Hinche (Kreyòl: Ench, Spanish: Hincha) is a city in central Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. It has a population of about 50,000. It is the capital of Centre department.



Location in Haiti


Hinche is the capital and most populous city of the Central Department of Haiti. WIth an estimated population of 120,867, making it the 9th most populous capital city in Haiti after Jérémie, it is the cultural and economic center of the Central Plateau, and the seat of Hinche Arrondissement. Hinche is located approximately 68 miles (110 km) northeast of Port-au-Prince, 89 road miles (143 km) east of Saint-Marc and 60 miles (90 km) south of Cap-Haïtien. Hinche is the birthplace of Pedro Santana, the Dominican Republic's first president and the hometown of Charlemagne Péralte, the Haitian nationalist leader who resisted the United States occupation of Haiti that lasted between 1915–1934. 

Founded August 8, 1503, the city of Hinche remains one of the oldest cities of Haiti. It is home to one of the oldest cathedrals in the country and other attractions such as the Zim Basin and the Pandiassou Ecological Reserve, assets that the authorities of this city want to exploit via the celebration of the Immaculate Conception to attract long-term tourism.  

Hinche has been considered its own distinct region, like many of Haiti's provincial cities, since before the 1970s. Since then, Haiti's economy have been more and more concentrated in the capital, especially during the miltiary regime. The Hinche Region now marks the eastern periphery of the Boucle Centre-Artibonite, described as an almost "linear continuous city" surronding a large agricultural plain. The city features many examples of Victorian-era mill architecture.

Hinche is the only capital city in Haiti that is not on the shoreline. However, thanks to the river Guayamanco, one of the tributaries of the Artibonite River, Hinche shows potentiality to become a river port, trading between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Hinche was founded as a transportation hub at strategic crossroads by Spanish families from the Canary Islands. It is positioned with Cap-Haïtien to the north, Port-au-Prince to the south, the Artibonite Valley to the west, and the Dominican Republic to the east. Just like the cities of Cap-Haïtien or Les Cayes, a "Porte en Arc" gives you access to the capital of the Center Department. An eminently Catholic city, Hinche painted in blue and white, the colors of the Immaculate Conception, located its public square where also stands a statue of Charlemagne Péralte, its parish church and its Cathedral. In this small town, picturesque houses sit alongside tall buildings housing shops, shops, schools and churches. Hinche has an atypical means of transport: the plow pulled by oxen. "This means is only used to carry sand," says a local resident. The Hinchois circulate on a motorcycle, by car or on horses and mules, he adds. 


The city of Hinche was founded in the 16th century (1502). Founded as a Spanish city, it passed to the French administration in 1794. During Dominican Independence, it was part of the neighboring territory. A year later, a column of the National Guard of Marmelade took it from the Dominicans. Nearly a century later, a campaign to make the city an arrondissement began.

"In the meeting of November 12, 1888 of the Constituent Assembly, the constituent Saint-Fleur de Valliere, proposed to make Hinche a district under the Department of Artibonite. At the same time, the Provisional Government of the North devised a similar provision and definitely created the military district of Hinche with Hinche as chief town and Maissade as commune."

Hinche, whose construction dates back to 1501, hosts today the 2nd Church of America, built in 1503 by Nicholas Ovando the first governor of the island. This ancient cathedral served as the main sanctuary to the city until the inauguration of the new cathedral on December 7 1997. It was the first, conceived and realized by a Haitian architect the engineer François Pétion Laroche. It can hold up to 2000 people. The remains of bishops will be buried in the crypt of the cathedral.

Raised to the rank of commune in 1794, it became head of the department of the Center in 1976.


The town of Hinche has a district and four communal sections. Towards the Southwest, the Pandiassou region offers many lakes. The city is surrounded by hills at the foot of which snake dozens of rivers.  The site forms a peninsula between the rivers Hiquite and Guyamuco.  It is interior by its position, its dominant relief is the plateau and its climate is considered normal.

The Inhabitants of this town are named Hinchois. In 1998, the population of the commune of Hinche was 56,770 inhabitants and in the year 2009 it reached more than 100,000 inhabitants. The city center measures a little over a square mile (3.5 km2) and has a density of about 28,746 within that square mile (9,965 per km2).

Hinche MAP

Communal map of Hinche, Haiti

Neighborhoods Edit

HIC Hinche 120,867
VHI Ville de Hinche 37,370
QLP Quartier de Los Palis 1,265
JUA 1ère Section Juanaria 23,135
MMO 2ème Section Marmont 16,670
AGU 3ème Section Aguahedionde (Rive Droite) 20,312
AGH 4ème Section Aguahedionde (Rive Gauche) 22,115


Hinche, capital city of Centre division, has 50,000 residents, most of whom are African from the Republic of Congo. Hinche has established Catholicism as its designated religion, but people are free to worship as they choose. As elsewhere in Haiti, a small segment of the population are Voodoo believers.


Aerial view of Hinche


Although Hinche is a large city, there is not much traffic on its streets.

Local flavorEdit

Hinche residents enjoy French-Creole food, standard items like jerked beef and lobster, fare that is on Caribbean plates everywhere. Hinche's variable climates yield a bounty of tropical fruits and vegetables. A full-flavored and sweet coffee indigenous to Hinche is paired with the region's Barbancourt rum.


With regard to Economic and Financial Infrastructures, the municipality of Hinche has three hotels, three restaurants, a bank and a marketing cooperative. After the Ministry of National Education of Youth and Sports and that of Public Health and Population, several other ministries have direct representatives in the commune. These include the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Economy and Finance, Planning and External Cooperation, among others.

Agriculture, Livestock and Trade remain the main economic activities of the municipality of Hinche. Therefore, she has several commercial establishments located in the city and in Pandiasou. In addition, a gas station, a private morgue, five pharmacies, three photocopies, a beauty studio, five photography studios and a dry cleaning were also inventoried at Hinche.

In the absence of road infrastructure, tourist activities are almost non-existent. However, there are many sites in the town that could arouse the admiration of visitors. We can cite for example: Layaille (Cave and waterfall) which is in the communal section of Juanaria.


Despite all these potentialities, Hinche suffers from infrastructural shortcomings. Also several recent initiatives tend to remove this city from its isolation.  


The infrastructure of Hinche is not well-developed. Its main thoroughfare, Route Nationale 3, was a rough dirt road demanding an RV to negotiate it successfully. Driving from Port-au-Prince to Hinche along this route is a minimum three-hour trip. Thanks to funding from the European Union, part of the Port-au-Prince-Hinche section (137 km) was built up to Mirebalais. The other part of the road (54 km) is undergoing rehabilitation. Currently the journey from the capital to the center metropolis lasts two and a half hours instead of five hours, not too long ago when the RN-3 was a rough dirt road demanding an an off-road vehicle to negotiate it. Other works plan to rehabilitate the connection between Hinche and the city of Cap-Haïtien by 2020.

As you drive the highway onto the Central Plateau, casualties of a 1991 coup d'etat can be seen, for example, an unused hydroelectric dam. The Haitian National Army mounted an attack on the area's peasants and left them destitute of water sources. After Haiti's monstrous earthquake of 2010, refugees from Port-au-Prince and elsewhere overwhelmed the small city, putting enormous stress on its resources, especially the Hinche Cholera Hospital.

Hinche operates one of the larger airports in the country, its runway serving a dual purpose. Before planes can land on its dirt pavement, animals and humans must be blocked from using the road. Hinche may lack drivable roads, but it possesses abundant media outlets. It operates six radio and four TV stations.

Challenges and perspectives 

The roads that connect the city to communal sections are gravel. It is the same for the communal sections. It is necessary to except Aguahedionde Rive Droite and Aguahedionde Rive Gauche which are connected by a path.


Pic 738

Lycee Charlemagne Péralte

The Ministry of National Education of Youth and Sports is represented in the commune of Hinche by a departmental director who has ten years of existence. Two kindergartens, many primary schools, ten literacy centers and eight secondary schools were inventoried in the commune. There are also three technical and vocational centers, one law school and a private institution of higher level.


Saint-Andre school


The Ministry of Public Health has been represented in the municipality of Hinche for eight years by a departmental office. Three institutions: a hospital, a health center and an asylum were counted. Eight physicians, a dentist, dozens of nurses and auxiliaries, six laboratory technicians and two radiologists train the technical staff of these facilities.


The commune of Hinche has three rivers, eleven springs, lakes, several wells and public fountains. Only the city of Hinche is electrified.

The Electricity of Haiti (HRE) is the institution that manages the distribution of electricity. It provides by means of an electric motor, 77 hours of current on average per week. Electricity is another challenge for Hinche. Until now, the city is lit at night only by streetlights using solar energy. The recent electrification of Place Charlemagne Péralte is due to the favor of a MINUSTAH project. So it is expected soon the supply of electricity to the city through a project of 100 million gourdes (US $ 2.3 million), started for about two months, funded by the Haitian state. 



Nearly 54 temples were identified in the commune; the Baptist churches reveal themselves to be more numerous, they are in number of 23.


On the side of politics and other organizations, one political party is represented in the commune. In addition, several organizations and groups were listed; however, the latter are almost all attached to major cooperations such as the Papaye Peasants Movement (MPP), and the Pou Tout Moun organization (PTM), amongst others.


In the field of Communication, the town has a telephone service with over 800 lines. There is a postal office with a very small number of employees. Regarding the press, the town has several TV and radio stations, but does not have a newspaper / magazine.


As for Leisure, the commune has a library, it has two theaters, but no movie theater. Soccer, volleyball and basketball are the sports practiced in the municipality. Only one court is used for the three sports. In addition, two nightclubs and nearly 25 gaugeres were listed in the municipality of Hinche.


There are many sites in the commune that could spark the admiration of the visitors. For example: The caves and the fall of Bassin Zim, located just 8 km from Hinche. By passing by Cerca-la Source, Basin Zim is located in Papaye at the top of a mountain forming a cascade of four very deep basins with their own name: Bassin Candelon, Rainbow Basin, Well Basin and the Last Chu. With a height of some 20 meters, the latter pours into a deep basin forming a natural swimming pool. The interior of the caves is adorned with pictograms, some of which would go up to the first inhabitants of the island. Bassin Zim is the flounder of a corner of paradise on earth, a natural site between nature green, the birds come to sing their melodies, add at the water's edge, Basin Zim remains an ideal place to pass a moment of happiness where you can swim while watching the fish sounds that perform in the water. You hear runoff from waters. It is a place that receives visitors 24 hours a day. The extent of this phenomenona will amaze you. The only way to live this wonder is to visit the caves and the hut from Basin Zim to Papay in Hinche.

Caves and waterfalls are considered by more than one as a place guarded by spirits. With its mystical attributes, they would provide fortune and healing to pure souls.


With the Immaculate Conception, Hinche managed to organize a religious, sporting and cultural festival. Indeed, from December 5 to 8, activities of all kinds were organized.  With a budget of about 300,000 gourdes (USD 7,140), the authorities have favored actions that can give an original cachet to the party and thus attract tourism in the future. The local community, including the private sector, took over a portion of the paid social activities and an association of Central Plateau sons living in Boston and grouped within the Central Plateau Development Assistance Organization contributed to the performance of games and various recreational competitions. 


The Immaculate Conception has given rise to various religious manifestations. The Catholic authorities made each afternoon a novena of prayer that filled the cathedral of Hinche. Gathered on the Place Charlemagne Péralte, on December 5th and 6th, Protestants of all tendencies, on their side, initiated sessions of worship through concerts of songs. 


On the sporting side, on December 6th, the emblem of Creole rap, as the Hinchois call it, the Barikad Crew group, has drained a huge crowd at the Hinche stadium. At the same time, a volleyball championship brought together Hinche's teams and a team from Mombin Crochu.  A swimming competition is also held in Lorobe (district located 6 km from Hinche) in one of the 50 artificial lakes in the region. Another great sporting moment of celebration activities is the ascent of the mast. During this game, competitors are invited to climb a solid iron post, but thin, coated with various oils to recover a premium deposited at the top. An exhibition of works by young people from the Haut Plateau High School, a vocational school, took place on December 8. It has helped to illustrate the productive capacity of young Hinchois in the manufacture of furniture such as chairs, tables and wrought iron beds. They also presented their version of agricultural equipment like seeders and harrows with animal traction.  


Given the government's efforts to provide the city with basic infrastructure, local authorities believe that Hinche now has the opportunity to sell its tourism potential. Also, among other projects, the mayor intends to put state land at the disposal of those who propose to invest considerably in his municipality. Hinche is geographically located at the crossroads of other departments of the country. The idea of ​​developing alternative tourism can pay off as the city can attract the thousands of tourists expected in the coming years in Haiti, including the seaside resort of Labadie (Northern Department). 

Beautiful tourist attractions  

The patronal was an opportunity for the city authorities and its inhabitants to promote the tourism potential of the city center metropolis. A city founded from the colonial times, Hinche seduces visitors with its picturesque side.  It offers scenes of life related to the campaign. On weekdays, we see thousands of peasants who come to sell their food and livestock. Cows and bulls who pull carts or wheelbarrows are all curiosities for tourists.  Equipped with one of the most beautiful modern cathedrals in Haiti, Hinche also houses the oldest cathedral in the countryhis gives a special charm to the city center of this town which could also be established as a tourist destination.  Another tourist attraction is the Pandiassou Ecological Reserve, located southwest of the city. Spread over several hundred hectares of land, it consists of more than 40 artificial lakes and several thousand plants of a great variety.  This work of the Little Brothers of the Incarnation led by Brother Francklin Armand has attracted thousands of European and American tourists for several years. They plan their holidays from a website made available by the Pandiassou team:  A visit to the Central Plateau is not without a detour to Bassin Zim, located 30 minutes from downtown Hinche. This pool, fed by a waterfall, is a beautiful sight for tourists looking for a change of scenery and a place full of secrecy for those who are versed in spiritualism. 

Hinche MAP

Communal map of Hinche, Haiti

Neighborhoods Edit

HIC Hinche 120,867
VHI Ville de Hinche Urban 37,370
QLP Quartier de Los Palis Urban 1,265
JUA 1ère Section Juanaria Rural section 23,135 Abricot, Bois Magot, Bois Rouge, Bourouc, Ca Laville,Caredouc, Carissade, Carrelouc, Casimir, Ducastre, La Croix, La Fleur-du-Sept, La Guam, La Rochiquitte, La Vallée, Les Lattes, Locanone, Mare-Maringuin, Nan Chamboum, Nan Hac, Nan Kinge, Nan Rocher, Nan Train, Ounaraia, Pantassou, Paradis, Pedrogomme, Pierre-Brisard, Principe, Regalie, Reposoir, Rincon, Roche-à-Pierre, Roche-Pilé, Roche-Plate, Rosalie, Salmony, Savane-à-Lagues, Savane-Halaine, Savane-Line, Savanette, Tablon, Terre-Cassée
MMO 2ème Section Marmont Rural 16,670 Baycite, Bintorrible, Caraba, Caraplaine, Danizard, Doco, Dolo, Dos Roche, Hatte-Cantave, La Bègue, La Cour-Gadichon, La Hine, La Mécette, Lapati, Latrémare, Lomoraine, Malary, Marmont, Méréhil, Mme Georges, Pabdocal, Quépont, Ravine-Fond, Samadère, San Jose, Sapaterre, Savanette, Tamarin
AGU 3ème Section Aguahedionde (Rive Droite) Rural section 20,312 Ange-de-Joie, Bailly, Bas Jacob, Bassin-Beouf, Bassin-Soleil, Caba-Soleil, Cahobé, Canielle, Carobite, Démarague, Dlo Coq, Fond-Miguel, Fond-Piquant, Garde, Garde-Savane, Haut-Jacob, Jacob, Lacabri, La Cange, Laguardiane, La Partie, Le Higuey, Losannone, Los Palis, Nan Dalle, Nan Pomme, Nan Raquette, Nan Roseau, Nan Saut, Nan Ti Palto, Palma, Palsata, Platarage, Saint-Léger, Sansou, Savane Papaye, Tchaque, Terre Blanche
AGH 4ème Section Aguahedionde (Rive Gauche) Rural 22,115 Began-Nabé, Boroc, Ca Soie, Cayahonde, Céde, Colladère, Corbana, En-Bas-Colladère, Grand-Latanier, Guanide, Hatte Pére, Jasmin, La Belonne, Laboc, La Boqué, La Chacone, La Gardule, Lata, Liblanc, Lorodiague, Los Mamones, Los Pines, Mac-Bonite, Maria-Lapa, Mauric, Menis, Nan Bois d'orme, Nan Couine, Nan Vincent, Pecaique, Poloa, Ramadie, Rodé, Samana, Vieux Parc

References / Links Edit

Hinche [1]

Haiti Renouveau - Ville Hinche [2]

Hinche: The patronal oriented towards tourism [3]

Michael Vedrine