Block Making and Other Sites in Jacmel

October 15, 2013

 jacmel map

For those of you who don’t know Jakmel, also spelled Jacmel, it’s a formerly lovely town on the south coast of Haiti.  It’s basic “fabric” is spectacular, reminding US visitors of New Orleans, but it’s suffered terribly over the years, economically and from the earthquake.

The Haitian government has fairly recently made it a focal point for development, particularly the waterfront.  Everytime we go there, we see new mosaics on the walls and streets.There are quite a few artisan shops with paintings, paper mache, for which Jacmel is famous, and other crafts.

Fondwa view small
Fondwa valley view

To get there from Leogane, we have to travel a steep and twisty road up and then back down the mountains.  The views are spectacular getting there.Instead of going shopping for crafts, Jeff and Nicole Larrier and I went wandering.  We heard noise, peeked in through a fence, and were gestured inside.We got to watch a group of men making concrete blocks.  It looked like terribly difficult work. We were really impressed with the production rate – they were cranking them out!

limestone small
Grinding limestone quarried in the nearby mountains

shoveling small

Loading the crushed stone.  You can see the mixer and the extruder under the roof.

new blocks small

It took three men to free the new blocks from the extruder.  Then they carried them off to dry.

waterfront small

Here are more men working, this time on the Jacmel waterfront.  It’s going to be finished soon.

Cvadier gorgeous

Finally, the beautiful Cvadier Plage Hotel, a bit of heaven.  If you look closely, you can see Jeff bringing me coffee.

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