Archives For Haiti

As the year comes to a close, I thought I would share with you guys some of my favorite photographs that I have taken since arriving in Curacao. I consider myself an amateur photographer, so I am still learning the tricks of the trade. But on the coldest night of the year, I thought some of these colorful shots of the Caribbean would brighten your day. Cheers!

First up, here are some beach images.

Santa Cruz Beach, Westpunt, Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Santa Cruz Beach, Westpunt, Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Santa Cruz Beach, Westpunt, Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Santa Cruz Beach, Westpunt, Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Playa Jeremi. One of the "black sand" beaches in Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Playa Jeremi. One of the “black sand” beaches in Curacao. Photo by Karen Attiah

Here are some of my favorite shots of places on the island:

Downtown Willemstad, along the harbor

Downtown Willemstad, along the harbor

Food stand at the Plasa Bieu Pavillion

Food stand at the Plasa Bieu Pavillion

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The buildings along Willemstad’s famous harbor.

The infinity pool at the Scuba Lodge and Suites at Sundown.

The infinity pool at the Scuba Lodge and Suites at sundown. No editing, these were the natural colors.

And shots of some of the people I’ve met along the way.

A Haitian boy attends church in Curacao.

A Haitian boy attends church in Curacao.

Haitian Churchgoers

Haitian Churchgoers

The members of one of Willemstad's little league baseball teams get ready to start their evening practice.

The members of one of Willemstad’s little league baseball teams get ready to start their evening practice.

Former Prime Minister of Curacao Gerrit Schotte emerges from his self imposed lockdown Sept. 28

Former Prime Minister of Curacao Gerrit Schotte emerges from his self imposed lockdown Sept. 28

Dancers on Stilts Perform for Sinterklaas in Curacao

Dancers on Stilts Perform for Sinterklaas in Curacao 

A Dutch surf instructor
A Dutch surf instructor

And I cant end the post without mentioning Curacao’s lizards. From the dragon-like iguanas to the beautiful blau-blaus, don’t be surprised when these Antillean reptilians end up chilling near your pool, on your window, or even in your bedroom.

This iguana found its way poolside.

This iguana found its way poolside.

An iguana outside my window

An iguana outside my window

Handpainted turtles for sale at the plaza in Punda.

Handpainted turtles for sale at the plaza in Punda.

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Hey Everyone!

Here are the links to the stories that I have done so far in Curacao for Associated Press and Haitian Times:

Curacao’s Former Prime Minister Seeks to Lead Coalition in Crowded Parliament Elections (AP)

Pro-Independence Party Tops Curacao Elections (AP)

In Curacao, Haitians Organize Against Discrimination (Haitian Times)

Watch this space for more stories!

My house was too hot and the mosquitoes too pesky for me to stay inside and work a few days ago. So I decided to take my stuff and walk to Pampus Cafe in Punda for the wi-fi, the cool breeze from the inlet bay, and a drink. But on my way, I decided to stray from my usual route. I wandered into the public library just to check it out.

It shouldn’t surprise me that Curacao has a library, I know. During my last experience living abroad in Ghana, there were few ways to get books other than going to the university, or going to the bookstore at Accra Mall. But public libraries? Not that I remember.

I’m glad I wandered into the library, because at least now I know where I can read local Dutch and Papiamento newspapers for free. My Dutch and Papiamento skills are at about -124% currently, so my definition of “read” is looking for words that look like English or Spanish and and look at the pictures. Hey, it’s better than nuthin.’

Luckily for me, I got a B in my Intermediate II graduate Spanish class last year  am more or less (slight emphasis on less) proficient in Spanish, so I was able to read the local spanish language newspaper, El Periodico.

Curacao is facing Parliamentary elections ten days from today. The battles between the political parties, individual politicians, and party supporters have been dominating the news coverage here on the island. One interview with Anthony Goddett, leader of the political party Frente Obrero (FOL) caught my attention.

Curacao is a small island that hosts around 50 different nationalities. Whereas a large percentage of Curacalenos are of African descent, significant numbers of inhabitants are migrants from, or descendants of immigrants from South America and other Spanish-speaking countries. A topic that I keep running into on the island concerns the treatment of immigrants on the island, many of whom say they are subject to discrimination here. El Periodico describes the Oct. 19th elections for immigrants to ” have in the vote the opportunity to exercise their legitimate rights and choose authorities who will take into consideration their needs.”

In response to a question about why foreigners and Latinos in general should support FOL, leader Anthony Goddett, said (translation):

Everyone who resides in Curacao deserves the same treatment. Everyone contributes to the wellbeing and economy of Curacao. Being born to parents from Curacao, or foreign parents, or immigrants, each one that resides on the island and respects its laws, the opportunities and protections should be equal for all.

Now, FOL does not appear to be one of the frontrunning parties in the elections, but I’ve heard over and over again about the fact that there is discrimination against foreign immigrants on the island. From chats with Jamaicans, Haitians and other immigrants, I’ve learned that difficulties for them include not getting work permits, low pay, and ostracism from locals. Of course this is not 100% of the locals. One of the politicians here, Helman Wiels, leader of the party Pueblo Soberano (PS), has come under fire for what is taken to be his anti-foreigner ideologies. “No, no, no, we Haitians can’t support PS”, a Haitian construction worker told me yesterday. “He doesn’t want extranjeros here in Curacao.”

For a nation that draws so much of its intrigue from its history of the intermixing of peoples, one can only hope that tolerances will prevail.

Sidenote: The library also had kiosks where people could come in and learn about the voting process and the platforms of the different parties.