A Return to the Countryside in Battered Haiti

Haitians are moving back out into the countryside after the Capital city of Port-au-Prince suffered devastation from a series of earthquakes this month. Some argue the move back to the country may be a good thing for Haiti.
January 22, 2010, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"For more than a decade, Port-au-Prince has been growing as Haitians have left small villages and coastal towns for the capital. Now, countless thousands are going back, and some experts contend that the shift - if many people remain in the countryside - could benefit Haiti in the long run.

'The city does not have the capacity to sustain millions of people. It never did, and even in 10 years it will not have it,' said Pierre-Michel Fontaine, an international studies professor at the University of Miami. 'If the money given to Haiti is used well and they establish a good program of forestation, people could work the land again.'"

With the city in shambles, many Haitians have little option but to return to the countryside villages they left years ago.

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Published on Thursday, January 21, 2010 in The New York Times
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