|A view of Pétion-Ville's hillside|
A view of Pétion-Ville's hillside
Pétion-Ville is a commune and a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the hills east and separate of the city itself on the northern hills of the Massif de la Selle. It was named after Alexandre Sabès Pétion (1770–1818), the Haitian general and president later recognized as one of the country's four founding fathers. The district is primarily a residential and tourist area. Pétion-Ville is part of the city's metropolitan area, one of the most affluent areas of the city, where the majority of tourist activity takes place, and one of the wealthiest parts of the country. Many diplomats, foreign businessmen, and a large number of wealthy citizens do business and reside within Pétion-Ville.
Despite the distance from the capital and the general affluence of the district, the lack of administrative enforcement has led to the formation of shantytowns on the outer edges of the district, as poor locals migrate upward and have settled there in search of job opportunities.
Culture and nightlife
Pétion-Ville is a wealthier part of Haiti, in which many multiracial Haitians live. Avenues like Laboule and Morne Calvaire are known for their palatial mansions. There is an extreme, almost feudal divide between rich and poor in Haiti. The gated and privately guarded neighborhoods resemble a Haitian version of Beverly Hills, but with razor wire. Most residents of Pétion-Ville are affluent in comparison with residents of most other parts of the country. Pétion-Ville has more security than the center of Port-au-Prince, and in general, than the other major cities of Haiti. The community is very stable, with nightlife and business conducted with an appearance of western normality, in striking contrast to many other parts of greater Port-au-Prince.
The hillside suburban town is filled with nightclubs, beauty salons, fitness gyms and French restaurants. Businesses which cater to tourists are commonplace, and parties and get-togethers often take place at night. Establishments often host considerable expatriates and foreigners of a similar calibre.
The famous El Rancho hotel is situated in Pétion-Ville. It was built from the private estate of Albert Silvera, a sports car and luxury car collector who was also one of the pioneers of Haiti's hotel industry.
On 12 January 2010, around 5:53pm, a 7.0 earthquake struck the Pétion-Ville area. The earthquake collapsed a hospital in the city. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed many buildings in Port-au-Prince, and a lot of homes in the Montana area including the Hotel Montana.
The Club de Pétion-Ville (Petion-Ville Club) golf course has been changed into a tent city by the US Army and now houses 50,000 to 80,000 Haitians. Its tennis courts host the US 82nd Airborne. The club was built in the 1930s, and had only around 300 members at the time. The golf clubhouse has been turned into a field hospital. In early February 2010, the Israeli-based humanitarian organization, IsraAid, opened a child education center in the Pétion-Ville tent city, in conjunction with other agencies, such as Operation Blessing. The center was set up initially in the tents from the IDF’s field hospital.
The "Muncheez" pizza restaurant has been turned by the owners into a community soup kitchen. It has been serving approximately 1,000 free meals a day. Prior to the quake, the restaurant chain was a place where few even in Pétion-Ville could afford to eat. After the quake, owners realized that the food stored at the three restaurants would spoil before it would get back into business and decided to give it all away. Although still living in the streets, the cooks still came to cook for the masses. Owners distributed blue bracelets throughout Pétion-Ville, one bracelet for one meal. They selected one of the outlets to become the soup kitchen, and moved all 105 employees to that site to cook the food. When food ran out after two days, the Hôtel Montana donated what could be salvaged from their freezers. After fuel, cooking oil and food started to rundown, a convoy from relatives of the owners in the Dominican Republic arrived, funded by donations with more food and fuel. USAID delivers fuel, cooking oil and food to cook as well now, and World Vision is providing bulgur and lentils.
Electricity was restored to some sectors at the beginning of February.
The Club de Pétion-Ville country club was built in the 1930s, and has Haiti's only golf course, a 9-hole course. It also contains tennis courts and swimming pools. The "Club de Pétion-Ville" is not actually located in the suburb of Pétion-Ville, but to the northwest in the foothills.
The city has a hospital which collapsed in the 12 January 2010 quake.
- Institut Haïtien de Statistique et d'Informatique - 2003 Census
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