If you just take what you hear on the news about Haiti as gospel, you’ll never see the true side of this beautiful country. The media reports mostly bad news about everywhere, but it can often make viewers and listeners think that Haiti is a particularly bad place. Don’t let that fool you. Here are some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding Haiti and why they’re incorrect.
The danger in Haiti is equal to the danger you might encounter in any major tourist destination, whether it’s in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, or anywhere else. You’ll run into the same potential issues of pickpockets, theft, etc. However, this doesn’t make Haiti any more dangerous than what you’d see in any other city. (In fact, did you know that the murder rate in Jamaica is actually higher than the murder rate in Haiti? No one seems to consider Jamaica as a particularly frightening Caribbean destination.)
The People are Lazy
This is so far from the truth. Haiti is filled with people struggling to make a living. The Haitians are working hard, but a poor infrastructure, decades of civil unrest, and a lack of education all make it difficult to obtain formal jobs that can support a thriving economy.
There are Health Risks.
There are health risks in every single Caribbean country. There is no reason to assume that the health risks in Haiti are greater than anywhere else just because the media reports more on the health risks in Haiti. Proper planning for any Caribbean vacation should include getting the necessary vaccinations (and you might be surprised at how many people visit the Caribbean without getting these because they assume they don’t need them).
Haiti is Riddled with Natural Disasters
After the Haitian earthquake in 2010, it seems that natural disasters are all you hear about in the news when it comes to Haiti. While it’s true that Haiti has been hit by both hurricanes and earthquakes, and that the damage has lasted somewhat longer than it would elsewhere due to the country’s poor infrastructure, there’s no greater risk of natural disaster in Haiti than there is in any other Caribbean island.
Haiti is Filled with Voodoo
Voodoo probably isn’t what you think it is. It’s not what you see in the movies or any other kind of media, and it’s definitely not something to fear when you visit Haiti. An informal religion that originated in Africa, voodoo receives a bad rap mostly due to racism. However, there’s little reason for anyone in modern culture to be bothered by it, especially when visiting Haiti. You’re no more in danger there than you would be in New Orleans, which has an equally large voodoo culture.
Join Restavek Freedom in our efforts to end some of the unfortunate myths surrounding Haiti. When you help us in our work to eradicate child slavery, decrease poverty and increase access to education, we can change the narrative around Haiti. See how you can join us by clicking here.