Ungovernable, devastating, heartbreaking, environmental disaster.
These are just a few of the words that turned up after I did a quick Google search on Haiti ahead of my trip several months ago. In search of positive travel stories highlighting what was once known as “The Pearl of the Caribbean”, I was extremely disappointed (though hardly surprised) to only find negative articles detailing the catastrophic earthquake of 2010 paired with horrific tales of violence, extreme poverty and tragedy. While I am a romantic, I won't kid myself and insult your intelligence by attempting to romanticize the living conditions that exist for majority of Haitians living in Port au Prince and its surrounding areas (where most of the damage from the earthquake occurred). Though it certainly doesn't incite any wanderlust, there is merit to some of those articles and still a desperate need for every honest missionary and NGO that will work to provide resources and opportunities amidst all the turmoil.
But is it fair to judge an entire nation on one city's misfortune? Don’t violence, poverty, and tragedy exist just about everywhere in the world? How accurate would it be to market the entire United States globally based solely on the after effects of Hurricane Katrina?
With miles of pristine powder-white sand, cyan blue sea and fringed coconut palm trees found in Port Salut, Les Cayes, I was happy to discover one of several destinations that embodied exactly what I was after: a pleasant alternative to what is typically associated with Haiti.
If only to provide some much needed balance.
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