Below is a review, from Reason, of Jonathan Katz's book on the shortcomings of the international community's efforts to "save" Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. While no response to the aftermath earthquake, no matter how well-organized or well-resourced would have been sufficient, he emphasizes that the subsequent reconstruction effort was hobbled by a top-down approach that excluded governmental institution, weak as they may have been, local firms, and community groups. To read an excerpt or purchase the book, take a look at Amazon.
Today is Haitian Flag Day, a national holiday celebrated around the country by all. This past weekend, while travelling through the country side, I ran into many repetitions and parades with adolescents marching on the streets and stomping out lyrics of national unity. Small paper flags on splintered sticks are carried everywhere and perched in the tautly pulled back hair of young girls and woman alike. Students from all schools come together to march down main roads, and onlookers wave their flags cheerfully. Scouts-- boys, girls and adults-- take the opportunity to don their khaki uniforms and yellow scarves, among others in solid blue and red, the colors of the Haitian flag. The festivities glimmer with the same level of pride from which the country was born. It gives one a good feeling.
It takes more than elections to have a healthy democracy. There are many other important factors, one of which is freedom of the press. This is something that we often take for granted in the United States. In countries like Haiti, journalism has historically been a dangerous business, especially when it informs and empowers the poor. In the lead up to World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, Freedom House released its 2009 International Press Freedom report, which noted improvements in Haiti. This is good news indeed.
In the wake of the “food riots” the details of subsidies and international aid are still being hammered out and parliament still can’t get past determining if the prime minister elect’s grandmother’s birth certificate is in order as everyday Haitians go on living.
In one of Bourik’s latest hoofs to the Northeast of Haiti he ran into an old friend, 8 year old Trou du Nord heavy, Beterson. While sitting outside the hitching post, observing the normal street commotion Bourik felt a looming presence.
During a recent stroll to Jakzil Bourik (BOS) happens upon the unfortunate fate of a hoofed brethren in an unlikely place, a big blackened pot with sauce and yams. But he keeps himself composed and manages an interview.
Bourik On Street is your number-one source for on-the-ground coverage from Haiti.