|• Mayor||André Renard|
|Elevation||228 m (748 ft)|
(7 August 2003)
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
Hinche (Ench in Kréyòl) is a city in central Haiti. It has a population of about 50,000. It is the capital of Centre department. Hinche is the hometown of Charlemagne Péralte, the Haitian nationalist leader who resisted the United States occupation of Haïti (1915-1934).
The majority of the population are of African descent with a small minority being French-African. The official religion is Roman Catholicism, but the constitution allows the free choice of religion. There are also many non Catholic Christian churches in the city and the surrounding communities. Groups, like the Haiti Endowment Fund (HEF) of Southern California send medical missionaries several times a year to provide medicines and basic healthcare. HEF has also helped build community churches. Some of the people also practice voodoo.
The cuisine is Créole, French, or a mixture of both. Créole cuisine is like other Caribbean cuisines, but more peppery. Specialties include griot (deep-fried pieces of pork), lambi (conch, considered an aphrodisiac), tassot (jerked beef) and rice with djon-djon (tiny, dark mushrooms). As elsewhere in the Caribbean, lobster is well-known here. A wide range of microclimates produces a large assortment of fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians will have a difficult time here, because pig fat is often used in food preparation, so even beans are to be avoided.
The people enjoy a strong, sweet coffee—Rebo is one brand, considered by some to be the best. Also popular is the excellent Barbancourt rum.
Interesting cuisine-related features of Hinche, include a market and the “Foyer d’Accueil”, an unmarked guesthouse above a school that is behind a blue and white church on the eastside of the main square.
In the wake of January 12, 2010, while no casualties or serious damage were reported in Hinche, thousands of refugees began pouring into the town.
Hinche can be accessed by road or plane. It has one of the major Haitian airports which has a dirt runway that will allow a small Cessna and single engine planes to land. Usually, these flights are chartered from Port-au-Prince. As of January 2010 there are 3 flights a week to Hinche from Port-au-Prince. East of Hinche, Bassin Zim is a 20 m waterfall in a lush setting, a 30-minute drive from town. In the city you will also find the Cathédrale de Sacré-Coeur.
Route Nationale 3, the 128-km semi-dirt road northeast from Port-au-Prince to Hinche requires a four-wheel drive and takes at least three hours (much longer by public transport). About 70 percent of the this road is now paved as of January 2010. It starts by crossing the Cul-de-Sac plain via Croix-des-Bouquets. Here, a newly improved road branches off southeast through a parched, barren region, skirting Lake Saumâtre before reaching the Dominican border at Malpasse. There are regular flights 3 times a week from Port-au-Prince to the 2,500 foot gravel and rock runway at Hinche. Before a flight comes in livestock and people must be cleared from the airstrip. The airport is located right near center city and right across the street is the hospital. The RN3 heads north out of Mirebalais on to the Central Plateau, where the military crackdown was especially harsh after the 1991 coup because peasant movements had been pressing for change here for years. After skirting the Peligre Hydroelectric Dam, now silted up and almost useless, the road passes Thomonde and reaches this city.
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