- Oct 2015
On the beach, the women stick around to direct their cargo to waiting tap-tap trucks, bound for nearby storage depots that act as hubs for the small retailers across southern Haiti that sell peasants their soap and staples. Then they head home for some well-earned rest. The women are known as Madam Saras. They’re familiar figures in Haiti, named for migrant Sara birds that line the country’s trees in chattering groups. In a nation filled with broken infrastructure and stalled development schemes, where the “informal sector” makes up eighty-five per cent of trade, the Madam Saras are crucial cogs. They’re responsible for getting produce from Haiti’s rural farmers to its cities, and getting goods from across the border to all Haitians. The job is hard, “but a good living,”
Another glimpse into the active economic relationship between Haitians and Dominicans. The new tightening of migration laws through deportation on the part of the Dominican government, threatens the livelihood of these women. Not only are the laws threatening, but attitudes towards Haitians in the Republic worsen in an already hostile and prejudiced environment.