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Ti Gwav
View of the town of Petit-Goâve
View of the town of Petit-Goâve
Petit-Goâve is located in Haiti
Location in Haiti
Coordinates: 18°25′53″N 72°52′1″W / 18.43139°N 72.86694°W / 18.43139; -72.86694Coordinates: 18°25′53″N 72°52′1″W / 18.43139°N 72.86694°W / 18.43139; -72.86694
CountryFlag of Haiti.svg Haiti
 • Total12,000

Petit-Goâve (Haitian Creole: Ti Gwav) is a coastal commune in the Léogâne Arrondissement in the Ouest department of Haiti. It is located 68 kilometres (42 mi) southwest of Port-au-Prince. The town has a population of approximately 12,000 inhabitants.


Petit-Goâve in 1926

The town is one of the oldest cities of the country, and was named Goâve by the Amerindians. The Spanish called it Aguava at the end of the 16th century. After French colonization through the releasing of the Spanish, the French divided the city into two halves; Grand-Goâve and Petit-Goâve. Petit-Goâve became a wealthy settlement and briefly functioned as a de facto capital of the prosperous colony of Saint-Domingue. It is also very famous for its sweet candy called douce macoss.

January 2010 earthquake[edit]

The town was significantly affected by the 12 January 2010 earthquake.[1] On 20 January a strong aftershock of magnitude 5.9 Mw struck Haiti.[2] The U.S. Geological Survey reported that its epicenter was almost exactly under Petit-Goâve. The magnitude of the aftershock was initially reported as 6.1 by the USGS, but was later revised to 5.9.[3]

On the 19th, authorized by the Haitian government, 1300 US Marines were deployed equally between Petit-Goâve and Grand-Goâve.[4] Spanish amphibious assault ship Castilla is to arrive at Petit-Goâve beginning in February to assist in recovery efforts.[5][6]

By 9 February 2010, the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit was rotating out of Haiti, having been replaced by the US 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, in their position on USS Bataan and Carrefour, Léogâne, Petit-Goâve, and Grand-Goâve.[7][8]

Aid For Haiti (AFH), a US-based non-profit has been coordinating some of the local medical care in the area of Petit-Goâve. They are located at the Wesleyan Compound in Petit-Goâve.

The 400th episode of the radio program This American Life, which aired in February 2010, featured a story on a school in Petit-Goâve and estimated 1000 people died due to the earthquake.[9]



Petit-Goâve has a hospital, Notre-Dame de Petit-Goâve.[10] In February 2010, this hospital was largely unusable due to damage from the earthquake. The Norwegian Red Cross ERU (Emergency Response Unit) has established their field hospital in the hospital and runs 2 fully equipped Operation Theaters and 2 ambulances with paramedics. Norwegian Red Cross support the hospital with electrical power, medical equipment and medicine.

On February 15, 2013, the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs announced that it would be funding and building a 150-bed prison in Petit-Goâve to replace the one destroyed in 2004 after the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide[11]



  1. ^ CNN, "Outside Port-au-Prince, 'towns are absolutely destroyed'", Khadijah Rentas, 15 January 2010 (accessed 17 January 2010)
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Magnitude 6.1 - Haiti Region". 20 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  4. ^ (in French) Agence France-Presse, "Les Américains passent à la vitesse supérieure", Clarens Renois, 19 January 2010 (accessed 28 January 2010)
  5. ^ (in French) Journal Ouest-France, "Le navire-hopital espagnol devrait arriver à Petit-Goave début février" Archived 2010-01-29 at the Wayback Machine, 27 January 2010 (accessed 28 January 2010)
  6. ^ Latin American Herald Tribune, "Spanish Aid Ship Reaches Haiti", 5 February 2010 (accessed 5 February 2010)
  7. ^ WITN, "24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Leaving Haiti" Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, NBC News, 9 February 2010 (accessed 10 February 2010)
  8. ^ DVIDS, "22nd MEU Moves Into Carrefour", 22MEU, 8 February 2010 (accessed 10 February 2010)
  9. ^ "400: Stories Pitched by Our Parents - This American Life". This American Life. 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  10. ^ (in Spanish) "La operación "Hispaniola", totalmente operativa en Haití" Archived 2010-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, Gema Nieves, 8 February 2010 (accessed 11 February 2010)
  11. ^ "US plans to build 2 prisons in Haiti's provinces", Miami Herald, 15 February 2013 (accessed 17 February 2013)

External links[edit]