Hard times in Haiti lead to big risks at sea

The Fresno Bee reports on the reasons so many Haitians risk their lives on the open ocean in small boats.

the perilous voyages are a familiar passage for Haitians, forced by their country’s almost medieval economy to spend more than a year’s cost of food and housing and risk their lives for a chance to work abroad.

Thousands flee this country of more than nine million each year to reach “lot bo dlo” – Creole for the other side of the water. Many travel the same way as the migrants who were killed when their overloaded sailboat struck a coral reef at night off the island of West Caicos, launching some 200 people into the sea. Some managed to swim to land, while others clung to the jagged reef for 17 hours without food or water. Nearly 70 are still missing.

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