Where We Work
Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable is located in the city of Saint-Marc, 2.5 miles north of Saint-Marc’s city center.
Saint-Marc was founded in 1695 and 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 a 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.
Who was Jean-Baptiste Point Du Sable?
Our school’s namesake, Jean-Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in 1750 in Saint-Marc, Sainte-Domingue (now Haiti) and died Aug. 28, 1818 in St. Charles, Missouri U.S. He was a Haitian born, black pioneer trader and founder of the settlement that later became the city of Chicago.
Du Sable, whose French father had moved to Haiti and married a black woman there, is believed to have been a freeborn. At some time in the 1770s he went to the Great Lakes area of North America, settling on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River. His loyalty to the French and the Americans led to his arrest in 1779 by the British, who took him to Fort Mackinac.
From 1780 to 1784 he managed a trading post called the Pinery on the St. Clair River in present-day Michigan, after which he returned to the site of Chicago. By 1790 Du Sable’s establishment there had become an important link in the region’s fur and grain trade.
In 1800 he sold the trading post and moved to Missouri, where he continued as a farmer and trader until his death. In his 20-year residence on the shores of Lake Michigan he established his title as Father of Chicago.
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Hand in Hand for Haiti
100 United Nations Plaza, 43D
New York, NY 10017
Pointe du Sable
Route Nationale #1 Pont-Leocan