Les Cayes (Kreyol: Okay) is a port city and chief commune of Les Cayes Arrondissement in the Southern department on the Carribean Shore of Haiti. In 1815 the South American liberator Simón Bolívar visited the port to accept Haitian arms and a contingent of troops to aid him in his fight against Spain.


Promotioal flyer; Les Cayes, SD, Haiti


Historical map of the city


At the time of the Spaniards, the town of Les Cayes was called Salvatierra de la Sabana, (English: "the land saved from the waters"). The current plan of this city is no different from that established in 1786 by the engineer Philipeau. The municipality has eight communal sections. The city is coastal and the communal sections are inland. The dominant terrain of the commune is the plain and its climate is warm. Its inhabitants call themselves Cayen. In 1998, the Cayes population was 146 422 inhabitants and that number did not change much in 2015. For an area of 334.3 km2, its density was 438 inhabitants/km2.


Les Cayes, Haiti



Simón Bolivar

Founded in 1786, Les Cayes was plagued by disease and pirates during colonial times. In 1815 the South American liberator Simón Bolívar visited the port to accept Haitian arms and a contingent of troops to aid him in his fight against Spain. The town was badly damaged by fire in 1908 and by hurricane in 1954. Les Cayes was the scene of a massacre in December 1929 when U.S. marines killed a dozen peasants protesting poor economic conditions under U.S. occupation. Les Cayes is Haiti’s leading southern port, exporting sugar, coffee, bananas, cotton, timber, dyewood, and hides. Historic landmarks include an arsenal and several forts dating from buccaneer times. Poor roads led to the town’s isolation for much of the 20th (1900s) century, but a paved highway now links it to the national capital, Port-au-Prince.

In 2003, the population was 48,095.


Carrefour de Quatre Chemins; Les Cayes, SD, Haiti


At the level of the economic and financial infrastructure, the municipality has ten hotels, four pensions, 11 restaurants, two banks, a Caisse populaire and twelve marketing cooperatives.

Trade, crafts and industry are the predominant activities of the commune. The commune of Les Cayes is better equipped with economic establishments than the other communes of the department. There are five gas stations, two private morgues, 12 pharmacies, 6 Photocopy services, ten Beauty Studios, and three dry cleaning, amongst others.

Les Cayes Locator

Location in Haiti



The Ministry of the National Education for Youth and Sports is represented in the commune of Les Cayes by a departmental office. Twenty six kindergarten, several primary schools and several secondary schools were inventoried in the municipality. In addition, there are four technical and vocational schools, seven Literacy centers, universities and higher accounting, secretarial and informatics schools.


Bethanie k-12 school; Les Cayes, Haiti


Hospital Immaculee Conception, Les Cayes


The Ministry of Public Health and Population has been represented in the commune by a departmental office for twenty-seven years. The municipality of Les Cayes is well equipped with sanitary facilities, there are three hospitals, a health center without a bed, a sanatorium and five clinics with a very varied staff.


With regard to water resources, the municipality has four rivers, 60 springs and a lake. From the capture of some sources, the CARE and the Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti has endowed the commune with artesian wells and public fountains (equipped with taps or pumps). The city and most of its communal sections are electrified.


Les Cayes, Haiti



Haiti National Police - Les Cayes

With regard to administrative and judicial infrastructures, the commune of Les Cayes has a court of appeals, a peace court, a public prosecutor's office and a civil court. There is a National Police office d' Haiti (PNH), two civil status offices and one prison.


Gelee Beach; Les Cayes, Haiti.



More than 100 churches (temples and chapels included) were counted in the Commune of Les Cayes. The prevalent faiths are Catholic, Bishops, Baptist, Adventist, Pentecostal, Church of God, Jehovah's Witness, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Six political parties are represented in the municipality in addition to the 31 Popular organizations, four peasant groups, four Women's groups, seven non and two international organizations that have been listed in the municipality.


Les Cayes Cathedral


The city is equipped with telephone service. There are ten radio stations and three television stations in Les Cayes, there is no newspaper/magazine.


Botanical Garden LC

Botanical Garden; Les Cayes, Haiti

The municipality has three libraries, three theatres, three movie theatres, and no museum. Sports practiced are football (soccer), basketball, athletics, volleyball, cycling and tennis. Three night clubs and Seven Gaguères have been inventoried in the municipality. There are also five public place and one historic place.

The monuments and sites of the commune are of colonial, historical and natural types. The City of Les Cayes remains important in the history of the Republic of Haiti. It should be noted that Les Cayes is also the homeland of many Chiefs of State: Charles Hérard Ainé (Haque River), Lysius Félicité, Salomon Jeune, Michel Domingue, Boisrond Canal and Antoine Simon and, the composer of the song Haiti, darling, Othello Bayard.


Les Cayes, Haiti


CYS Les Cayes 151,696
VCY Ville des Cayes Urban 86,780
Quartier de Laborde Urban 1,262
BDT 1ère Section Bourdet Urban

Rural Total


18,351 71,622

Agard, Bambou, Bois l'Etat, Bourdet, Branda, Carrefour Calumette, Carrefour des Quatre-Chemins, Carrefour Deux-Mapou, Castel-Pére, Cayajant, Charpentier, Coquette, Corbillère, Croix-Matyre, Danton, Dutruche, Fogas, Gelée, La Croix, La Gaudray, Leroux, Longue-Fosse, Marsay, Piloge, Reynaud, Vernet.
FNF 2ème Section Fonfrède Rural 7,489 Cadet, Camp-Gérard, Carrefour Canse, Citadelle, Dabarelle, Démon, Fonfrède, Galais, Génères, Goufan, Laval, Major, Mercy, Nicolas, Paulin, Pesmerle, Picot, Savannette, Simon, Tuffet-Ainé.
LBD 3ème Section Laborde Rural Section 10,567 Anadère, Barnate, Bois Laborde, Ca Durand, Carrefour Dollin, Costa, Diéte, Doual, Godet, La Borde, Le Pinay, Marchand, Remadin, Vilou.
LAU 4ème Section Laurent Urban

Rural Total


10,852 44,361

Bergeraud, Ca Bique, Ca Chérisme, Desplantes, Laurent, Madame Jean-Pierre, Nan More, Yersières.
MCY 5ème Section Mercy Rural 7,544 Bourjolly, Condé, Demuzaine, Dollin, Duverseau, Fond-des-Frais, Fond-Justin, Fraise, Labarrière, Langlois, Madeque.

BMR 6ème Section Boulmier Rural 8,851 Bellevue, Boulmier, Casure, Clivier, Coton, Despavines, Digo-Solon, Grand-Fond-Delmas, La Porte, Macome, Mopolice, Morency, Nan Café, Sourdins, Totolo, Zombi.



Les Cayes - [2]

Haiti O Michael Vedrine