From the ground up
“After the earthquake, this area has become very dangerous. Many people lost their houses or jobs, many others are still buried under the ruins together with their houses. Some people left everything to go look for a job or better opportunities. Some of the streets, the buildings, and the houses are still buried under the ruins.
Nobody comes to help us.
We asked the government to send us equipment to get rid of all the rubble but they told us that, if we wanted the machines, we had to pay for gas. But we can’t afford it.
We need new materials to repair our houses and build a new school. We get food and charcoal from a small market that local people set up.
We’re swamped with problems, we need help and everyone’s collaboration to come out of this situation”.
Cité Soleil: War Zone
“This is Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the city’s most dangerous avenue. We must stay in the car because about 5.000 criminals live in this area and we can’t take pictures or film without being in danger, especially since there is no police protecting or controlling the area.
This is where the president of my company was killed last month.
Gangs fight with the police all the time. Once they even set the police station and a city market on fire, with people still inside.
People who come here to do business know that this is a dangerous place, but they have no choice. It’s a matter of survival.
Not even the police dares set foot in the heart of Cité Soleil.
One day I was driving in this area and a couple of gangs stopped me. When I refused to stop they started shooting. While I drove away, the bullets hit my car and I lost control of the vehicle. I hit and killed three people. I got out of the car and ran away, leaving my car there.
These streets are like the big scars of this war. We are trying to put all the fighting behind us and go on with our lives”.
A still-beating Heart
“The market is the business heart of the city.
People sell everything here. Two weeks after the earthquake people came here, one after the other, to start their own small businesses and try to forget about the catastrophe that changed their lives.
This is the only place in the city where people come every single day to sell every kind of goods in exchange for some money to feed their children.
People like to spend their free time here after work and have a good time, buying and eating at the food stands.
People do their best to survive.
In order to move about town, there are taxi motorcycles and other public transportation which are called tap-taps – pick-up trucks or buses painted with bright colors and drawings”.