Plight of Haitians in the Bahamas

Our recent involvement in the Haitian community has opened our eyes to many things that we were not aware of for the plight of Haitians in the Bahamas. About a month ago a large sail boat (pictured) washed up on the beach not too far from our house.

Aboard were 16 Haitians who were trying to enter the Bahamas illegally, much as Hispanics in the US. The newspaper announced that 16 people were aboard and that 12 had been brought into custody. Later that week I was at the airport and the 12 Haitian illegal immigrants were brought in to be deported.  4 of the people had escaped and are at large on Eleuthera.

Hatian men leave Haiti to try to get to the Bahamas or the US because they are seeking jobs and a better income for their family. They often leave their wives and children behind in hopes of reuniting at a later time, which often does not happen.

The workers who are here legally are often contract laborers. Recently a number of these contract laborers were relocated by the land owners to the Blackwood community, where we are teaching English. In one week the number of students in our English class went from 30 to 70!

The government in the Bahamas discourages Haitian immigration, similar to our government trying to control the number of Hispanics entering illegally. English classes are not offered to help these immigrants adjust to life in the Bahamas.

We continue to try to meet the needs of these 70 students. We are in need of reproducible curriculum, reading glasses and ink cartridges. If you are interested in contributing please conact Shannan via email at fastz6@yahoo.com.

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