Cite Soleil Haiti Map

Share with Friends

I plan to visit Cite Soleil in the next few days. Cité Soleil, Haiti is a city reporters love to report about, yet never go, the perfect NGO poster child. Anything written is fair game, there is no oversight, no need to get the facts even remotely correct. It is intriguing Journalism phenomenon how gossip transforms itself into facts. The name Cite Soleil has a ring to it, easy to remember, what a great name for a slum. Cité Soleil, even the little accent on the e gives it a special feeling. What does Cité Soleil mean in French or Creole; I would translate it as “City in the Sun.” Maybe you can say, “Sun City.”



City in the Sun, or Cité Soleil, Haiti, there are two slums, the one is just not as famous.

---------------------------------
Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Wednesday, December 23, 2009
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com
Travel Gear
---------------------------------

I am realizing Cité Soleil may represent Haiti; this city could epitomize the image the world has of Haiti. Generally, the people of Haiti are nice, friendly, not too aggressive, and great people. I will give an example the other day, a girl was walking along the street with a pile of clothing for sale on her head, one of the pieces fell off, a man stopped and picked it up for her. To watch this was a miracle of human kindness, this is not the planet earth I know.

Economically Dangerous Journalism

Cities like Cite Soleil, Haiti are perfect stories for reporters, maybe the city is dangerous, and maybe it is safe, this is not important. What happens though, they readers generalize from a specific to the whole.

Cite Soleil is dangerous, therefore Port-au-Prince is dangerous.
Cite Soleil is dangerous, therefore Haiti is dangerous.

I sometimes say to myself,
“Forgive them God, they know not what they do.”

Where was I

I do not sit in my room reading catastrophe articles; I get annoyed when the world says Global Warming is a crisis. We cannot even prove it exists, yet it is a crisis.

Where was I when everyone defined Haiti as a dangerous country?
Where was I when they made Cite Soleil the worst slum on the planet?

Readers, people, they will say outrageous comments about Cite Soleil, they can even cite references, and it just spins out of control. Perception is more important than reality, and truly, I would be more afraid to enter the ghetto in Detroit than Cite Soleil. Them Rappers and Gang Bangers all have guns; I have yet to meet a person in Haiti who could afford to buy a gun.

I always hold on to one belief, generally people do not kill; generally people do not hurt other people for no reason. Generally, they do not rob, steal, cheat; you have to either be unlucky of volunteer.

Will they keep my change, yes. Why, because it is always fair to steal from rich people. Did you cheat on your taxes last year, I already know the answer, and the USA government is rich.

I asked Mathew, my little drunk friend,
“Will you take me to Cite Soleil?”
He says,
“Yes.”

You would think he would hesitate, think about it, even pause, it was not an issue, and it was yes. This is the test of danger, asks a taxi driver to take you to a specific location. They will say no if there a problem, and the reason you are stupid to rent cars, gee dear, this looks nice, lets drive down that road, you accidentally drive into the hood.

I will take a Tap Tap, I do not ride in outlandish signs of wealth into dangerous areas, my mother my dress me funny, but she did not raise a fool.

What do you want me to investigate in Cite Soleil?

Note, Mom, do not read about Cite Soleil in Wikipedia.org.

Cite Soleil Haiti Map

Andy,

A trip to Cite Soleil, excellent.

"What do you want me to investigate in Cite Soleil?"

1. Drinking water delivery and quality.
2. Sanitation.
3. How (if) they pirate electricity.
4. What's going on at the dock/port at the end of the main drag.

Eric


Pato

The first rule of journalism is that you must confirm what your audience already "knows." Whether it is correct or not is impertinent, whether you can back yourself up is even less important. If you present the world in the way people already see it, you will not be questioned. "Truth" is just the opinion of the most people in a certain social sector (an audience). Journalism is its audience's way of maintaining the status quo and confirming what they already "know" about the world -- because that is what is expected.

It is a cycle: the audiences' preconceived notions are confirmed through what appears in the media, the media must seek to confirm the perspective of their audience -- or they will risk loosing their audience. It is just entertainment, and they are giving people what they want under the disguise of "news" and objectivity. Two very phony endeavors as far as I am concerned.

But journalism should, ideally, be the exact opposite of this. Audience should be the last thing on a journalist's or an editor's mind when bringing out a story.

Wade


Find out of much a "restavek" slave costs these days and what determines the price and when do they get to go free ?


Gadget

Simpatico
Great comments, I did some research on the Restavek. I refuse to call these children slaves.

90 percent of the children in the orphanage in Leogane had living parents who did more or less the same and gave their children to Jasmine and Greg Martinson. This is why the word orphanage offends me, foster family is closer to correct and the word slave is mostly a lie.

Does a father force his son to work for free?
Yes, since the beginning of time.


Andy:
I'd like you to try to determine how the citizens of Cite Soleil treat "the poor," "the crazy," and "the retarded" that is, how do they treat those amongst them who have the most problems with which to contend.


travis

A just-released study says about half the chilrdren in Cite Soleil are household slaves.

I think more information on this practice would make a good blog entry.

Travis


See this CNN article just published on Christmas Eve:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/12/24/haiti.child.slaves/index.html

(CNN) -- As many as 225,000 children in Haiti live and work as unpaid domestic servants, the first study to closely examine the issue concluded.

The existence of these arrangements are not new, but the scope is larger than previously thought, a new study by the Pan American Development Foundation found. The foundation conducted the largest field survey of human rights violations in Haiti.

Known as restaveks, these extremely poor children are sent by their families to other homes.

"In principle, parental placement of a restavek child involves turning over child-rearing responsibility to another household in exchange for the child's unpaid domestic service," the study says.

The majority, two-thirds, of restaveks are female, and all are prone to abuse and rape by their host families, the study says.

. . .

The study's aim was to answer the question: "What is the scale of the victimization?"

What researchers found was that 22 percent of children surveyed were living away from home, and that 30 percent of households had restavek children.

FROM http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20091224/carib/carib4.html:

Researchers said the practice of young servants, known as 'restavek', is so common that almost half of 257 children interviewed in the shantytown of Cite Soleil were household slaves. The report found that most of the children are sent by parents, who cannot afford to care for them, to families just slightly better off.