HEAL Haiti has chosen to begin its efforts in Saint-Marc, Haiti. Not only is Saint-Marc home to HEAL Haiti’s founder but Saint-Marc is a town in great need of advocacy efforts.
Saint-Marc (founded in 1695) is the 2nd most important western coastal port town in the Artibonite department of Haiti. According to reports from l’Institut Haitien de Statistique et d’Informatique (IHSI), the population estimate of Saint Marc reached over 300,000 in 2009. In the aftermath of the earthquake in 2010, Saint-Marc has acquired over 40,000 displaced Haitians. Centrally located among other big cities, Saint-Marc is the preferred port of entry for goods. Primarily known for being a commerce town, there are many locally grown charcoal and produce markets in Saint-Marc. However, despite Saint Marc’s relatively safe reputation, it is still a rural town and its residents face insurmountable health, education and infrastructure challenges.