Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and according to UN statistics, the second most food-insecure nation in the world. Many of the over 10 million Haitians do not have enough food or clean water on a regular basis.
The annual income in Haiti is less than $250 per year. Cite Soleil, a slum in Port au Prince, has 200,000 people “living” in desperately inhumane conditions on five square kilometers of land. The Human Development Index for Haiti (which measures longevity, knowledge and standard of living) is the lowest of any country outside of Africa.
Haitian children grow up in a society plagued by political unrest, fears, superstitions, witchcraft, illiteracy, and poverty. Yet despite the obstacles which the Haitian people face, they maintain a sense of dignity and pride which is often amazing and inspiring to foreigners who come to visit Haiti.
Haitians maintain a sense of hope and respect in the face of grinding poverty. This sense of hope in the face of such desperate poverty is summed up by what was written on a T-shirt worn by a Haitian lady walking through a desperately poor area of Port au Prince, “Despite all of my problems, I am proud to be Haitian.”
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