry (marl and clay pottery for example) and until recently had several renowned companies: The Cement Factory of Haiti, the legendary Minoterie of Haiti became "Les Moulins d" 'Haiti', the vetiver plant Jean Audain, located not far from Robert. Like many other cities, Arcahaie still keeps its guildives, its mills, and distilleries making rum, clairin and alcohol. Agriculture was another key part of the city's economy. Due to recent events, job hunters that originally commuted to the capital city for work headed back to the pastoral countryside where family and food were more plentiful.

They are part of a historic exodus. For more than a decade, Port-au-Prince has been growing as Haitians have left small villages and coastal towns for the capital. Now, countless thousands are going back, and some experts contend that the shift — if many people remain in the countryside — could benefit Haiti in the long run.

"The [capital] city does not have the capacity to sustain millions of people. It never did, and even in 10 years it will not have it,” said Pierre-Michel Fontaine, an international studies professor at the University of Miami. “If the money given to Haiti is used well and they establish a good program of forestation, people could work the land again.”

Haiti has a lot of popular cities and municipalities, one of which is the coastal town of Arcahaie; while this town and Cabaret make up the entire arrondissement, it houses more than 106,500 people and is a recognized town. From a resident's perspective, the region is gradually becoming synonymous with les Côtes-des-Arcadins (the Arcadian Coast).



Arcahaie, the frontier town between the Kingdom of Henry 1st and the Republic of the South and West, takes its name from the Taino province of Cayaha, part of Xaragua. The name was changed to Akaha and by the time of the French colony, the French called it Arcahaie.

The Empress Adélina, wife of the Emperor Faustin 1st, was born at Arcahaie on the Manègue habitation.

The head had his seat in the Taino province of Cayaha, part of Xaragua, prior to the settlement of the area by French colonists, situated northwest of the mouth of the Rivére Aubry near what is now called Boucassin. It was visited and by 1724, Arcahaie became a parish under Ducasse and the settlement constructed it's main church in 1748. The settlers found the area suitable for farming, as much of the land had been cleared of trees. This settlement was named Akaha in honor of the Taino city of Cayaha. The French Frenchified the Indian name.

The English desired to strengthen their condition in every way, and for this purpose issued a proclamation abolishing slavery, offering clothes and arms to all slaves who would enrol themselves under their banner. Many of the negroes availed themselves of this opportunity to secure arms and accoutrements, with which they immediately deserted to the mountain fastnesses, where, with a large number of others, they formed themselves into a sort of mountain republic.


Flag day celebration

18th centuryEdit

• On March 22, 1792, Lapointe, a man of color, lifted the workshops of Arcahaie against the French, from the Aubry Heights to the end of the Vases. The revolts soon penetrated the town, killing most of the members of the municipality who were deliberating on the means to be taken to defeat the men of color. They killed and pillaged everything, sparing only two houses belonging to planters whom they called good whites. Borel, mayor of Port-au-Prince, to extol the Blacks' massacre of the whites of Arcahaie, directed against this borough a troop commanded by Canteloup, implacable enemy of the franknesses. Lapointe sentenced Canteloup to re-embark with his regiment for Port-au-Prince. In November 1793 Lapointe delivered the town to the English. Thomas Brisbane took possession of it in the name of King George. Lapoint received 100,000 piastres from colonists in return for his betrayal. The English restored slavery there. Toussaint Louverture could never penetrate to Arcahaie during the time of English domination. Lapointe waz supplied each year at that time several millions of pounds of raw sugar and more than five million of coffee. It is true that slavery flourished there.


Arcahaie, Haiti

• Upon the departure, in 1793, the French terrorist Jean-Baptiste Lapointe took over leadership of the post, and the settlement proceeded to fall into the hands of the English. Lapointe delivered the city of Arcahaie to the English for the sum of 100,000 piastres in order to restore slavery in Saint- Domingue. Five years later, in 1798, the English landed at Barbancourt.

• On May 7, 1798, at midday, Lapointe finally evacuated Arcahaie. In retreating, he destroyed everything: fortifications, barracks, crops, ammunition and horses. He retired to Môle Saint-Nicolas: Dessalines took possession of Arcahaie for the French. In July 1802, at the arrival of the Leclerc expedition, General Boudet sent Colonel Valabrègue to take possession of Arcahaie. At the approach of the French, the native general Charles Bélair arrested all the whites, evacuated the town with the 7th demi-brigade, after having burned it, and retreated in the mornes of Mathieux with all the population. Valabrègue seized Arcahaie without striking a blow.


19th centuryEdit

• In 1802, Arcahaie was reduced to ashes in order to repel the assaults of General Leclerc. Pétion, in February, set off the section of Des Vases to resist the French expeditionary army. The native army had erected a fort at Fond-Baptiste for purposes of anti-colonial resistance. Then, in October 1802, an execution of Charles and Suzanne Belair took place on the on the Arcahaie Square.

• In January 1803, Dessalines took possession of Arcahaie, and drove away Larose who refused to obey his authority.

• On April 28, 1803, a French boat suprised the city. The French warship l'Hermite bombed Arcahaie.


Arcahaie, Haiti

• In 1803, Dessalines convened a congress which decretal, under sap residence, for the creation of the first Haitian flag. He snatched the white flag from the Tricolore flag to take away from the French all hope to treat with the natives, again making them the deceitful promise of liberty. The blue and red colors represented the union of black and mulatto were placed vertically, the blue fixed to the lance and the red floating at the end.

• In 1807, Pétion removed Arcahaie from Christophe.

• Jonette, who had been sent by the French cabinet in 1816 with Esmangart and others to deal with Haiti, was an ex-settler of the Arcahaie mountains. He had been one of the advisers of Leclerc and Rochambeau.

• On January 10, 1839, Geffrard took possession of Arcahaie without resistance with the troops of the revolution inaugurated at Gonaives against Soulouque (Faustin I).

• On December 11, 1869, the Cacos of Saint-Marc seized it to march on Port-au-Prince against President Salnave. On the 16th, General Nissage Saget, the chief of Cacos, established his headquarters there. The next day, generals Boisrond-Canal and Brice left Arcahaie to come and operate their famous descent to Port-au-Prince.


Place des Armes; Arcahaie, OU, Haiti

• Following the Revolution, in 1807, Saintard was officially incorporated as a headquarters for Pétion. Pétion and Christophe had fought a merciless fight in 1808 at Couyot. Finally in 1820, President Boyer began rebuilding the city of Arcahaie.

• A recent incident that added to the town's popularity, when President Michel Martelly delivered his Flag Day speech in Arcahaie on May 18. The president paid tribute to the townspeople while highlighting the town's significance to the country and to the flag. Martelly reminded the people that it was in Arcahaie that Haiti finally forged its unity.



Place Catherine Flon

Up until now, certain landmarks and monuments such as the Fort Drouet can still be seen in the town. The monument was built after the country found independence as a barrier and defense against French forces.


Arcahaie distance 121118 Michael Vedrine

Arcahie is located in the northwest corner of the Western Department, positioned at 18.776527° N, -72.51253° E. According to the IHSI, the commune has a total land area of 408.73 square kilometers (157.81 square miles), of which 348.05 km2 (85%) is rural, 47.67 km2 (12%) is suburban, and 13.92 km2 (3%) is urban. Arcahaie shares borders with Saint-Marc and Verrettes, (Artibonite Department) to the north and Cabaret to the south. There is also a small border with Croix-des-Bouquets to the southeast. Historically, before incorporation when it was called "Cayaha" and later as "Akaha", Arcahaie retained much of its present-day boundaries.

Arcahaie's shoreline is part of Port-au-Prince Harbor, the Gulf of Gonâve, and the Saint-Marc Canal. There are several beaches in Arcahaie, including Wahoo Bay Beach and Kaliko Beach along the shore near the RN-1. Located on the eastern shore of Gulf of Gonâve, Wahoo Bay Beach is the most popular Arcadian beach. Arcahaie's territory is known for its tropical resorts, scenic mountains, and fresh water.

Arcahie has mostly flat land and its climate is normal. Its inhabitants bear the name of Archelois.

The law of November 20, 1821, fixes the precise distance from this commune to the capital at 11 leagues. On the ground there are 15 leagues.



Map of Ville de l'Arcahaie Downtown L'Arcahaie

Year Population Change
1890 20,000
1998 93,559
2009 118,501 +27%
2015 130,306 +10%
Arcahaie 102319

Municipal map of Arcahaie, Haiti


ARC Arcahaie 130,306
VAC Ville De L'Arcahaie Urban 24,600
QST Quartier de Saintard Urban 55,073
1ère Section Boucassin Rural 3,250 Courjolles, Imbert, Robert, Thomas
FOB 2ème Section Fonds-Baptiste Rural 9,376 André, Barbancourt, Bénitier, Bois-d'Orme, Bois-Nègre-Marron, Ca Compte, Ca Pierre, Ca Pouillan, Couyo, Docot, Dos Marotte, Fond-Baptiste, Grande-Place, Gros-Morne, La Cour Nicolas, La Grenade, Loursil, Maillard, Mirebalais, Nicolas, Perrier, Turin, Williamson.
VAS 3ème Section des Vases Rural section 13,712 Austin, Conty, Corridor Gangny, Cotard, Coulard, Dasse, Garotte, Hatte-Marie, La Pointe, Luly, Marotte, Mérotte, Mitan, Moulin, Passe, Pois-la Générale, Pois-la Ravine, Pont-Matheaux, Robergeau, Saintard.
MNR 4ème Section Montrouis Rural 8,078 Auditon, Bois-de-Chène, Boucan, Carries, Dos Paille, Fond Lachaux, Gobin, Grave, Grobe, Guibert, Ivoire, Lacroix, Latanier, Luly, Mare-Rouge, Nan Palmiste, Palmiste, Perrier, Quisqueya, Roseaux, Rousseau, Ti Coulet, Ti Couloute, Ti Godet, Ti Source, Trou-Forban, Yvra.
DLC 5ème Section Délices Rural 7,745 Bastia, Bois-Brulé, Boucan, Broette, Ca Dupuy, Ca Germain, Ca Houte, Carème, Citadelle, Corail, Cordiliers, Cours-Grande-Rivière, Découvert, Délice, Donien, Fond-Francois, Garoy, Hatte-Robert, Jean-Démarre, La Batte, La Hatte, La Hatte-Marie, Marchand, Martinette, Nan Café, Obade, Passe-Mathieu, Reines, Repos, Source-Figuier, Ti Fond, Trou-Gras, Vigni.
MTH 6ème Section Les Matheux Rural 8,472 Amerry, Bagro, Bayahonde, Bois, Bois-l'Etat, Ca Chien, Ca Dubreuil, Ca Guigoue, Ca Louis, Ca Poule, Coeur-Medor, Delpeste, Docan, Fond-Perrier, Fond-Randol, Garienne, Grande-Place, Jilling, La Couline, La Cour Dupin, La Digue, Léger, Louhou, Mantrou, Marcha, Mare Zoranger, Nan Fond, Petit-Bois, Riche-Homme, Ti Grambi, Ti Place.

The Arcadins, two small islands, one of which a metal lighthouse, 30 feet high, fixed white light, radiating at 6 miles, was built in 1878 by MM. Haentjens brothers, concessionaires of the lighthouses of the bay of Port-au-Prince, are located at a little distance in front of the point of the rural section of des Vases, in the commune.



Restaurant and new marketplace; Arcahaie, OU, Haiti

At the level of Economic and Financial Infrastructures, the municipality is quite well equipped. There are several hotels, restaurants, two credit unions, and two marketing co-operative centers.


Downtown Arcahaie

Market days: Saturdays.

Arcahaie is also known for Plantain production. It is estimated that 60% of the agricultural land in Arcahaie is devoted to the production of the tastiest plantains in Haiti.

Many springs water the territory of the commune, which also receives the waters of the White River, rivers Courjol, Torcelle, Bretelles, and those which take the name of the rural sections. Outes these rivers are fordable.

Iron, sulfur and copper mines are abundant in the mountains. On the shore there is a beautiful white sand and shells of all colors. Also found is stone and marble.

As economic resources, the borough of Arcahaie relies heavily on its agriculture (bananas, corn, beans, tubers, mangoes, avocados, sugar cane, and watermelon). Agriculture and livestock are the main economic activities of the municipality. Six building materials shops, four food supply centers, six stores, nineteen depots, two gas stations, a private mortuary, six pharmacies, three photocopiers, a beauty studio, a photo studio and four dry cleaning places form the economic and commercial establishments of the municipality of l'Arcahaie.



Police Station

The garrison of the commune consists of a gendarmerie company, an administrative police, the rural police, a Port-au-Prince line artillery company, and the National Guard on foot and on horseback. Fort Boucassin' is located in this town. The Arcahaie peace court, and those of the Cabaret district and the military posts of Boucassin and Williamson which are in the commune, fall under the jurisdiction of the civil court of Port-au-Prince. Schools are under the school district of Port-au-Prince. The officials are paid by the financial administration of Port-au-Prince.

Apart from the roads of Port-au-Prince and Saint Marc which are wide and beautiful, there are those that lead to Croix-des-Bouquets and the heights. Several wooden bridges, still in poor condition, decorate them.



Soldier boys

The Ministry of National Education of Youth and Sports is represented by a school inspection office. The municipality of Arcahaie has six private kindergartens. It contains one hundred (100) primary schools of which nine public, eighty private and seven congregational. In addition, nine secondary schools including one public, seven private and one congregational type and four vocational schools were listed at the level of the municipality. [1]



Medical Center

The Ministry of Public Health and Population is represented in the municipality by a communal health office in Arcahaie. Eight doctors, two dentists, thirteen nurses, eight auxiliaries, and one laboratory technician provide the health service of the municipality.


For the water supply, the commune of l'Arcahaie has four rivers, three springs and public fountains with seven pumps. The city and its surroundings are electrified. The electricity of Haiti is the main supplier of electricity. The feeding frequency is forty-two hours per week.



Baptist church


On the side of religion, ninety-six temples (chapels included) were listed in the municipality of Arcahaie. 20 Catholic churches including three parishes and seventeen chapels, five Baptist churches, and five Adventist churches for the most important were inventoried in the town.

The Orient Lodge of Arcahaie is entitled: Judea No.37, under the Grand Orient of Haiti.


The commune has a telephone office, a post office, and a newspaper / magazine.

The post arrives from Port-au-Prince on Sunday morning, continuing for Saint-Marc and the North, and returns the following Thursday morning.


As for Leisure, the commune did not have a library at the time of the inventory. There is no museum or theater, however, it has three cinemas (video-cassette). The sports practiced are football (soccer), tennis, basketball and volleyball. The town also has seven nightclubs, nine gâgeres and two public places.


Arcahaie is known for its tourism industry; the city is also the part of the Côtes-des-Arcadins (Arcadian Coast), the region stretching from Port-au-Prince to Saint-Marc, known for its tropical beach resorts, scenic mountains, and fresh water.



Statue of Jean Jacques Dessalines

In terms of Cultural Heritage, the town has a good number of historical and colonial sites. For example, we have: the honor of Dessalines on the Place d'Armes, the house of Cathérine Flon and the place commonly called 'Grann Guiton'.


The commune has five representation of political party, one popular organization, one grouping of peasants, three women groups and two NGOs

Sister CitiesEdit

Sister Cities International (SCI) is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between communities in the United States and those in other countries, particularly through the establishment of "sister cities"

A Sister-City agreement was signed to build on and strengthen economic, cultural and educational relationships between the cities of North Miami and L'Arcahaie, with the common goals of developing understanding and respect, while improving the quality of life for our respective residents

The Sister City agreement commits both cities to identifying activities that can generate new initiatives to further nurture economic, social, and cultural relationships, as well as: Mutual exchanges between commercial, educational, athletic and other civic groups; Strengthen the links between institutions and public organizations; Promote both cities to their respective business and academia sectors as locations for trade and investment; Facilitate trade missions and business-to-business dialogue between the two cities; Explore and encourage cooperation and exchange between local development agencies, and Promote mutual leisure and business tourism opportunities. The signing took place in City of Arcahaie and is the second Sister City agreement signed by the City of North Miami since 2008.

References and LinksEdit

1. mnia live. com - N. Miami announces sister city agreement Michael Vedrine

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