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Haiti Day 1 - 2010.04.06

About a million Haitians live in DR, in hope of a better life. We visited one of the villages where they live.

Despite the living situation as you see in these photos, Haiti is much poorer than Dominican Republic. ”In 2003, 80% of all Haitians were poor (54% in abject poverty) and 47.1% were illiterate. The country of nine million people has a fast-growing population, but over two-thirds of the labor force lack formal jobs. Haiti’s per capita GDP (PPP) was $1,300 in 2008, or less than one-sixth of the Dominican figure,” according to CIA World Factbook. Many Haitians immigrated illegally to DR for the prospect of finding a job and a better life.

Judging by their rugged looks, these houses built with metal scraps look like they have style. In reality, these are all that are available to them to construct their homes with. Needless to say, the living condition is poor. The man who brought us to this village was an Italian in his 80s. He and his wife visited DR on a vacation after his retirement. The abject poverty got to him and convicted him to return and do something. Over the last 20 years, he has built over 20 villages, amounting to nearly 5000 homes.

Right beside this village, he built a new village, Villa Esperauza, with homes equipped with electricity, access to clean water, a clinic, and a school.

One person can change the lives of many.

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