The Relentless Rise of Two Caribbean Lakes

National Geographic

Jacob Kushner

In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the lakes are flooding farmland, swallowing communities and leading to deforestation, baffling climate scientists.  

Jacob Kushner

Story and photos by Jacob Kushner for National Geographic

PHOTO: Haitians face persecution across Dominican border

uncategorized

Photos and Story by Jacob Kushner for NACLA.

PHOTO: U.S. Deportees to Haiti, Jailed Without Cause, Face Severe Health Risks

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Story and Photography by Jacob Kushner for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and Type Investigations.

They Call It Canaan

VQR

Allison Shelley

In the aftermath of disaster, Haitians ask what makes a city

Port-au-Prince was decimated when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010. Within weeks, settlements began to appear on a barren landscape, shacks and tents spreading over dusty plains. They called it Canaan, the biblical promised land where Moses led the Israelites out of slavery–the land of milk and honey. “This Canaan has the same history,” one pastor, who was among the first to move there, told me. “This is our honey.”

But in Canaan, as in any city, people—the rich and the poor, the powerful and weak, the complacent and the desperate—were destined to get in one another’s way.

Read: VQR

As featured in Longreads

Beside a Vast Graveyard, a New City Rises in Haiti

Pacific Standard

Allison Shelley

Haiti’s earthquake shattered several cities, but it also birthed another. A place with space for the dead is a place with space for the living. And in post-earthquake Haiti, space was in short supply. Called Canaan, after the biblical holy land, a place defined by death has come alive.

Read: Pacific Standard

Haiti farmers eager to receive compensation after ‘groundbreaking’ land deal

Reuters PLACE

Allison Shelley

A decade after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, farmers in Haiti are waiting to receive compensation for their land used to build an industrial park. Located in Haiti’s northern region, the $300 million Caracol Industrial Park opened in 2012 and now employs approximately 15,000 people, most of whom work in clothing factories there.

In 2018, farmers who had been evicted from their land in 2011 struck a rare deal with the IDB to provide Caracol’s 100 most vulnerable families with new, titled land.

Read the full story at the Thompson Reuters Foundation (PLACE). Reporting supported by The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

Haiti and the failed promise of US aid

The Guardian

Jacob Kushner

A decade after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, nothing symbolises America’s failure to help the nation “build back better” than a new port that was promised, but never built. 

After sinking tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars into an ill-advised plan to build a new seaport, the US quietly abandoned the project last year. It is the latest in a long line of supposed solutions to Haiti’s woes that have done little – or worse – to serve the country’s interests.

Read: The Guardian’s The Long Read

Supported by the Pulitzer Center.

An Ungoverned City

U.S. News & World Report

Allison Shelley

Can cities function without a government? In Canaan, Haiti, residents give it a try.

Nine years ago, Canaan 1 was little more than a nameless, hilly swath of land patchworked by boulders and cinder blocks marking where people hoped to one day see proper houses, a hospital, a school, a police station and a basketball court.

Today, the neighborhood is one of many rapidly expanding areas of Canaan, Haiti’s newest city – named for the biblical promised land – home to between 280,000 and 320,000 people.

“We wanted to show the state who we are – that we can put down more than just one or two dollars here,” says Evenson Louis.

Read: U.S. News & World Report

Reporting for this story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.

In Haiti’s city-without-a-government, residents demand to pay tax

Reuters PLACE

Allison Shelley

Without titles, residents risk losing any investment they make and cannot use their property as collateral

CANAAN, Haiti – On a street of rocks and white dust in the centre of one of the world’s newest cities, Alisma Robert pointed to an array of electric cabling strung between rickety wooden poles.

“It wasn’t EDH that built that pole,” said Robert, referring to Haiti’s national electricity provider.

“It was us.”

Nearly everything in the city of Canaan, which was founded in 2010 after a catastrophic earthquake, was built by residents without government help.

After waiting two years for electricity, Robert and his neighbours collected money from each household, erected the wooden poles, and wired up the cables to the house of a family who were connected to the grid.

“I’m a citizen – but not for the moment. I don’t have the benefits of a citizen. We don’t have drinkable water … No public toilets. The government doesn’t do anything for the people who live here.”

Read the full story at Reuters PLACE. Funding for this story was provided by the Pulitzer Center.