Reflecting on the similarities between Haiti and Alagados
The parallels between Haiti and communities like Alagados are many. They are communities made up of the descendants of slaves who were brought to these places against their will and without a cent to their name. They suffer from a prevalence of poverty and a lack of infrastructure and opportunity. They are rich in cultural traditions and have made significant contributions to the world art scene. Brazil, unlike Haiti, is more politically stable and is a bigger, wealthier nation overall. However, the inequality of wealth distribution is one of the highest in the world, particularly in the Northeast. If a big natural disaster were to strike coastal shantytown favela communites such as Alagados, we would see the same kind of heartbreaking devastation that we are seeing in Haiti.
The devastating impact of the recent earthquake that hit Haiti is one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. Tragedy on this scale seems almost unthinkable, and yet tragedy seems to have a way of striking those who are already down. What communities like Alagados and Haiti need are sustainable development strategies that promote effective poverty reduction, empower people to take local ownership, and increase equality in education so people have a chance to help themselves.
For the month of February, in a gesture of solidarity with Haiti and an understanding that disaster relief, medical care, and clean water are even more of a priority than education, all donations made to The Alagados Project will be sent to Haiti. More info In the future, please continue to support programs that promote effective poverty reduction strategies and that will help to make communities like Alagados and Haiti less vulnerable to disaster.