Jpax From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1016 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1425 times:
I've been to Labadee, Haiti on a cruise twice if that counts. It's up there on the list of most gorgeous islands I've been to. The local market people are pushy, but you can get a bargain on anything. Four words- "I only have $___", and it's yours.
But Royal Caribbean had armed guards at the edge of their private property, so that says something about the rest of the island...
Francoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3195 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1416 times:
I have been working in Haiti for a couple of years now (leaving soon, fortunately!) and it has really been an mind opening experience.
This country will just strech your patience to the limit, and it breaks that of most people after a while.
There is a lot of interesting Caribbean history there, but it isn't exploitable touristically 'cos constant political turmoil and insecurity. The country is in a desolate shape and has been plundered by generations of corrupt governements, it's overpopulated and extremely dirty and unhealthy. The education level is very low.
oh, and there's no water, no electricity, no roads (unless you have Jesse James customized Hummer), cable breaks down every couple of days and making a phone call is often more of a challenge than a formality (don't even try the fax). Oh, and try no to get sick there...
There's a couple of nice places in the southwestern region, with nice beaches, waterfalls, and that region is generally safer and a little more develloped, and there is Labadie, as stated above; 2 square Km of heaven in the middle of hell.
Word to the wise, if you don't have to go, don't.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
Skywatch From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 923 posts, RR: 6 Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1397 times:
I've stayed there for two months, and let me tell ya, it was quite the experience. That was the first time in my life to see such extreme poverty and hopelessness. The country is seemingly without order, and has gotten worse since I was there six years ago. Out in the rural areas, some boys and girls don't get their first set of clothes until the age of 5-7. Deforestation has led to climate change, so now a once tropical island has severe localized drought. Still, there are some very incredible people there, and I want to go back soon and see them again! (dang political problems) As a side note, a survey proved it to be the most corrupt nation in the world (out of 163 surveyed).
9V From China, joined Aug 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1385 times:
The Mrs (through a UK charity) sponsors a child over there. She sends a fixed amount each month to help the child with clothes, school and stuff. He occasionally sends letters back to show his progress. I recently read a book which graphically explained Haiti and it's history and I was quite taken aback by it.
BHMNONREV From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1283 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1373 times:
Pretty much concur with most of the sentiments here. Haiti by far is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and you get a general idea of how much of a craphole the country is even before you land in Port-Au-Prince, when landing from the west you get to see Cite Soleil, the cardboard box home capital of the world. Raw sewage in the streets, children with no clothes. Total and utter despair, I don't know how the Haitians do it, but they have a very strong will which allows them to survive..
I was working in Haiti in late '94-early '95 as a US Government contractor, and seeing three and four year old children orphaned on the streets just literally rips your heart out, until you see the seven year old brother or sister who is left to take care of them. Absolutely beyond words..
But drive south out of PAP into the mountains where the town of Petionville is located and you will have thought you had landed in another country. Nice resorts, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Someone once told me that 5% of the population there controls 95% of the wealth. I certainly believe that....