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Wanament / Wanamèt
Official seal of Ouanaminthe
Ouanaminthe is located in Haiti
Location in Haiti
Coordinates: 19°33′0″N 71°44′0″W / 19.55000°N 71.73333°W / 19.55000; -71.73333Coordinates: 19°33′0″N 71°44′0″W / 19.55000°N 71.73333°W / 19.55000; -71.73333
Country Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti
Department Nord-Est
Arrondissement Ouanaminthe

Ouanaminthe (Haitian Creole: Wanament or Wanamèt; Spanish: Juana Méndez) is a commune located in the Nord-Est Department of Haiti. It lies along the Massacre River, which forms part of the natural border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The administrative center is the city of Ouanaminthe, which is the largest in northeastern Haiti. The bridge connecting Ouanaminthe to the Dominican city of Dajabón is one of the four main border crossings between the two countries. Throughout its history, the city has repeatedly been a site of conflict in international disputes, first between French and Spanish colonists, and in more modern times as part of the long-standing Haitian-Dominican conflict.

The population roughly stands at 100,000 people including the immediate vicinity. Haitians living in Ouanaminthe are allowed to cross the border to Dajabón only two days per week, mainly for the market on Mondays and Fridays at Dajabón. Therefore, the Haitians are permitted to temporarily cross the bridge to sell their goods which mainly consist of the supplies donated to them by various organizations. In 2010, the new bridge and the new market store, funded by the European Union was opened.


The name Ouanaminthe is the French form of the Taíno word Guanaminto, which was the reported pronunciation of the name of the indigenous village that preexisted European settlement on the present-day town site.[1]

The Haitian Creole form, Wanament, is simply the Creolization of the French name.

The Spanish form, Juana Méndez, comes from the name of the Haitian ex-slave Juana Méndez, the mother of Buenaventura Báez Méndez, the first mulatto President of the Dominican Republic.[citation needed]


Ouanaminthe has many small schools. The majority of them belong to churches. Ouanaminthe has several elementary schools including "St-Francois Xavier","St-Francois d'Assise","CFCP", "Sur le Rocher" and "L'institution de l'Univers" congreganist schools. Also, there are over 10 secondary schools, including a Lycée, a public school, and a Law school (public university). The Lycée Capois La Mort was located in the "Arobouk nan gran ri a" now move to "Sans". Most of the school are elementary. When students reach 7th grade, many move to a bigger city or to another school. Haiti's educational system is constituted of four parts.
1) Kindergarten
2) "Primaire" Primary school(equivalence U.S.'s 1st through 6th grade in the US)
3) "Secondaire" Secondary School (equivalence of U.S.'s 7th through 11th grade plus Rheto and Philo)
4) "Université" University

Currently there are five new primary schools under construction, funded by Foi et Joie (Faith and Joy) under the patronage of Jesuit Refugee Service as well as Solidaridad Fronteriza.

The local language is Kryol, although many Haitians learn French in school.

Local travel is by scooter or motorcycle. With the exception of the main streets, road surfaces are dirt, with numerous pot holes. Driving is not done on the right or left, but by weaving around potholes. The most important part of a Haitian motorcycle is the horn, which is used frequently. Cars are very rare in Ouaminthe, and there is no indication of a taxi service. There is an intra city bus station in town.


Although both Ouanaminthe and Dajabon have 'hospitals', there is no indication of accreditation or hours. Unconfirmed reports are that sterilizing medical instruments is optional in this part of the world. IAMAT, Canadian and U.S. embassy lists of medical facilities have no entries within two hours drive of Ouanaminthe. Even then, vehicle travel at night may be more dangerous than local medical treatment. Local airports have short runways with no ILS instruments, making air ambulance evacuation impossible in marginal weather or at night. Border hours may delay land based evacuation to DR hospitals and airports. There is no '911' service, and no ambulance service exists in Haiti. The fire department runs an ambulance service in Dajabon. There are ongoing concerns about malaria and cholera.[2]


Ouanaminthe was not affected by the 2010 earthquake, so it does not receive much of the international aid that Port-au-Prince receives. However, Canada has recently paid $4.2 million for the renovation of the police station.[3]

The town's primary economic activity is trade with neighboring Dajabon (pronounced “Da / ha/ bo”). However, relations with the Dominican Republic are turbulent, due to a number of trade irritants.

•The Dominican Republic has recently deported approximately 4500 Haitian's who were living illegally in the DR. So far this year, the DR has caught 80,000 Haitian's[4] trying to enter illegally.

•Haiti banned the import by truck of 23 objects, including drinking water and noodles.[5] This caused a strike [6] that closed the border. Requiring these items to be imported via ship will raise the prices that ordinary Haitian's have to pay for some necessities of life.

•Dominican truckers struck in response to the violence and property damage[7] that occurs when driving in Haiti. This strike closed the border and Haiti's manufacturing sector due to the lack of raw materials.

Communal sections[edit]

The commune consists of five communal sections, namely:

Notable people[edit]


External links[edit]