EcoWorks began operating in Haiti in 2009, taking root in the Lake Azueï region. Located directly east of the capital, at the border with the Dominican Republic, this region comprises the plain of Cul-de-Sac, the country’s largest lake, Azueï, and Haiti’s highest mountain range of La Selle, whose main peak is over 8,000 feet.

Located in Nippes City
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Located directly east of the capital, at the border with the Dominican Republic
Lake Azueï
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The region is divided into four communes  (administrative divisions):

Ganthier, Thomazeau, Fond Verrettes, and Cornillon. Altogether, these areas have an estimated population of 120,000.

Our operation is based in the Commune of Ganthier, the largest of the four communes, with 60,000 residents. Here we are opening three of the five planned regional cooperatives – the remaining two will open in the other communes once the country’s security is restored as those areas are overrun by a major gang.

However, when a serious natural disaster strikes Haiti, we respond regardless of the affected location.  This is why currently, we are also working in the southwestern peninsula, where we are responding to the August 2021 earthquake.

(See “Disaster Relief”)

Regional Advantages and Challenges

Among the region’s greatest advantages are

  • The predominant agricultural sector, which employs over 85% of the local population and can be significantly improved.
  • Several undeveloped potential economic opportunities, which we included in the Talia Farms Program to diversify the local economy
  • The region’s proximity to three major markets: the capital of Port-au-Prince, the Dominican Republic (whose border delimits the region to the east), and two nearby ports that are crucial to local export markets.  
  • The excellent condition of the main road, which is the shortest supply link between the Haitian capital and the Dominican Republic and is, therefore, managed by the central government.
  • Our outstanding Haitian team continues to operate despite one of Haiti’s largest and most violent gangs operating in our vicinity.

The main challenges in the Lake Azueï region are

  • Extreme poverty
  • Lack of access to drinking and irrigation water
  • Lack of access to healthcare
  • Lack of a support structure for farmers
  • Lack of infrastructure, including poor secondary roads, often impassable during the entire rainy seasons
  • Destructive seasonal floods and hurricanes,
  • Most of all, the pervasive lack of political will to improve rural life here and throughout the country