Les Allumettes Haitiennes LAHSA Gonaives

Les Allumettes Haitiennes LAHSA Gonaives

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Gonaives, a home of sixty thousand people, is famous for two products: malaria and matchsticks. 'Les Allumettes Haitiennes S.A', was a single match factory in Gonaives; it was a place where about 30 people were employed to make matchsticks from the planks of New Orleans aspen and Colombian poplar. The factory started with the dumped stock of Swedish and Czechoslovakian matches that arrived Gonaives by ship from Miami. 'Pierrot,' the last owner of 'Les Allumettes Haitiennes S.A' used to spend hours in the factory building full of phosphorus smells. He inherited the business from Pierre Léon St Rémy, his father, a great trader of Gonaives. The local residents still prefer to call this 1.4 acre match factory property by its old name "Les Allumettes Haitiennes SA". However, because of government corruption and civil unrest the business was forced to move to India 30 years ago. In India, it still produces 90% of the matches sold in Haiti today.

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