Today we crossed over from Haiti into the Dominican Republic via bus from Cap-Haitien to the Jabon border, and then continuing onwards towards Santiago and into the capital of Santo Domingo.
The simplest and most time-saving method is taking the direct 8am Caribe Bus from Cap-Haitien, located on Street 29 and Avenue A. The ride is about $30 USD per person, one way, which also includes a meal and a bottle of water.
2 hours in you’ll hit the less popular northern border crossing at Ouanaminthe (second in popularity to the southern border crossing between Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo) as you head towards the Dominican Republic border town of Dajabón.
We then drove across the river from Ouanaminthe to Dajabon by the border, the very site where 20,000 Haitian migrant workers were massacred by the DR government in 1937 as a result of intense competition for jobs:
Then we realized we were crossing on a Friday, which is “Market Day.”
“Market Day” is when the Jabon border opens up a little bit between the two countries to exchange goods and trade; essentially it really means when thousands of Haitians cross over into Jabon carrying only cash and they return back into Haiti with bags, baskets, crates, carts, and jeep-loads of food, fruits, supplies, and the kitchen sink.
Take a look at the pictures…Haitians heading to the right into the DR aren’t carrying anything, while Haitians heading to the left into Haiti are carrying almost everything under the sun.
It was interesting to see what I’ve read about in the news come to life before my eyes.
The overland border crossing is simple: pay $10 for the tourist card into the DR (DR citizens don’t have to pay this) and $10 for leaving Haiti. For us, Caribe Bus made us pay $20 ahead of time when we bought our tickets in Cap-Haitien. Then Haiti stamps you out, and we got back on the bus, gave our passports to the Dominicans, drove a bit to a warehouse and got our bags searched:
We noticed in the warehouse that if you’re not Haitian, the Dominicans don’t even bother looking through your stuff other than a quick look and patdown. If you are Haitian, however, they go all out on your luggage looking for smuggled items/contraband/drugs.
We then got back on the bus and picked up our stamped passports from the Dominicans. Then you’ll see things you never saw once ever in Haiti: paved highways, road dividers, traffic decals. Now you know you’re in the Dominican Republic.
Thanks for the warmth, the hospitality, the views and the memories, Haiti.
We arrived into Santo Domingo around 9 hours later since boarding in Cap Haitien, at around 5pm.
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- At time of posting in Santiago, it was 21 °C - Humidity: 100% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: scattered clouds