Cholera returns to Haiti as nation lurches from one crisis to the next. Haiti is considered one of the most destitute countries in the world. Most Haitians live off the land, and millions have fled to the U.S. and other countries for fear of violence or civil war.
In this series, The Nation examines how the country has slipped from one crisis to another.
Haiti is considered one of the world’s most destitute countries, but for those who live on its rugged shoreline, it’s a dream come true.
Haiti is the fourth poorest country in the Western hemisphere and was one of the poorest in the world in the first half of 2010. Before the earthquake struck, the capital of Port-au-Prince was a dilapidated, impoverished city. Today, it’s known as the most successful city in the hemisphere.
On the shore of Lake Pont-Couvre, on the outskirts of the capital, are the largest private marinas in the Western Hemisphere; the largest hotel complex in the Caribbean, and the tallest building in the region. On an isolated peninsula, a short ferry ride from the capital, is a thriving fishing village that’s home to the only Michelin star restaurant in the country and is known for its high-end shopping and nightlife — even at the height of the day.
But the dream of a life of luxury and stability as one of the world’s top 5 cities is just that: a dream.
For the past four years, the country has been caught in a spiraling crisis that, in many ways, is reminiscent of the Great Depression. But as the crisis deepens, no one foresaw it coming.
Haitians have witnessed the economic fall-out from the devastating earthquake that struck in 2010. Then, there was the collapse of Haiti’s economy, a slow recovery and, finally, the worst hurricane to ever hit the country.
And now, there’s this: At least 2,500 people are dying every month from the cholera epidemic, which has reemerged in the impoverished country after more than two years of dormancy.
In the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, the cholera crisis shows no signs of abating. But in the past year, an American doctor at the University of Miami’s tropical medicine hospital has discovered why people are dying from the condition. That patient has become a national symbol of what’s coming, and what’s left