“Haiti needs to be reborn,” said Junior Jeanel, looking at a group of kids playing in the gutter where stray dogs fight the rats for a place among the sewage. “We need a new country, for the people.”
From where he stands, you can see the lights of Petionville blinking on, way up in the green mountains that rim the city. Up there, in those mansions in the clouds, the rich Haitians are hiding out, where the air is different and cleaner and they're free to drive their Mercedes and Toyota SUVs to their luxury jewelry shops.
It's a long way from their Italian-style villas to the tent cities in the low lands where hundreds of thousands have nothing but a tarp, or if they're lucky, a tent. Jeanel knows that, and he talks about his rich countrymen with anger in his eyes.
But like a lot of Haitians, this young man has an incredible capacity for hope. Despite the death, sickness and bone-naked poverty all around them, many Haitians like Jeanel truly believe something better is in store for them.