ÎLE DE LA TORTUE, Haiti: The journey behind the story — Haiti’s island without hope – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com

000asgNor.St.56Like the nearby grimy, dusty city of Port-de-Paix, this island in Haiti’s neglected northwest, is where some of the Haiti’s poorest of the poor live. Drought, man-made and natural disasters have all wrecked havoc over the years, stripping away the winds of hope that sail through here with every presidential election, every international community involvement.

“We’ve been forgotten,” Estella Coicou, a mother of a 9-year-old girl born with stumped legs would later tell me. “We don’t have anyone here who represents us. No parliamentarians, no one. Me? I’m never voting again.”

Our negotiations to reach the island began in a restaurant at a filing station in Port-de-Paix, one of Haiti’s largest and most neglected big cities. In the far northwest, it is disconnected from Port-au-Prince, the capital. It has a lawless, cowboy feel.

A local contact put me in touch with Sagesse-Fils Loriston. Loriston owned several wooden sailboats that ferry passengers between the island and mainland and a canoe that would take us up and down the mangrove-lined coastline. Perhaps more important, he was a CASEC or government representative who had a pulse on residents’ plights. via – MiamiHerald.com


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