What about Haiti?

Old Nov 7th, 2002, 09:58 AM
  #1  
Elaine
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What about Haiti?

Why is it that I never see anyone posting about a vacation in Haiti?
I've heard that the people are quite friendly there and that there is some very fine snorkeling. Can anyone tell me about a holiday they've taken in Haiti?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #2  
Troll
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Yes some fine reviews in Soldier and Fortune magazine
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #3  
notme
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If someone GAVE me a vacation to Haiti I wouldn't go.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 05:17 PM
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Beth
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I went to Haiti when I was only six years old on a cruise ship, and it was definitly an a culture shock to me. It was real sad to see all the poverty and the mud houses that the people lived in. All I can say is that I'm thankful that I was born in the USA. I'm glad that there are missionaries from our church that minister to the people there. I wish all people had it as good as we do. It is a very sad thing to witness.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 01:05 PM
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Suzy
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I concur with Beth. Cruise ships used to go there. I went back in the late 70s. What an experience. The poverty is appalling. Even though the country itself is beautiful, you can't get past the poverty. I didn't see any type of hotel or resorts either.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 08:45 PM
  #6  
Cathy
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I have a brother who travels a lot like I do and he has been to Haiti several times. It is a beautiful country and has some of the finest arts and painting in the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, due to the extream political instability of the country, my brother no longer travels there. The Haitians, like the Dominican Repuplicans - they share the same island - are very friendly people. They are the victims of bad politics and extream poverty.

If you want to visit Haiti, Royal Caribbean cruise line has its own private beach port of call in Labadee. The beach is pretty, the water crystal clear, but the snorkeling is non-existant. The vendors at Labadee are the most agressive in the Caribbean. Some people think that Jamaican vendors are agressive, but they have nothing on the shop keepers in Labadee. I will still brave the gauntlet, because of the excellent quality of paintings, dolls, arts and crafts, that you will find no where else in the Caribbean. I also feel good about helping out the people, who are so desperately poor. The average Haitian is lucky is they make $300 in a year.

Deforestation and over fishing have ruined the reef.

If Haiti ever got its political act together, it would be a nice destination. Maybe it will learn by taking a look at what the DR's are doing as far as tourism.
 
Old Nov 9th, 2002, 04:53 AM
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x
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Wow. Cathy should win "Post of the Week" for providing such a well written, informative, and honest response. Thanks Cathy, I learned something.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 04:02 AM
  #8  
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Unfortunately, although the island is beautiful, Haiti is a very sad place. This is a country where the average life expectancy is about 55 years. The poverty is overwhelming -- at least half of the people are what most Americans would consider homeless (i.e., they live in dwellings that would be considered uninhabitable even in the poorest areas in this country; most of the people have never even seen indoor plumbing). There is a wealthy upper class but, due to the extremely high crime rate, they are forced to live in walled compounds with broken glass embedded in the tops of the walls. Most Haitians whom I have met in this country and in Haiti are wonderful people. If you are looking for an educational experience, you might consider Haiti. When you see how the people live, your feelings about how this country treats Haitian refugees might change. It's also very interesting to get a Haitian perspective on American policies re: Aristede, embargoes, etc.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 02:25 AM
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ann
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Hi Elaine:

I went to Club Med in Haiti a long time ago when Baby Doc Duvalier was in power. I traveled independently and stayed for 3 weeks without problems. The other postings are so true - it is very beautiful and very, very poor. The Club there was completely secure and if you enjoy the "Club" atmosphere (do as much or as little as you wish with alot of other folks) it was a good way to experience Haiti. They had many trips such as to the Iron Market, there was a carnival in Port au Prince, sightseeing to different parts of the island, etc. It was a safe was to get around. The native Haitians were so wonderful - some of the most polite and gentle islanders I have ever met. The locals at this club considered it an honor and they appeared to be treated well having their uniforms cleaned and pressed and taking their meals there.

I'm not sure if Club Med Magic Isle in Haiti is still operating but if I went back this is the way I would go.

Oh, also twice a week the club invited local artists to come into the beach area with their work. I still have the primitive I purchased there and transported back to New Hampshire. This club is in St. Anne which has a big beautiful beach; they had dinners on the sand and fireworks; the sunsets were slow and spectacular.

I agree with John about the refugees-Americans don't begin to know how lucky we are. Good luck with your search.

 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 04:00 AM
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johnno
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Unfortunately, the island is less safe for travellers now than it was when Duvalier was in power. Hard as it may be to believe, the economy is much worse now than it was then.
As for Club Med, I think that it is still open.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 05:14 AM
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xyz
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I think Americans know exactly how well they have it. By no menes are they shut out to the rest of the world. In fact, just the opposite due to the many freedoms allowed them.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 03:54 AM
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johnno
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Actually, I don't think that most Americans (including me) realize how lucky we are. No matter how much poverty you see on TV or in magazines, and no matter how much political oppression you read about, it is still a shock to the system to view it in person.
 
Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:50 PM
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Warning this post may offend you because it's a little emotional.

Hello though I agree that Haiti is poor, so are many parts of the world. Considering how close Haiti is to America, it' worth seeing because of the effect it's culture (African/Spanish/French) has had on the States. Haitians are descendants of former freed slaves, there are no original Haitians. They produced goods that were traded and sold within the U.S. The States and Haiti had an interdependent relationship for many years, they did not exist independently. The U.S needed Haiti for the cheap goods the free labor provided. Now Haiti is an "independent" country.?! The U.S has to take some responsibility, Haiti didn't create itself and we can't blame the French. That wasn't that long ago.

Boatloads of Haitians are coming ashore on North Miami Beach every week, the poverty is not that far away. Walk around North Miami on a Friday night and you will see plenty of instability and violence as well as torrid poverty. Haitian people are incredibly gentle and sweet especially compared to the average. If you want to see "Voodoo" or "Santiera" you can do that in New Orleans or Miami right? Why go to Haiti for that? Haitians and Brazilians practice their religion in lots of places. It's a peaceful African religion older than Catholicism and we know about it because Haitians and Brazilians are descended from African slaves that were brought here by U.S. Spanish and French slave ships. One more reason to respect the Haitian culture.

When will Miami wake up and allow Haitians to stay instead of turning their boats away when Cubans are welcomed with open arms? Both countries are poor, Haiti is considered the worst because of AIDS and the color of the people. AIDS is rampant due to lack of education, do we think that AIDS will somehow stay in Haiti and get better if we do nothing? Most Haitians don't even know how it's transmitted. The U.S could help illegal immigrants from Haiti with AIDS if they chose to but they choose not to. The closed door policy will not work and make the crisis worse in Miami. Haitians are non entities to the U.S, non beings. Tourism, if that is the answer then I am all for it. We become empowered by what we see. Haitians are not hell bent on infecting the world with AIDS.

If I am purchasing locally made goods, I do not feel afraid, maybe I am different but I have seen cars burning and complete chaos in Miami, I can't imagine it could be worse than the ghettos of Miami Beach. Haitians are ten times nicer too. It's sad to see boatloads of people picked up off the beach by police in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon and sent promptly back. It's not reported in the paper when this happens, but when Cubans arrive in a boat it's on the front page. Haitians deserve a chance too, they are hard working and family oriented. Drugs not poverty is what causes crime. Americans have to see what they are turning away everyday, maybe if more people visited Haiti we wouldn't have such a law in Miami. Haitians are Miami's most precious resource. Without Haitians South Florida would shut down in a day. They are Smart and Hardworking. That kind of democracy makes me sick especially since Haitians only want a chance, if you knew Haitian people like I do then you would feel the same.

My thoughts,
Julie
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 09:17 PM
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Julie; you are so right. But, the world is indeed unfair. Haiti is the poorest of all the Caribean isand nations. Even so, the Haitians have roots; they have an identity. Unlike other peoples taken prisoner and catapulted from their African villages to be "seasoned" in Caribean islands before the last leg of their journey to be sold as compliant slaves in the U.S., the Haitians revolted and took over the island centuries ago. They continued to sucessfully fight off repression in bloody battles from "civilized" western powers. Because of this, despite their extreme poverty, they still have a sense of belonging, a feeling of independence and self-reliance. This is shown in their art and initiative. Enjoyed reading your post. Robert
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Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 03:45 AM
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JulieHHH: very emotional indeed...do you live in Florida? You can't possibly be Haitian though, as I (of Haitian origin) found some parts of your post offensive.
"Haitian people are incredible gentle and sweet especially compared to the average"..what does that mean?? I'm sick and tired of people's PATERNALISTIC attitudes..there are good and bad people everywhere...regardless of race, gender, country of origin.
And excuse me but we don't ALL practice "voodoo"..most of us are just catholics. I won't even go into the other offensive comments.
Elaine: Unfortunately Haiti is a disaster, economically and politically.
My family left under the Duvaliers. One of my uncles and my half-sister still live there. My uncle is a doctor and my sister has her own business. I've never talked about security with my uncle but I can tell you that my sister and her husband walk around with an armed guard, with another one posted in front of their house. My husband who is American wants to see Haiti but I'm not willing to take him. The last time I went, it broke my heart. The poverty is extreme. Elaine, I have lived in Africa in a country considered "poor". I think Haiti was worst (maybe it's just in my mind because I care a bit more).
There are some BEAUTIFUL beaches in Haiti with that crystal-clear water we all love. I'm just hoping Haiti can bounce back with tourism. It won't be easy though.
P.S. to Julie: for your information, it's not for Miami to change its policy towards Haitians but the President and Congress.



 
Old Jun 4th, 2003, 09:06 AM
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For your information, I don't have to be Haitian to care about the laws in Miami, just because you do not want to do anything about it doesn't mean others will not act.

Luckily for me and my friends you can't control what other people do or think.

People in Miami do elect officials and so it is up to the people of Miami to act and they are. I am sure my Haitian friends do not care about your EGO or or mine.

Julie
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Old Jun 5th, 2003, 05:39 AM
  #17  
caribtraveler
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It has nothing to do with my ego, Julie.
It doesn't matter what Miami officials do! The law is a FEDERAL law!! The President and Congress have to change it!! Until then, there's nothing Miami officials can do but follow the current FEDERAL laws!!
Don't try to make points when you don't have your facts right.
And I'm sorry but do you know me personally because you just ASSUMED I'm not doing anything.
Typical...



 
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