Posted by: Lydia | July 1, 2011

Dajabon Market Redux

As some of you long-time readers may remember, back in August 2010 Matt and I took a trip to our (then) regional capital to outfit our pink shack with the finest in housewares that the Dajabon international market has to offer. Despite living only an hour away (both then and now), I hadn’t returned until today. Memories of the dust, heat, and constant terror of being robbed or run over by a gigantic rickshaw/wheelbarrow hybrid laden with produce kept me away for almost a year. However, a few PCV friends came to visit this week, and the Haitian market is a must-see for any intrepid traveler to the northwest… and not nearly as bad as it seemed to me when I only had 5 months in country. No words or even pictures can accurately portray the crush of humanity and desperate commerce that is the Dajabon market, a flat plain of dried mud in view of the bridge spanning the Massacre River, the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Sin embargo, here are the photos of the day:

One of the ubiquitous daihatsu trucking rice from Dajabon to Montecristi and beyond.


The commercial bridge to Haiti. Merchants bring over their wares on giant homemade wheeled contraptions or more frequently their heads.

I was actually trying to get a picture of a guy laden with live chickens behind this woman… but as you can see not everyone is thrilled to see gringos brandishing cameras.

The other guy was carrying twice as many.

View of one of the two Dajabon/Haiti bridges.

Mass exodus as market day comes to a close.

Creepily keeping the peace.

“The construction of this binational market of Dajabon should be finished in 122 days. A sacrifice from everyone for a dignified market!” – management committee. TODAY GOES 80 DAYS

Outside the produce section of the market

Our friend and long-time fellow compañera de la línea Claire scored four chairs and a coffee table for 1,000 pesos today, so we helped her carry them through the rest of our Dajabon excursion. Here we are taking them to gawk at perhaps the only border crossing in the world between two less-than-friendly countries where carrying chairs on your head is acceptable behavior.

El Rio Masacre, the physical border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. That’s Haiti to the right.

The border gates, and also the closest I will get to Haiti during my service (PCDR volunteers are forbidden to cross into Haiti).

View of the other bridge to the international market.

View into Haiti

An enormous sow eating scraps in an ad-hoc produce market.

A lunch truck reflecting the binational character of Dajabon. “Tout bagay” means “some of everything” in Haitian Kreyol.



  1. Thanks for the neat pictures! I was wondering if they could have gotten a few more bags of rice on the Daihatsu? 🙂

  2. What a neat experience you are having. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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