Haiti After The Earthquake, The Middle Class Is The New Poor

When we talk about class in Haiti, we mainly focus on the 'Haves' and the 'Have Nots.' Besides the few in Haiti who have riches beyond their wildest dreams, most of the 'Haves' are above average Haitian citizens who have worked very hard their entire lives to build a life for themselves, a house, a car, and status in Haitian society. This is usually what we call the middle class in Haiti or any other country.

The Haitian Middle Class

Since the Haiti earthquake of January 12, many the 'have nots' (or should I say 'have nothings') in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas are now living in tents and somewhat better then before.

Not exactly what we all dream of having but there is a Haitian saying "pito sa pase malgre sa"

The people who lost the most in Haiti are those who have invested every penny they have into the house that they built, big or small, furnishing that house, building a lifestyle, and watch it disappear in 30 seconds by the evil "Goudougoudou."

In an article by Jacqueline Charles published today in the Miami Herald, she says:

"for the middle class, the disparity is unbearable. The quake... not only took their homes and livelihood, it also wiped away social status in a country where that is priceless.

On a hillside one recent Sunday morning, where once comfortable houses made up the middle class Petionville neighborhood of Morne Lazard, homeowners looked at the rubble and told a tale of anger and helplessness.

Almost six months after the quake, Haiti's middle class -- lawyers, doctors, receptionists and thousands of public administration employees -- have become the new poor in a land of immense poverty.

Now, they're homeless and unemployed."

Read the full article here: "In Haiti, middle class, impoverished share same despair"

Growing up in Haiti, I was considered middle class at one point in my life. I didn't think it was much but I ate 3 meals a day, on time every time, we had a maid, and many luxuries that most others did not have.

My father worked very hard to give us that lifestyle that we grew accustomed to.

He saved every penny he could, and borrowed from many loansharks to build a home for his family in Hinche back in 1979.

What may look to you now as little house was once the first house (Kay beton... Hmmm...) built in that area with an indoor kitchen and indoor shower (douche).

It was like we were "moving on up to the East side in a deluxe apartment in the sky" Just like the Jeffersons!

I know what that house means to my father because, years after the house was built, he was still working overtime in the States to repay the loans.

So I know what loosing everything you have worked for means for each and everyone of you who woke up with nothing but the air you breath.

I know what it feels like to work overtime for 20, 30 years in the States in order to send money home to build a house, brick by brick, until it is completed and to wake up one day and realize you wont be able to retire in your home sweet home in Haiti anymore.

Unfortunately, all I can do is talk about it.

Keep in mind that in Haiti, a house is built a little bit at a time until it is completed.

No Bank loans, no credit checks, only your sweat and blood...

Virtually all houses in Haiti are owned by the owner and not by any bank. So when you loose it, you loose it all...

For these Haitian lawyers, doctors, receptionists, and everyone else who lost their homes in the earthquake, they didn't just loose their credit, they cannot file for bankruptcy, they literally lost everything.

They are "back at Zero" like Guerda Thelisma, a young Haitian receptionist who was supporting herself and two younger brothers, said in Jacqueline's article.

My mother always told me when I was growing up "Si-w pa ka charite pov la, pa kraze kwiy li"

But I never thought in a million years that sometimes you can work hard all your life, dream big dreams, realize those dreams, get that "KWIY" out of your hands, then suddenly, mother nature smacks you right down to the ground and puts it right back in your hand.

Now we know it can happen to anyone of us. BUT...

We also know that, as long as you are alive, you can do it again.

Let us all help each other to pick ourselves up, wipe our hands clean, and keep on moving.

We're not dead yet...

So let's play...

Have a nice day...

Write a comment  (7)

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All Comments (7)

Jenny says...

thank you! at least someone knows the

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Josy says...

The bible says the innocents will pay for the guilties, and we need revival in Haiti.

The bible also stated that two workers will be in the field, and one will be taking up to the heavens while the other one remains.

We have two main things that we need to change in Haiti before we see any progress, and catching up with our neighbors: 1) Our mentality 2) Black Magic.

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Mathilde S. says...

This article is very deep. It brings tears in the eyes. But I believe that my people will rise again with the help of God.let's
all make it

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George says...

The evil earthquake left us with almost nothing, but
luckily we still have life so let's stand together and start over.
God bless

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Hadassah says...

This middle class is suffering so much and very few pay attention to them. There will be another mass brain drain in Haiti if we the people and the government don't work quickly brng back normalcy so that these people can get back to

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Jacques L says...

This is a very good article.


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Miggy says...

Thanks Woody!

Your comments were very touching and very uplifting.

You have yourself a great

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