Dessalines is a small town Haiti, located in the department of Artibonite, capital of the district of Dessalines 29 km southwest of Gonaïves.
Originally the town was called Marchand and Marchand Dessalines. The city is named for Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Chief Executive Officer of the Republic of Haiti from 1804 until his death in 1806, under the title of Emperor Jacques I of Haiti.
This one lived there two years, with his wife Marie-Claire Bliss Happiness Happy Dessalines. The main street in the urban part of the joint, which was until recently called Marchand-Dessalines, also bears the name of Jacques I.
Covering an area of 471 km2, the town of Dessalines is divided into 6 sections and 256 communal areas. At present, access to basic social services is low, the town only finishing in 90th place among 133 communes. Its potential for economic development is strongly focused on agriculture, agribusiness and ecotourism with productions such as rice, tomato, onion, bell pepper, lalo (okra), beans, coffee etc.
The town has a population of 165,424 inhabitants. The population is very young: more than 60% of the population is under the age of 18, especially in rurales1 sections (census estimate of 2009)..
The town consists of communal sections:
- Fosse Naboth (ou Duvallon)
- Poste Pierrot
- Fiéfé (ou Petit Cahos)
- La Croix (ou Grand Cahos)
Dessalines commune is headed since 2007 by Mayor Claude Emile Pierre.
With the help of partners in the international cooperation, including the French department of Savoie, the town situated at the foot of Cahos Mountains in the plain of Artibonite, is full of original initiatives to ensure its development . The town of Dessalines has signed two partnership agreements with the Platform of Youth - an umbrella organization of 87 youth associations - and is working to implement a local development plan prepared in consultation with the entire population, a rarity in Haiti .
The center of Dessalines, inhabited by about 20,000 people, is surrounded by six forts that are part of twenty military structures built on the territory of Haiti after independence in 1804 this defensive system was directed against a possible return of the French, old masters of the colony of Santo Domingo.
The historical sites are made up of strong, located on mountaintops that ensured the safety of the old imperial city and were the homes of famous people in the history of Haiti. Among the listed historic sites, it is appropriate to highlight five forts made by the Lafayette engineer on the top of the mountains overlooking the city and the Artibonite Valley. Located on the highest point of the hill, the fort "The End of the World" is the largest peak of the Imperial City. The strong "Innocent" was placed under the orders of the first son of Dessalines, called Innocent. Its location could control all the Artibonite Valley. The fort 'Madam Ti "was the place of pastime of the Empress, while the most" Doco ", located at Morne Docomond, was designed to secure the Fort" Ti Madanm ". Finally, the strong "Tumbled" was on the slope of the hill surrounding the imperial Source. It was destroyed in 1946 during the construction of the road Marchand- St Michel-de-Attalaye. Today, there remains that The Powder but the place is frequented for voodoo ceremonies.
The whole city is dotted with beautiful houses that belonged to historical figures or places marked by memories of famous people whose house (with a tiled roof) Marie-Claire Happy Bliss, wife of the Emperor's house Charlotin Marcadieu, the tomb of General Brutus, the tomb of Colonel Gabart, the tomb of Benedict Batraville, the remains of the house of Dessalines, etc.