During a recent bike trip with my son we made a quick stop at Dajabon. Dajabon is one of the border cities between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. While this wouldn’t be considered one of the safest tourist locations there are some points of interest in Dajabon.
A couple days a week there is free movement across the Rio Masacre as items are moved to be sold mostly on the Dominican Republic side of the river. Large shipments of canned and Jarred food items a well as clothing make their way to Haiti as relief shipments which are often sold at the border and then shipped throughout the Dominican Republic. Much of this can be purchased at the market area near the border. Food and other items from the Dominican Republic are also sold to be shipped across the border to Haiti.
During the rest of the time the border gate is closed to most traffic and border fences are set up to at least provide a line between the two countries although these could easily be passed. In fact while we were standing next to the fences (shown below) a young Haitian boy (about 10) crossed the river and started begging for money. While he was actually very polite it is a little hard to ignore a 10 year old boy standing naked in front of you with his hand out (when I say naked, I mean completely naked).
El Rio Masacre
Separating the Dominican Republic and Haiti is El Rio Masacre or Massacre River. While the river seems to also have another name, the Artibonite River Rio Masacre is what it is called on the maps and on the street signs as you pass by. The name seems to stem from a time where thousands of Haitians were massacred at this border river by the then dictator Trujillo.
Unfortunately by the time we got there it was starting to get late and we didn’t have time to check out the market area. For our next trip we will try to get there the day before they open the borders so we can catch some shots of people crossing the river and filling up the market place. While this is probably not one of the safest areas to be carrying much with you, it should make for an interesting enough trip to be worthy of visiting Dajabon again.