Monday, January 20, 2014

In Post-Earthquake Haiti, a Forgotten Island is Left to Recover on its Own

To traverse the 13-mile stretch of Caribbean Sea to the island of La Gonave, one must choose between three types of boats, none particularly safe.

First there are the “fly boats,” speed boats with outboard motors that race a dozen people from one side to the other. From time to time they flip over. Few records exist as to how many people survive.

Then there are the two large steel ferries that carry a few hundred passengers slowly across the sea each day. In 1997, one of those ferries sank, killing 200.

Last, there are the sailboats — wooden ships built from hand-carved lumber and pieced together with hammered nails. Their canvas masts are reminiscent of those in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie franchise. They carry everything from rice to dry cement, motorcycles, cars and trucks.

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