Haiti Local

"Nou pa eritye Latè soti nan zansèt nou yo; nou prete li nan men pitit nou yo."
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
-Native American Proverb

Léogâne (Kreole: Leyogàn) is a coastal city in Haiti's Ouest Department and the seat of Léogâne Arrondissement. It is the 11th most populous city in Haiti and the 7th most populous city in the Western Department. As of the IHSI's March 1, 2015 estimate, Léogâne had a population of 199,813, up from 181,709 at the 2010 census. Located in western Ouest Department, within the greater Léogâne Plain, the city is home to numerous rivers, and waterways, including Rivière Momance and Riviere Rouyonne. It is the cultural and economic center of the Léogâne metropolitan statistical area, which includes Petit-Goâve, Grand-Goâve, and an estimated population of 509,180 as of July 1, 2016.


Saint-Rose Park; Léogâne, OU, Haiti


Location in Haiti

Léogâne was historically a center of sugar and rum production, and more recently became infamous as the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. It’s also called “the bastion of stone carving in Haiti”.

In the 1660s, pioneers began to settle the area in western Cul-de-Sac Plain along the Rivière Rouyonne. In 1665, the site was chosen to replace Port-au-Prince as the capital of the colony and was incorporated under the name "Yaguana". Shortly afterward, the name was changed to Léogâne in honor of the French legacy. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for sugar cane production and fishing. After a lull in growth which continued into the centralization era, Léogâne resumed its development into a major city, and by the 1980s it emerged as a center for trade. Residents of Léogâne are known as 'Léoganais'. They include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, farm workers, and blue-collar workers. The city's official slogan promotes Léogâne as "The city of Anacaona", a reference to the Taína Queen Anacaona. The city also adopted "I am Léogânais and I am proud of it" as a slogan, due to the city's amibitious history and its increasing need for civic pride. In recent years, some Léogânais have been working to promote their city as a center for the arts and culture.


Léogane is one of the oldest cities in the country. From the time of the Indians, it was called Yaguana.

It also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as Fort Campan, and one of the most ancient windmills in the western hemisphere is located in the Baussan locality. The town was at the epicenter of the 12 January 2010 earthquake, and was catastrophically affected, with 80-90% of buildings damaged. It also had been destroyed in an in 1770. At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in 1492, Yaguana —modern-day Léogâne— was the capital of Jaragua, one of the five kingdoms on the island of Hispaniola. This province was the last independent holdout during the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola until their leader Queen Anacaona was captured and killed by the Spaniards in 1503. The French secured legal access to one-third of the island from the Spanish crown by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 and established a city in Yaguana and renamed it Léogâne. In 1803, during the Haitian Revolution Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered his men to burn the town to the ground to force out the last of the French colonists.

Cultural identity

Gaining an understanding of Léogâne’s culture and history is central to its redevelopment. For this reason, a focus on culture is an appropriate place to begin. The people of Léogâne proudly value their local culture and history. There is strong place identity in Léogâne. Local visual, musical and dramatic arts, public celebrations, cultural practices, and historic preservation all have practical roles to play. Local cultural identity serves as a guide to community and economic development, planning for infrastructure and public works, housing, education, and urban design. Léogâne’s history and culture are an important part of Haiti’s national heritage. Léogâne is a national treasure because it was the political center of the indigenous society of Taino Arawak, who inhabited the island before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Since the colonial period, Léogâne’s economic identity has been tied to sugar cane production and fishing. Architecturally, Léogâne City is classic Caribbean in style, and the surrounding mountains and coast are some of Haiti’s loveliest natural terrain. Place identity should embrace much more than historic preservation and the marketing of local crafts.


Leogane History

Leogane historic photo

The site of Léogane would have been the seat of the part of Xaragua. The Kingdom of Xaragua was led by Bohéchio, who succeeded Anacaona, his sister the wife of Caonabo who then led the Maguana. Anacoana was endowed with a genius superior to her sex and even to that of the peoples of the island of Santo Domingo, and had for the Spaniards feelings of affection and inspired them to her brother. He died without children and left the kingdom to his sister Anacoana. Beyond her political role, she left the image of a poet and samba who performed songs. This region of Léogane has always been considered one of the most prosperous regions of the island of Hispaniola.


Among the founding settlers of Yaguana, whose French pronunciation made Léogane, was Ogeron who was governor of the French colony of Santo Domingo in 1665. In 1669, Léogane counted only 50 men carrying weapons. The settlement was located on two sites: L'Ester and Petite Rivière, the seat of the parish of Saint-Jacques. In 1694, Ogeron came to reside in Léogane, which consecrated the settlement as the capital of the colony.

Middle History[]

Although the Léogâne Plain does not have a good harbor, deep, level soil favored its agricultural development. Also, the fact that it was a government administration center from 1665 until 1750, when the capital of the colony was transferred to Port-au-Prince, aided its economic growth. In 1691, Léogâne was the richest parish in the colony. Governor DuCasse wrote to the minister of colonies in 1692 that L'Esterre had the best habitans. Refugees from Saint-Kitts, Saint-Croix, and Statia brought slaves and experience in sugar production with them to Léogâne when they fled the English in 1695-1697.

Between 1687 and 1701, the number of slaves in the colony rose from 3,600 to 20,000 of whom more than 10,000 were in the parish of Léogâne. Two seaside villages of Esterre and Petite-Rivière were moved to a site midway between them and a short distance inland to found the city of Léogâne in 1710.

In 1691, the English attacked Petite Rivière, but were repelled by the inhabitants; In 1701, L'Ester and Petite Rivière were wanted, but the diversity of opinions kept them both. In February 1710 a fire ravaged Petite Rivière, leaving only six or seven houses and the church was not rebuilt.

L'Ester was attacked in October 1694 by the English. On this occasion Monsieur Guy Coutard, adviser to the Sovereign Council, distinguished himself, but there were 40 men dead or wounded. On August 7, 1702, a new attack of the English took place, without success. The parish of L'Ester was abolished by an ordinance of 15 April 1711. The Sainte-Rose parish of Lima, located in Léogane, succeeded the two parishes of Petite Rivière and L'Ester.

In 1697, the sovereign and then Superior Council of the colony of Santo Domingo was transferred from Petit Goave, ruined by the English, to Léogane.

In 1915, the United States military forces landed in Haiti and occupied the country until 1934. American forces were deployed in the country without major incidents except in Léogâne, where Charlemagne Péralte commander of the military security of the region refused to put down the arms and the national flag without having received the official order of the Haitian authorities.



Queen Anacaona

LGN distance 906 Michael vedrine

Léogâne is located at 19.5474° N, 71.7296° W, about 29 km (18 mi) West of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. According to the IHSI, this commune has a total land area of 387.88 square kilometers (149.76 square miles), of which 282.72 km² (72%) is rural, 95.41 km² (25%) is suburban, and 10.61 km² (3%) is urban. Léogâne is a coastal city situated at the entrance of the Port-au-Prince Bay. It is bordered on the east by the town of Gressier, on the southeast by the city of Carrefour, on the south by the Southeast Department city of Jacmel, on the southwest by its suburb La Vallée-de-Jacmel, and on the west by the town of Grand-Goâve. Léogâne has 13 communal sections and a district. Its terrain consists mostly of hills and a tropical climate.


Children in Léogâne


It's inhabitants are called Léogânais(e).

Year Population +/-
1998 106,785
2009 181,709 +70%
2015 199,813 +10%


LEO Léogâne 199,813
VLG Ville de Léogane 122,650
QTN Quartier de Trouin 10,277
DCS 1ère Section Dessources 14,794
PRV 2ème Section Petite-Rivière 14,040
GRV 3ème Section Grande-Rivière 14,873
FBD 4ème Section Fond de Bourdin 2,520
PAV 5ème Section Palmiste à Vin 4,506
ORN 6ème Section Section Orangers 1,474
PAQ 7ème Section Parques 1,640
BSG 8ème Section Beauséjour 1,616
CTN 9ème Section Citronniers 1,257
FDO 10ème Section Fond-d'Oie 3,161
GMO 11ème Section Gros Morne 2,587
CMI 12ème Section Cormiers 2,146
PHP 13ème Section Petit-Harpon 2,272


At the level of economic and financial infrastructure, the municipality has a hotel, a dozen small restaurants, a Caisse populaire and six marketing cooperatives.

A dozen Building materials, over thirty food supply centres, shops, depots, several gas stations, three private morgues, eighteen Phamarcies, several photocopiers, numerous beauty studios, four markets, several photography studios and several dry cleaning are the economic and commercial establishments of the commune of Léogane.

Sugar cane, cassava, beans of several varieties, plantain, maize, are the main economic resources of the population. There are also a lot of other things that are cultivated and residents practice domestic animal husbandry.

Léogâne is known for its tafia, a sugar cane-based alcohol.

Demography and social problems

The population of Léogâne is estimated to be more than 200 000 inhabitants, of whom 3/4 are under 35 years of age. The concern of the youth of the city revolves around the expectation of a visa to emigrate, because unemployment is raging.



The Ministry of the National Education for Youth and Sports is represented by a school inspection office in the commune of Léogane. This commune has numerous private kindergartens, twenty pubic schools, numerous private, and four congregational were inventoried in the municipality. At the secondary level, were two public, and numerous private. There are also sixteen vocational schools.


The Ministry of Public Health and Population is not represented in the commune of Léogane. In the case of health facilities, a hospital, seven clinics, six health centres with no bed, and a health center with a bed have been inventoried at the communal level. A well-staffed team of doctors, dentists, nurses, auxiliaries, certified matrons and laboratory technicians form the health personnel of the commune of Léogane.


With respect to water availability, the municipality has six rivers, nineteen springs, two ponds and a lagoon. Almost every house has a well. There are public fountains with eighteen taps and more than two hundred pumps. These fountains were built by UNICEF, but several of the pumps need repair. The commune of Léogane and a good number of its localities are electrified.


For administrative and judicial infrastructures, a police station, a Peace Court and a civil status office were listed in the municipality.


Léogâne has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture.


Nearly 130 temples were counted in the commune. The Catholic temples (churches and chapels combined) are revealed to be the most numerous. Vodun occupies a prominent place among the inhabitants of the "City of Queen Anacaona", with a mixture of African, Tainos and Christian rituals.


The municipality of Léogane has five Representations of political party, 23 Popular organizations, 20 peasant groups, six Women's groups and three non-commercial cooperatives.


The commune contains a telephone office, four radio stations, and a television station.


There are a number of entrepreneurial entertainment activities that should be encouraged and supported in rebuilding efforts. Entertainment entrepreneurs set up informal ‘cinemas’ in their homes, charging a small fee for admission. Entrepreneurs also make money by arranging bals, or dance parties in yards and streets.

As for leisure, the commune has two libraries and a cinema room. She has no museum. The theatrical life is animated by the Club des Stars, an active troupe since 1993, offering performances on different occasions. It includes: Lanmou Kreyol, we've killed the sun, black chorus, Crazy about Michel, and others.



On-the-spot soccer game; Léogâne, Haiti

Football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, tennis are the sports practiced in the commune of Léogane. The city has two football clubs in the first Division: Le Cavalo and Valencia. The stadium is named Parc Gérard Christophe and can accommodate about 15,000 spectators. Footballer Jean-Jacques Pierre made his debut at the Cavalo.

There are many athletes and sports teams in Léogâne despite the lack of facilities and equipment. In Haiti, sports are not only a source of entertainment and camaraderie, but are also a means of economic development. A city which hosts sporting events keep the proceeds from ticket sales. Soccer is easily the most prominent sport in Léogâne. There are already many organizations that can help facilitate the growth and success of the sport, including four (three men’s and one woman’s) professional teams. Other sports such as basketball, running, weightlifting, martial arts, tennis, and volleyball also have a following in the city. Image 1.6a: An informal soccer game in Léogâne The Léogâne soccer stadium, which was barely adequate before the earthquake, is currently home to a large tent encampment which could remain there for some time. Not having a home stadium requires the Léogâne soccer teams to travel to other cities in Haiti and prevents the community from both participating in the matches and receiving the economic benefits associated with hosting a game. Thus, the Léogâne soccer teams operate at a net loss. Other sports which have been gaining popularity over the years have very few facilities in which to play. The one basketball court in Léogâne is a half-finished tennis court next to the mayor’s office. It is currently being used as municipal space. Some private schools have sports facilities, but they do not allow the community to use these facilities even outside of school hours.

Seven night-clubs and twenty nine Gaguères complement the places of leisure and entertainment of the commune.


several great names of Haitian light music originated from Léogâne. Among the most recent, we can cite Carole Demason, Rodrigue milien, Samuel Lubin "Kessy" (Ideologue of the Lavalas regime), who give performances throughout the world. There are also Robinson Augustus, Dugravil, Steevee Dog, and many others.

Rara festival

Léogâne is the capital of Rara, a popular music and song festival that begins the day after Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Monday. The "Rara" dates from the Amerindian period, i.e. before the Spanish colonization of the island of Haiti. However, this popular feast undergoes systematic transformations, especially after 1804, where it became a manifestation of vodun, taking on a public dimension (what is seen in the street) and an esoteric dimension for the insiders of the kabbalahs of Vodun. Since the emergence of populism with Aristide in 1990, Rara has been politicized more and more. In terms of cultural heritage, the commune of Léogane has a cave and a fort.

The Campan Fort, now in ruins and abandoned, was built around 1806 in Beauséjour, on the hills. It is part of the defensive system developed by Jean-Jacques Desalins after the revolution of independence, in the eventuality of a return of the French, former Masters of the colony of Santo Domingo.

Leogane map

Map of Léogâne; Downtown Léogâne indicated by orange circle


LEO Léogâne 199,813
VLG Ville de Léogane Urban 122,650
QTN Quartier de Trouin Urban 10,277
DCS 1ère Section Dessources Rural section 14,794 Baussan, Belol, Binaud, Binot, Bossier, Brossier, Buteau, Ca Ira, Ca Jhon, Carrefour Baussan, Carrefour Dufort, Cassagne, Chassagne, Chavannes, Dufort, Grand Rue, La Coudre, Morel, Nan Malgré, Niveau, Petit Paradis, Pioterie, Ti Paradis, Mapou Brissoniere
PRV 2ème Section Petite-Rivière Rural section 14,040 Aubry, Belval, Borgne, Chatulet, Chéridan, Daverne, Flon, Fosse, Geffrard, Gorée, Grande Place, Guérin, Lafferronay, La Salle, La Salle Geffrard, Macombe, Mariani, Mercery, Merger, Miton, Pandou, Pity, St Gérard
GRV 3ème Section Grande-Rivière Rural 14,873 Belle Fortune, Bernard, Brache, Cercey, Deslandes, Dimba, Gabard, La Ferrière, La Pointe, La Port, Lompré, Masson, Mathieu, Melier, Nan Timo, Rancroy, Sabouce, Sigueneau, St Mesmin, Tomarin
FBD 4ème Section Fond De Bourdin Rural section 2,520 Corail, Fond Polite, Jeanton, La Ferme, La Vache, Tapion, Trouin
PAV 5ème Section Palmiste à Vin Rural 4,506 Bellevue, Bois Carré, Bon Crabe, L'acul, L'oiseau, Lorin, Médecim, Palmiste Tavin, Rock Maringoin, Savanne Patate
ORN 6ème Section Section Orangers Rural 1,474 Barbot, Bergeotte, Canne Marron, Carrefour Gabriel, Chevrine, Douyac, Gros-Saut, La Colline, Lamothe, La Tonnelle, La Tournelle, Nerette, Papette, Royot, Tamarin
PAQ 7ème Section Parques Rural 1,640 Dimate, Nan Melfi, Perdreau, St Barthélemy, Trou-Fond
BSG 8ème Section Beauséjour Rural 1,616 Beaupant, Beau Séjour, Buteau, Campan, Campant, Carrefour Cecile, Gougeon, Gros-Trou, Lafond, Mathieu, Matnurin
CTN 9ème Section Citronniers Rural 1,257 Beauséjour, Citronier, Gros-Morne, Oranger, Robe
FDO 10ème Section Fond-d'Oie Rural 3,161 Bas Duble, Beloc, Bernard, Bouchi, Citronier, Coq Chante, Duclos, Haut Duble, Paraison, Roche à Pierre
GMO 11ème Section Gros Morne Rural 2,587 Bassin Boeuf, Citronelle, Corail de Mere, Mardi Gras, Pierre
CMI 12ème Section Cormiers Rural 2,146 Barière-Jeudi, Barrière-Batin, Bas Matel, Bigonet, Cabaret, Cormier, Cotin, Fond Droit, Grand-Savane, Gué Bourget, Jermeil, La Vache, Lochard, Sonson
PHP 13ème Section Petit-Harpon Rural 2,272 Ca Mando, Dodel, Ficha, Gris-Gris, La Crête, Pain de Sucre, Platon Tapion, Rechalet, Soixante, Vieux Caille

External Links[]


Rebuild Léogâne [2]

Historical and Economic Geography of the Southwest Peninsula of Haiti ...[3]

Michael Vedrine