Thursday, September 30, 2010

Research Paper on Haiti

Research Paper on Haiti

Port-au- Prince is not only a city, but also the capital of the Caribbean nation known as Haiti. This city is an encircled in a nation of about eight million inhabitants. This city is in the heart of a tropical country that remains hot and humid during the rainy season, dry in the other months where the hottest temperatures are during the summer, from June to September. The languages to be spoken in this city vary, while the majority of Haitians (the majority of lower socio- economic inhabitants) speak Creole while the individuals of higher socio-economic- status speak fluently in French and English. The current class breakdown of the city is of two distinct socio-economic statuses; mostly those individuals of low socio-economic status remain and live in the city of Port-au-Prince (Abbott 1988). “The annual average income is $250 per family. About 80% of the population lives in dismal poverty (Perusse 1995)”. While there are those individuals of high socio-economic status who live in Port-au-Prince, many of those individuals would be considered elites and are often family, friends and acquaintances of the current president Haiti, many maintain a similar lifestyle as the president by living in a clustered area surrounding arm guards similar to the president who lives in the white house. It is important to note that the direct problems (social and economical) within the city of Port-au Prince are a direct manifestation of the internal problems (social and economical) of the country.

Port-au-Prince like many other cities faces severe challenges in its survival. The current issues that need addressing facing Port-au-Prince are security conditions, housing, supply of water, transportation/road conditions, education and healthcare. Security conditions of the city are very uncertain, the people who do live there do not feel safe, which is important to make this known because once the people who inhabit a city no longer feel there are obvious issues that need to be address. It is also important to note that because Port-au-Prince is the capital, much of political tension manifests itself into security issues and etc. Since politics can be very volatile, those who live at the heart can often feel repercussions at a higher intensity then those who live farther out from the city or in the countryside.

Security is very uncertain. It suggested for those not to travel or walk the streets (especially women) during the day or night. Security conditions are so poor in the city there are regulated hours where it is unsafe to travel by car after 6 at night and before 7 in the morning. Someone of the family must accompany children to their destinations. It is suggested for foreigners or visitors to hire someone well known, to run errands in the city or in public offices, and to make that person take you (and wait for you) to banks and supermarkets. Crime, which goes hand in hand with security conditions, is also rampant in the city. The poor youth, range in ages from 13-24; since they are young and more agile, the youth frequently commit crimes in the city of Port-au-Prince, because the city generates more of an influx of people. The crimes committed are by those individuals who come from destitute backgrounds because they are too poor to receive an education, but government feels they do not deserve government assistance. City inhabitants encourage those visiting the city not travel with big amounts of money or big bags containing valuables. It is suggested to use checks and local credit cards, which are accepted in much of the cities supermarkets, shops, schools, and restaurants. Cash is vital only at the flea markets and to buy vegetables at the street vendors.

Housing in the city, especially for the majority of individuals in the lower socio-economic status, do not live apartment complexes but in little clay/stucco shacks with no indoor plumbing or electricity. The urban people that live in the city of Port-au-Prince live in their shacks, which can either be one room or is divided by a sheet/curtain or a live in a shack with two rooms that does not need to be separated by a curtain/sheet. In these shacks there is no differentiation between a dining, bedroom, study or living room often the one giant room serve as an all purpose room, meaning that one room serves multiple functions. Since there is no indoor plumbing the shack, there is often an outhouse locate a few feet away from the shacks and a large pump that produces water, which belongs to and is share by the community, which reside in that area (Perusse 1995).

A number of shacks around particular areas help to produce what we currently know as slums (run down dilapidated houses in a particular area, generally not known to be safe); slums are very dominant in the areas where there are groupings of individuals of lower socio-economic status. “In the city of Port-au-Prince there is a high rating of slums due to mass departure of middle class and number of elites, which left much of land and housing to urban poor to take over and live (Abbott 1988)”. What also help Port-Au-Prince to have large number of slums; during these coups homes of elites, apartments and shacks were frequently burned to ground during political fervor. Those who (lower middle class) can afford not live in shacks but can barely afford homes often rent apartments at high price in the cities that do not correspond to the quality of apartments we would found in a country like United States.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on any writing topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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