Shun Racism in Travel; Visit Beautiful Haiti
[Defy US Department of State's bogus travel warning.]
Amazing how media can insidiously influence you! Though for a long time I doubted the veracity of news reports about an "overpopulated, deforested, crime-ridden" Haiti, before leaving for Hispaniola I called up an insurance broker in Texas to inquire about a kidnapping and ransom insurance policy. He was not available and I ended up leaving a message. Looking back I am glad he never returned my call. I certainly did not need a kidnapping and ransom insurance for traveling in Haiti.
Before traveling to Haiti I spent a lot of time on the Internet reviewing information, advice regarding travel in that country. I found out that most of the people advising travelers not to go to Haiti were the ones who themselves never visited Haiti.
I trusted Haiti with my family and I found the people of Haiti to be as trustworthy as people of any other country. Yes, Haiti has seen a lot of political upheaval, but no, those storms have not transformed Haitians into blood-sucking monsters ready to rob, kidnap, or kill all visitors.
It is known that with shrinking writ of a government, petty criminals gain strength and start claiming larger and larger turf, and that very well may be the case in some parts of Haiti. But I did not see it. And I did not see it because I avoided going to slums and shady neighborhoods—just as I avoid bad neighborhoods in California. While traveling in Haiti I took some other precautions too--the same precautions I take when visiting a developing country: of keeping a low profile, restricting movement after dark, and walking with a local in unfamiliar surroundings.
So, there it is for you, the intrepid traveler. Shun racism in travel, go to Haiti, especially if you are already there in the Dominican Republic. I won't advise you to go to Haiti, or to any other 'poor' state, if this is the first time you are leaving your home country. But people who have been around, who have honed their traveling skills, should not shy away from visiting Haiti. It is a beautiful country full of very nice people. Go visit Haiti and have fun.
I have uploaded a few videos on YouTube.