The tragedy of Haiti: A reason for major cultural change

ABNF J. 2010 Fall;21(4):90-3.


With the recent earthquake in Haiti, it is most befitting to discuss my travel to this poor country more than a decade ago. The travel was a mission that examined the health status and the education of residents in the capital city of Port- au-Prince. After close observation, it seems that the health and educational status then, today and since the tragedy, is basically the same with less, if any, possible improvement. This article examines the present state of health and education of the Haitian people, in the wake of its recent tragedy. Although, the people were very poor in economics, they were rich in culture and exhibited polite mannerisms that made me feel overly welcomed in their homes and to the few resources they had to offer It appears that in past years, this country was and still is noted as the poorest country in the Americas, however, it is not the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. On many occasions, it has been publicly and widely reported that Haiti experienced political violence throughout its history. The government of Haiti is known for corruption. It also appears that an earthquake the magnitude of 7.0 would not have easily destroyed so many of its infrastructure and people, if in the past, the surrounding countries, including the United States, would have assisted in providing this country with safer and stronger foundations for buildings and especially shelter for the residents and the many visitors who were the true victims. Despite the repressive regime, Haiti's location, history and culture were very attractive to tourists in the 1960s and 1970s. Visitors returned home with memorable artifacts that included cave paintings, wood statues (figurines) and hand made jewelry.

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Disasters*
  • Earthquakes*
  • Haiti
  • Humans
  • Politics
  • Poverty
  • Social Change*