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The lights of the Mon Reve lottery bank in Port-au-Prince invite Haitians to bet their pennies on winning a fortune.

Land Of Dreamers: What Haitians Want

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber …Then there is the mysterious something foreigners are always being told they can never fathom: “la psychologie Haitienne.”. Deep in the psyche of Haiti lies a violence that goes beyond violence. That this is so is demonstrated by nearly five centuries of history dominated at every turn by death and terror. Some have written and analyzed that Haiti is plagued with the unusual extent to which paranoia, well-systematized delusions of persecution and grandeur…seems to afflict peasants and the elite alike…Haiti, in some dream, in some nightmare, is imprisoned in its past. “WRITTEN IN BLOOD” By Robert D Heinl and Nancy Gordon Heinl, 1978 There is a lottery bank on the main downtown street in Port-au-Prince where Haitians will bet their last pennies against the numbers in hopes of winning fortune. It is called, appropriately, Mon Reve or My Dream, because the luckiest numbers come to betting people in dreams. In impoverished Haiti, winning the lottery is one of those communal desires shared by a gambling people. The bank is

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The body of a man shot one week before the presidential elections in November, 1987. It was placed in the well-traveled Carrefour section of the capital as a warning to would-be voters.

Death In Haiti

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber In Haiti, it is said that when you look at a man, you see death standing next to him. Personalities, dates and methods change, but there is always one sure factor–and that is death. It is as much a part of life as living. Because Haitians have had to deal with so much death of so many natures, they have developed a sort of shared cultural psyche, borne of the frequent turn of political turmoil and the much misunderstood voodoo religion. To understand Haiti, one must see the mystery that stems from this combination of paradise on earth and gateway to hell, and history is the key. African slaves were ripped from their lands, beaten into servitude, and finally rose up in revolt in Haiti to become the first free black republic in the world. The significance of this one act alone, which terrified all colonial governments based on a slave economy, changed the course of world history. For the first time, slaves, who far outnumbered their masters, rose

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The parched slum of Rabato, part of Gonaives, Haiti. Gonaives is surrounded by mountains that were deforested by the French.

Paradise Lost: Haiti Without Trees

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber Editors Note: APF Reporter Vol.11 #3 exsisted only as a photo copy, becuase of this the pictures in this story are of poor quality. A balmy pre-evening breeze brushed the terrace. Port-au Prince sprawled in the view below like a shiny jewel, the whitewashed, domed presidential palace standing as its centerpiece. The scene passed like some great silent symphony until the anthropologist broke the quiet. “Water and deforestation problems have been cocktail conversation here for years,” he said. matter-of-factly, resuming a conversation that had gone silent for a few beats. “For years, people have been predicting the impending doom of Haiti saying it’s just around the corner,” he said, glancing at his watch, as though it marked the time until Haiti’s doomsday. We sat on his veranda as an orange-red Caribbean sun set into the sea. Further below, down from the hill where the anthropologist’s house perched, people had gathered at the front gate of a big, white stucco house, the one-time residence of an influential Tonton Macoute who

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Street boys play in rainwater in front of Haiti's presidential palace in Port-au-Prince..

Kids With No Childhood

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber Life means these things to a street kid in Haiti: Sleeping on a hard concrete step or curb along the edge of a dusty road or rainy street; begging; washing cars for money; gambling at cards or dice; always trying to get a pair of shoes; fighting: being beaten; getting cut or having a toothache or fever; washing in sewers; hitching free rides on tap-tap trucks; sitting alone at night; hiding from bullets during shootouts by armed thugs; fleeing police; being thrown into the state-run reform school; being riddled with parasites; shaving your head with a bare razor to keep the lice out; playing kung-fu; being twelve and looking six; hair turning from black to red due to lack of protein; suffering from malnutrition; having no one to hold you. Street boys play in rainwater in front of Haiti’s presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.. Lesly’s eyes opened to the sound of the first pair of passing feet as a market woman with her wares hurried down the sidewalk toward the

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