By Bess Adler
In February 2018, I spent several mornings at the Aérogare Guy Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, making portraits of young Haitians who stood in long lines, hoping to migrate to Chile, before the Chilean government’s crackdown on travel visas in April. Many of these young, educated individuals had saved at least $1,000 USD for the flight, and several hundred dollars more to pay a travel agent.
But flights were consistently overbooked, and many hopefuls were forced to return to the airport several times before they were able to board a plane. A successful departure was only the first step: while some knew of a family member or friend to meet on arrival in Chile, many were without a clear vision for the weeks and months ahead. Most said they wished to pursue work or higher education, then return to their beloved Haiti. The mind reels to imagine the challenges, and possibilities, of their time away from home.
2/26/2018: (Left) Lindor Aculas is from Milot, Haiti. He is waiting to see if he will be able to board his scheduled flight to Chile. He is migrating with his brother. Lindor feels that Haiti has a lot of problems at the moment and will be seeking employment in Chile. (Right) A crowd of people outside the Aérogare Guy Malary, the domestic airport in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, wait to see if themselves or family members will be able to board scheduled flights to Chile.
(Left) 2/27/2018: Bito Louisei (22-years-old) is from the countryside in Artibonite, Haiti. He is heading to Chile to work and provide financial help to his family. He plans on studying in Chile as well. He is excited but sad to leave his country. He paid $1,200 for his ticket and is bringing $100 of pocket money. (Right) 3/1/2018: A crowd of people wait outside the Aérogare Guy Malary, the domestic airport in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to see if themselves or family members will be able to get on a flight to Chile.
2/26/2018: (Left) A man carries a suitcase into Aérogare Guy Malary, where many wait on a flight to Chile. (Right) A crowd of people outside the Aérogare Guy Malary, the domestic airport in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, wait to see if themselves or family members will be able to board scheduled flights to Chile.
2/27/2018: (Left) Ovalus Saint-Juste (28-years-old) realized that during the time Michel Martelly was president, there was nothing for him in Haiti. If he stays, he won’t be able to take care of his wife and family. He believes that once he travels to Chile, he won’t be as stressed out and will be able to work. He has a brother that is already living there. This is the second time he is attempting to board a flight to Chile. He is from Saint-Marc, Haiti. (Right) Jean Rubens (20-years-old) brings his sister, Anne Dgoulie (15-years-old) to the airport where she will be flying to Chile to meet some family and attempt to work.
3/1/2018: (Left) An airplane is reflected in the window at the Aérogare Guy Malary. (Right): People inside Aérogare Guy Malary, the domestic airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, wait on a flight to Chile.
2/27/2018: (Left) A printer is set up outside of the Aérogare Guy Malary for those that have not yet printed their tickets for flights to Chile. (Right) A man carries a suitcase into Aérogare Guy Malary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
3/1/2018: (Left) A crowd of people at Aérogare Guy Malary, the domestic airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, await flights to Chile. (Right): Markens Adrien (29 years old) and Pierre Fred (29 years old) have come to the airport several times since February 16th in an attempt to fly to Chile after their flights we repeatedly overbooked. They would like to find work upon arrival.
Bess Adler is a photojournalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her photography has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Digital, The New Yorker, AARP, Narrative.ly, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Marie Claire Australia, among other publications. Her work has primarily focused on communities affected by deportation and incarceration, industries based on body image and alternative family dynamics.
The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
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