Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Haitian Border

This photo looks a lot like the northern Haitian border with the Dominican Republic. Some of you may have seen the aerial photographs in Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth - one side all lush and green and the other all bare and brown. When you cross the border from the DR, from Dajabon, into Ouanaminthe (or Juana Mendez as the Dominicans call it) you pass not just from one nation to another but from one level of development to another. On the DR side there are paved roads, electricity, cars, bottled water producers, ice cream parlors. On the Haitian side, there is dust and more dust, burros, bicycles, and a guy selling pressed juice out of sugar cane.

On both sides, you will see children dressed in their uniforms going to school.

On market days, Mondays and Fridays, the barefooted Haitian women wearing hi-end used dresses. They always take the best ones, the Anne Taylor linens with the lovely button fronts. The Dominican women prefer jeans, flaunting not only their bodies but their access to indoor plumbing.

1 comment:

Villa Lagoon Tile-Encaustic Cement Tile said...

Thanks for this insight, I am doing a bit of web research before an upcoming trip to DR in October. It is a 'tile trip', to visit a factory that makes my line of cement tile. Also to see some special tile floors in public buildings and private homes.
I am just wondering if people wander back and forth across the border or not. Not that I am considering it. Just wondering about the culture, etc..Thanks, Lundy