I had no idea what to expect coming to Haiti. Taking into consideration the portrayal of this country in the American media, I thought I might be seriously roughing it for a while. Don’t get me wrong, lots of people do: The wealth divide is a large one and driving down the main streets every day I see many people living and working in conditions that are far less than favorable. But the picture that most Americans have of Haiti is not the whole one; we only see the bad, the poverty, the political unrest, the danger. And while it is important to raise awareness about these things, I’ve personally found it to have the effect of making people want to shut their eyes, cover their ears, change the channel, and write Haiti off as a place where nothing good exists.
But there is so much more to this country: Friendly, fun-loving people, beautiful mountain countrysides and a rich culture that is affected by the political and economic turmoil but not dampened by it. And I would like to share it with you, dear readers. Welcome to the My Haitian Vacation series!
Image: One combination of flickr photos tagged “Haiti” from taggalaxy.com. Hat tip: SciencePunk