On Saturday, March 28, 2020, a mob in northern Haiti set the Joupana resort on fire, burning all four of its buildings. The resort is located in Port Français, a hillside village near Haiti’s northern coast between the town of Labadie and Baie de l’Acul. Its owner is a Haitian-American engineer, Jude Jean-Gilles and his wife, Beatrice. Courtesy of Jude Jean-Gilles....
“My objective was to make a difference in the lives of the people of the community because in Port Français there is not one business, not one industry right now. There is nothing,” Jean-Gilles said. “And the goal was to create jobs, opportunities for the people over there; long-term sustainable investments.”
Although the resort wasn’t making a lot of money, Jean-Gilles said it did attract guests who rented out its 20 rooms, and it employed 15 locals, who are now out of a job because of the fire.
His dream was to turn the 32 acres the resort sits on into a hiking trail that could be an attraction for passengers at Royal Caribbean’s Labadee private cruise destination.