A street, Rue du cimetiere, of Grande-Riviere-du-Nord, Haiti on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. Photo by Rejy Joseph Roc for the Haitian Times

GRANDE-RIVIÈRE-DU-NORD, Haiti—Nestled in the northern region about 20 miles north of Cap-Haitien is a town whose reputation has grown over time as the birthplace of many Haitian leaders hailing from the region.Established in 1712, Grande-Rivière, as the town of 37,614 residents (2009 census estimate). is called colloquially, , gets its name from the large waterway that flows through the Nord department, one of Haiti's ten departments. It rises in the Massif du Nord mountains, near the town of Cap-Haïtien, and flows north towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Here, local residents and the town’s children in the diaspora proudly share its significance in Haitian history as the birthplace of emblematic personalities such as Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Jean Price Mars and Jean-Baptiste Chavannes. Many politicians, including Henry Namphy and Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, were also born here.

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