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Ville de Léogâne
Skyline of Léogâne
La cité d'Anacaona (The city of Anacaona)
Je suis Léogânais et je suis fier de l'être (I am Léogânais and I am proud of it)
Léogâne is located in Haiti
Location in Haiti
Coordinates: 18°30′39″N 72°38′2″W / 18.51083°N 72.63389°W / 18.51083; -72.63389
Communal sections of LéogâneCommunal Sections
1st. Dessources
2nd. Petite-Rivière
3rd. Grande-Rivière
4th. Fond de Boudin
5th. Palmiste à Vin
6th. Orangers
7th. Aux-Parques
8th. Beauséjour
9th. Citronniers
10th. Fond d'Oie
11th. Gros Morne
12th. Cormiers
13th. Petit-Harpon
ArrondissementGrand-Goâve Petit-Goâve
 • TypeMunicipal Government
 • MayorSantos Alexis[1]
 • Total90,000
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
Zip Code
HT 6210
Area code(s)+509
Internet Top Level Domains (TLD) .ht   .gouv.ht   .edu.ht

Léogâne (Haitian Creole: Leyogàn) is one of the coastal communes in Haiti. It is located in the eponymous arrondissement, the Léogâne Arrondissement. The port town is located about 30 km (19 mi) West of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Léogâne has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. 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 Baussan Léogâne. The town was at the epicenter of the 12 January 2010 earthquake, and was catastrophically affected, with 80–90% of buildings damaged.[2][3] It also had been destroyed in an earthquake in 1770.[4] At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in 1492, Yaguana—modern-day Léogâne—was the capital of Jaragua, one of the five chiefdoms 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.


Léogâne is the birthplace of the Taíno queen Anacaona (the town was originally called the Amerindian name Yaguana) as well as Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité, the wife of the Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758). It was founded by the French in 1711.

Charlemagne Péralte, the leader of the Haitian resistance to the U.S. occupation that had started in 1915, had been a military officer stationed in Léogâne. He resigned from the military, refusing to surrender to the U.S. troops without a fight. Afterwards he returned to his native town of Hinche and began leading the Cacos against the occupation forces.

Since 2005 (before the 12 January 2010 earthquake) the city has had an Episcopalian nursing school, Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l'Université Épiscopale d'Haïti à Léogâne. There was also a hospital run by the Episcopalian Diocese, with Presbyterian missionary collaboration; Hopital Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross).[5] The hospital had closed to inpatients two years previously, and although it had continued with a variety of outpatient services, it is since restored to a being full service healthcare institution.[6][7] The centerpiece of the city was the now-destroyed Roman Catholic Sainte Rose de Lima Church.[8]

A new Catholic school, "Notre Dame des Anges", run by the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus), and made possible by money sent from the Vatican, will be dedicated by Catholic and government officials on Thursday, 27 November 2014, about five years after the 12 January 2010 earthquake.[9][10]

2010 earthquake[edit]

Damage to Leogane on 22 January
A LCU from the 22nd MEU delivers humanitarian aid and supplies to the beach at Léogâne.

Léogâne was at the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude 12 January 2010 earthquake,[2] and a United Nations assessment team that investigated three main towns near Port-au-Prince found that Léogâne was "the worst affected area" with 80 to 90% of buildings damaged and no remaining government infrastructure.[3] Nearly every concrete structure was destroyed. The damage was also reported to be worse than the capital. The military estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 people had died from the earthquake in Léogâne. People had congregated in ad hoc squatter camps and relief had taken longer to reach Léogâne.[2][11]

In the wake of the temblor destroying municipal buildings, city hall was moved to a telecommunications building.[12] Among the facilities destroyed in the quake was the Sainte Rose de Lima School, considered the emotional heart of the city. The main commercial strip, the "Grand Rue" was also collapsed.[8] Saint Croix Hospital was also partially demolished.[13] The "court of the peace" building was destroyed in the temblor.[14]

British urban search and rescue teams with Rapid-UK along with the Icelandic search and rescue team were the first to reach the destroyed town on 17 January 2010.[15] The Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan first reached the area on Tuesday, 19 January. The Athabaskan's crew of 280 have been tasked to supply humanitarian aid to the city and assist in relief efforts.[16] A Japanese field hospital, Sri Lankan peacekeeper unit, and an Argentine White Helmets field hospital are already in the field treating survivors,[17] the Japanese and Argentinians had arrived on the 18th.[8] The Canadian Medical Assistance Team (CMAT) arrived on the 19th, and set to work performing surgeries.[18][19]

The missionaries of World Wide Village, set up outpatient clinics beside the Japanese Red Cross at the nursing school in Léogâne within days after the earthquake. Volunteer medical personal together with teams of volunteer surgeons from World Wide Village and the University of Notre Dame, have seen and treated thousands of patients. World Wide Village brought in a Field Hospital which began full operation in Late February 2010, the new, "Hospital St. Croix". World Wide Village and the University of Notre Dame continue to send teams to the nursing school/field hospital to meet ongoing health care needs in Léogâne.[20][21]

The NGOs Heart to Heart International and Médecins Sans Frontières were providing medical aid at clinical sites in the area.[citation needed]

As Léogâne has no airport, the Canadians began using the small strip at Jacmel to avoid the bottleneck in Port-au-Prince, and had 250–300 personnel there the next day.[22] The Canadian 1 Field Hospital is being deployed to Léogâne.[23][24] The Cuban military set up a field hospital in the region.[25]

Canadian soldiers are providing security for food distribution points.[26] The Canadian medical facility is located near the Japanese field hospital, which is next to the nursing school, which has been turned into a hospital.[6] Canada has deployed the Van Doos, a Canadian infantry regiment, to help with recovery efforts.[27] Haitian Girl Guides and Boy Scouts are providing crowd control at some food distribution points.[12]

With no airport in Léogâne, any aid needing to be airlifted in needs to be carried by helicopter, or through use of small planes on makeshift landing strips. The highway, Route 9, at Léogâne, was cordoned off by UN Peacekeepers to use as such a landing strip.[28]

The Korean government announced it would deploy 250 peacekeepers to the region in February, composed mostly of engineers, with some medical troops, and marines for security.[29] The mission comprises 120 military engineers, 22 medics and a 1,200 tonne-freighter filled with supplies and equipment.[30] As of 18 February 2010, the Korean Peacekeepers had started work on building a hospital.[31] On 27 February 2010, 190 South Korean Peacekeepers left home for deployment in Léogâne.[32] By 28 February 2010, 240 members of South Korean Peacekeepers (Task Force Danbi / Operation Danbi) had arrived.[33]

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization started a cash-for-work programme to clear irrigation canals in the Léogâne area.[34]

As of 9 February 2010, the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit was rotating out of Haiti, having been replaced by the US 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, in their position on USS Bataan and Carrefour, Léogâne, Petit-Goâve, and Grand-Goâve.[35][36]

On 2 March 2010, the IFRC decongested a refugee camp, creating a second one out of the overflow.[37]

Once the victims of the earthquake were cared for, 1 Canadian Field Hospital began to treat patients with other serious illnesses. Many operations were performed on patients who traveled long distances to Léogâne for care.[24] On 7 March 2010, it was announced that HMCS Athabaskan was to end its mission on 10 March.[38][39]


The economy in Léogâne remains predominantly an agricultural based economy, despite the challenges that are facing the agricultural sector in the commune of Léogâne. Agriculture constitutes a key sector to economic growth for the commune of Léogâne. The sugarcane industry holds the largest share in the economy, especially with the re-opening of the sugar mill "Jean Léopold Dominique" in Darbonne.[40]

Sugar Mill in Darbonne Léogâne.

This sugar mill produces surplus cane molasses which some of it are used to aliment the smaller distilleries around the commune. The Jean Léopold Dominique sugar mill in Darbonne has the capacity of producing 375,000 metric tons of sugar; it also has the output capacity of 22 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The sugarcane industry is closely followed by the banana industry and then grains such as maize, sorghum and rice. Legumes and foodstuffs such as sweet potatoes, cassava, beans, and yams complete this chain. A significant amount of fishing and farming is practiced throughout the coastal areas. Aviculture and apiculture farms have been rapidly expanding in recent years.

Coffee is a crop of vital importance to the entire national economy. It is one of the major cash crops for Léogâne's peasants living in the humid mountain areas considered strategic for the country ecologically. Nearly 200,000 households at the national level is still engaged in this culture at least 20% of their annual income derived from coffee, allowing them to obtain cash income for supporting the family expenses such as: education children, family health and also certain investments such as the construction of residential houses, buying cattle. Tombe Gateau Léogâne is home to the largest coffee mill in Haiti which covers the Southeast region, Center, Artibonite and Grande-Anse. The Federation of Native Coffee Associations (FACN), is the owner of the trademark Haitian Bleu, a blend of coffee.[41]

Next to agriculture, building materials are playing an important role in the local economy. Building materials are standing in fierce competition with the agricultural sector. In fact, construction enterprises are emerging at such an alarming rate that many territories that were once occupied by crops are now restricted to concrete. Two other sub-sectors are occupying a statistically relevant role in the economy; transportation and private schools.

Proximity to the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince is also of economic significance to Léogâne. It constitutes a market exceeding two million potential customers, excluding the five-hundred thousand people living in the palm regions. The labor force constitutes another productive factor available in sufficient quantity in Léogâne. The region consists of a population of more than 55% young adults who are willing and able to work. Léogâne has the capacity of putting in the labor market nearly 100,000 active farmers, excluding prospective workers coming from neighboring municipalities.


Léogâne has many tourist attractions with the renovation of historical sites such as Fort Campan, Latounèl Gwoso and one of the most ancient windmill in the western hemisphere located in Baussan. The best way to explore the exotic flora and fauna in Léogâne is on foot. Ayiti (Haiti), which was the native name given to the entire island of Hispaniola to mean, "Land of high mountains", has many mountains. Ten of the thirteen communal sections of Léogâne are located in the mountains which covers more than 25,000 acres of mountainous region.

Léogâne Cycling Club (LCC)

Hiking is quite a popular activity in Léogâne among visitors. With the success of Mountain Bike Ayiti (MTB Ayiti) an event hosted by the Léogâne Cycling Club (LCC) in 2013,[42] Léogâne has become a location adventure tourism. Léogâne is also a home to thousands of local plants and natural species. The rehabilitation of natural grottoes such as the grotto Belloc, Anacaona, and Fond d'Oie can offer visitors a unique experience in Léogâne. Each year thousands of people from all over the country make religious pilgrimages to Léogâne to visit the many patron Saints in the area. From Saint Dominique to Saint André, Thérèse, Antoine, Gérard, Philogène, and Sainte Rose these are cultural factors that appeal greatly to tourists, no other place in Haiti houses more religious pilgrimages sites than Léogâne.

In addition, Léogâne has twenty-five kilometers of sandy beaches. Léogâne is the host location for several annual events, which attracts national and international visitors to the city each year, distinctly Rara and Fête Champêtre.[43] The boisterous Rara festivals take place during lent, Rara season is Léogâne's most prideful and joyous event of the year.


Léogâne is the bastion of Rara, a rural festival that quickly emerge as the most popular cultural of Haitian heritage. The phenomenon of Rara is at once a season, a festival, a genre of music, a religious ritual, a form of dance, and sometimes a technique of political protest.

Rara season starts along with Carnival, and keeps going through Lent, culminating on Easter week. Local Rara societies form musical parading bands that walk for miles through local territory, attracting fans and singing old and new songs. Rara is a paradoxical mix of both carnival and religion. Rara bands often stop at crossroads, the homes of community leaders and important religious spots—cemeteries for example, where they salute their ancestors. Musicians play drums, sing, and sound bamboo horns and tin trumpets.

Majò Jon Rara Léogâne

The typical Rara orchestra consists of drums followed by bamboo instruments called bamboo or vaccine, some metal horns called konet, and then several waves of percussion players with small, hand-held instruments like the maraca, and finally a chorus of singers. Also there is usually a core group of performers either Major John (Majò Jon), the whip holding Colonel (Kolonèl), Kings and Queens (Wa ak Rènn) who dance for recognition.

Rara has evolved throughout time to include wind instruments such as the helicon, the trumpet, saxophone, etc. Each player plays one note, in a technique called hocket, and together the band comes up with a melody. To help their timing, the vaccine players beat a kata part on the bamboo with a long stick, making the instrument both melodic and percussive. Then, a chorus of fanatics sing and dance along to the music. The sound carries for miles around, and lets fans know that the Rara parade is coming. The town of Léogâne is best known for its Rara, but the festival is practiced all over Haiti, and is different from region to region. The genre was imported to the Dominican Republic and is now an integral part of the Afro-Dominican music scene, where it is known colloquially as Gagá.

This is an old festival, dating back to colonial times. The genre though predominantly Afro-based has some Taino Amerindian elements to it such as the use of güiros and maracas. Its songs and melodies have been passed down for generations, so they are all popular "hit" songs. And Rara is played enthusiastically in the summertime, in major cities throughout North America: In Miami, New York City, Havana, Boston, and Montreal. For many Haitians in the Diaspora, playing or dancing Rara delivers the special ambience of Haiti. It is a taste of home.

Rara has evolved into an important contributor to the local economy. Rara season stimulate commercial activity and are significant generators of revenue within key sectors of the economy, particularly cultural industries, tourism and hospitality. Rara season attract positive media attention, and provide the basis upon which strong destination branding can be built. Above all, Rara season draw overwhelming numbers of visitors to Léogâne at specific times of the year. The net result has been the growth of rara-driven festival tourism that has created an alternative and sustainable source of tourist revenue for the city.[44]


Léogâne is well known for being a city of sport. It is home to five major league sports teams: the Léogâne Cycling Club (LCC), Cavaly Association Sportive Club (CASPORT), League Basketball Léogânaise (LBL), the Valencia Football Club (VFC), and the Anacaona Football Club (AFC).

Léogâne Cycling Club[edit]

Léogâne Cycling Club (LCC), is a cycling club that came into being on 15 December 2002 in the palms region, more precisely in Léogâne, following a race that was organized in the region which many of the participating cyclists weren't members of any particular club at the time. These athletes from all walks of life joined together to form the Léogâne Cycling Club and had elected Jonas Ronald as the club's President. In 2013, the Léogâne Cycling Club and Mountain Bike Ayiti hosted together the first-ever International mountain bike competition in Haiti.

Cavaly Association Sportive Club[edit]

Cavaly Association Sportive Club (CASPORT), is a Haitian professional soccer club based in Léogâne, Haiti. Founded 10 May 1975 in Léogâne this club has represented Haiti in the Concacaf Competitions of Clubs in 2009, and several of its former players have secured professional contracts in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Valencia Football Club[edit]

Valencia Football Club (VFC), is a Haitian professional soccer club located in Léogâne, Haiti. The club plays in Haiti's top national league, the Ligue Haïtienne. Valencia FC was founded on 27 June 1972. The club won its first national championship in 2012 and several of its former players have secured professional contracts in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

  • Anacaona Football Club (AFC)
  • League Basketball Léogânaise (LBL)



Léogâne is bounded to the north by the gulf of Gonâve, to the east by the commune of Gressier, to the south by the summit of the "Massif de la Selle" which separates it from the south-east (Jacmel), and to the west by the commune of Grand-Goâve.


Léogâne is a community with widely diverse microclimates. The average temperature in Léogâne is considered by many to be warm. It stays approximately the same throughout the year in terms of degrees. Temperatures are almost always high in the lowland areas, ranging from 15 °C to 25 °C in the winter and from 25 °C to 30 °C during the summer. The lowland portion is relatively warm throughout the year; the dry mountains with moderate temperatures; the humid mountainous areas with very mild temperatures and humidity fairly high all year round. The annual rainfall in the commune of Léogâne is between 800 millimeters to 1277 millimeters of rain.

Dry mountains[edit]

The dry mountains in Léogâne are those receiving less than 800 millimeters of rain annually. The following communal sections are categorized in this group: Fond de Boudin, Palmiste à Vin, Gros Morne, Cormiers, Petit-Harpon and Citronnier.

Humid mountains[edit]

The humid mountains in Léogâne received more than 800 millimeters of rainfall yearly. In this group are categorized the following communal sections: Orangers, Aux-Parques, Beauséjour, and Fond d’Oie.


In regards to the availability of water, the commune of Léogâne has six rivers (Rouyonne, Momance, Cormier, Ravine Seche, Haut-Saut and Courbyon), nineteen streams, two ponds and a lagoon. Despite the abundance of water in the region only three communal sections are irrigable; Dessources, Petite-Rivière and Grande-Rivière. These sections are crossed by several rivers and streams, some more important than others. The Momance River in Grande-Rivière, for example, is the most significant river in Léogâne, because it is widely used for irrigation purposes. This river also has the potential to generate renewable energy via hydro-electricity.


  • Anacaona, Queen Anacaona (from Taíno anacaona, meaning "golden flower"; from ana, meaning "flower", and caona, meaning "gold, golden") was a Taíno cacica (chief), sister of Bohechío, chief of Xaragua. Anacaona was born in Yaguana (today the town of Léogâne, Haiti) in 1474.
  • Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité, Empress of Haiti (1804–1806), the wife of Haitian Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines. She was born in Léogâne the daughter of Guillaume Bonheur and Marie-Élisabeth Sainte-Lobelot.
  • Joseph Balthazar Inginac better known as Balthazar Inginac was a Haitian general. He served as personal secretary for President Alexandre Petion and Jean-Pierre Boyer of Haiti.
  • Simone Duvalier, Simone Ovide Duvalier (c. 1913 – 1997), was the wife of Haitian President François "Papa Doc" Duvalier (1907–1971), and the mother of Haitian President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. She was born Simone Ovide in 1913 in Orangers, Léogâne the daughter of a mulatto merchant and writer Jules Faine and Célie Ovide.
  • Coupé Cloué Jean Gesner Henry, (10 May 1925 – 29 January 1998), popularly known as Coupé Cloué, was a Haïtian footballer, singer, guitarist, and bandleader. He was born in Tombe Gateau, Léogâne.
  • Jean-Claude Duvalier nicknamed "Bébé Doc" or "Baby Doc" (3 July 1951 – 4 October 2014), was the 41st President of Haiti from 1971–1986. He was born in Port-au-Prince his family (mother), Simone Ovide Duvalier was from Orangers, Léogâne.
  • Edwidge Danticat born 19 January 1969), is a Haitian-American author. She was born in Port-au-Prince to a family originated from Mathieu, Léogâne.
  • Pascal Millien born 3 May 1986), is a Haitian professional footballer who currently plays for Sligo Rovers F.C.
  • Pierre Garçon born 8 August 1986), is a Haitian-American football wide receiver (WR) of the National Football League. Pierre Garçon is of Haitian descent his family is from Petite-Rivière, Léogâne.
  • Ricardo Pierre-Louis born 2 November 1984), is a Haitian professional soccer player who played for the Cape Cod Crusaders in the USL Premier Development League.


Johanniter International (Built top of the bill rehabilitation center in Leogane, which was donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital) and six community clinics in the region of Leogane. They also trained more than 30,000 villagers in disaster reduction and preparation.[citation needed]

Deep Springs International (sponsor of Gadyen Dlo) and the Children's Nutrition Program[45] are based in Léogâne.

The University of Notre Dame du Lac of Indiana is hosted by the Sainte Croix Hospital, and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assists the hospital in conducting a Ministry of Health-sanctioned reference center to research, treat and control the mosquito-borne disease lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis).[citation needed]

GOALS (Global Outreach and Love of Soccer) is a permanent sport-for-development organization in Léogâne which uses soccer to mobilize youth to improve health, the environment and local leadership.[citation needed]

La Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l'Université Épiscopale d'Haïti à Léogâne (FSIL) is a baccalaureate nursing school located in Léogâne.[citation needed]

  • Éditions Ruptures (Association Éditoriale Ruptures) is a pioneer editorial and publishing institution in Haiti established in 2009,in Léogâne. Initially, it aimed at helping young and disenfranchised writers to publish their work at a time when publishing and editorial services were luxury in Haiti. It championnes the idea of creating a Haitian-based publishing house that prioritizes Haitian writers – not just the bourgeois. In 2016, it established the Josaphat Robert Large Cultural Center in an attempt to extend our outreach to a broader constituency to provide cultural and educational services.[citation needed]


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Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 18°30′39″N 72°38′2″W / 18.51083°N 72.63389°W / 18.51083; -72.63389