I think the year was 1992. All I remember clearly is that I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and I went on vacation to neighboring Haiti. I was a forestry volunteer working on the reforestation of a watershed near San José de Ocoa. Deforestation was a problem, but people continually talked about how much worse it was in Haiti, a mere 194 kilometers to the west. One of my host-sisters, Mayra, was in medical school at the time and we had many conversations about how environmental degradation, poverty and limited access to health care in Haiti were far worse than in the DR. Curious to see for myself, I set out with a couple of friends and we made the journey across the border navigating our way to the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Read more on TSPR here: Commentary: The iron mermaid and the remarkable human being