2012: The Year of Jacmel
Jacmel’s historic district was included on the 2012 World Monuments Watch because of uncertainty about the fate of more than 100 historic buildings damaged in the 2010 earthquake. In the following field dispatch, advocate Louise Lo Presti describes a great new development for the city.
On New Year’s Eve, newly elected Haitian Prime Minister, Dr. Garry Conille, announced that “2012 is the Year of Jacmel.” In his first visit to Jacmel since taking office, Prime Minster Conille was accompanied by Minister of Tourism Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Lamothe, Senator for the South East Wencesclass Lambert, Departmental Delegate of Southeast Pierre-Michel Lafontant, Jacmel Mayor Ronald Andrice, and Ministry of Tourism (South East) Consultant Michaëlle Craan, and Liaison Office of the Diaspora Yanick Martin.
The Prime Minister and team toured the Jacmel Historic district, with a press conference at the Hotel Florita, a Jacmel landmark built in 1888 as a coffee merchant’s residence and warehouse.
In declaring 2012 as the Year of Jacmel, Prime Minister Conille stressed a comprehensive approach to the preservation and redevelopment of Jacmel. Minister of Tourism Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin emphasized the need to rebuild and renew the best of Jacmel with the goal of making Jacmel the premier destination in Haiti and the Caribbean. Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Lamothe announced the gift of $30 million to Jacmel from the Government of Venezuela. The funds are designated for strategic improvements, including highways, rebuilding the airport and harbor, and the environment. Yanick Martin subsequently announced her initiation of the logo competition for the Jacmel Historic District, and her Rue du Commerce solar street lighting initiative.