January 1, 2004 marked the 200th year of independence
from France, perhaps offering new hope for the Republic of Haiti
with the release of the pact with the devil.
Haitians are intensely spiritual people whose humour
and passion are legendary
Haiti experiences massive inequalities in wealth,
an infrastructure devastated by tropical storms, lack of investment
and a democracy in tatters.
The average life expectancy is just 44 years, unemployment
is 70%, and the average income is two dollars American per day.
Less than 1% of the population has a post-secondary education, and
only 35% of the Haitian people are literate.
There is indifference of the international community
partly due to rampant drug trafficking and political corruption.
The land is now 95% deforested.