An Optimist In Haiti
This film was a documentary by a business reporter named Adam Davidson who discovered a man trying to strengthen the economy in Haiti using tourism. The cruise ship company Royal Caribbean ports their ships at a private beach in Haiti called Labadee which is around 10 miles from and important Haitian landmark called Citadelle Laferriere. It is a Citadel or (Fortress) with a great deal of important Haitian history linked to it. Lionel Pressoir, a Haitian entrepreneur, has a vision to use this fortress as a tourist attraction by building a road that will allow Royal Caribbean customers to take an excursion from Labadee to the Citadel to visit and learn about an important part of Haitian history. According to Pressoir, if even a small percentage of the tourist would visit this small town it could have enormous returns for their economy. During Pressoir’s journey to make this happen he receives much need support only to be stunted by the 2010 earthquake. With funding pledged the government’s priorities turn to immediate needs brought on by the earthquake such as shelter, medical aid and debris removal. (Davidson, 2010)
Because the beach at Labadee is privately owned by Royal Caribbean there is probably little to no revenue reaching the Haitian economy. Building a road from Labadee to the citadel would immediately inject thousands of dollars into the economy creating jobs and opportunity that would have an enormous impact on the Haitian community. When a tourist goes to the city where the citadel is located and buys a meal from a local restaurant the server can now go down the road and buy a gallon of milk where before they could not afford it. The grocery store owner from where the milk was purchased now has enough money to send his child to college and the restaurant from where the meal was purchased is going to have to hire another server to keep up with business....
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