The Rousseauian exodus

Life has come full circle for many Haitians who originally migrated to escape the grinding poverty of the countryside. Since the early 1980s, rural Haitians have moved at a steady clip to Port-au-Prince in search of schools, jobs and government services. After the earthquake, more than 600,000 returned to the countryside, according to the government, putting a serious strain on desperately poor communities that have received little emergency assistance.

The full story is here.  The article notes that in the countryside food is growing ever scarcer.  Here are two final quotations:

“It’s like you become a Communist here because you never touch money,” she said. “But it’s not so bad. Even though I left 25 years ago, Fond-des-Blancs is still the place that I call home.”


“These three girls were all university students, and now their future is uncertain,” she said. “They don’t know what to do with themselves here. Every morning they wake up and say, “Mama, take us back. We’d rather sleep on the street.’ ”


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