The forest in Jakmel is high and dense. There are trees of many kinds with all sorts of leaf shapes and growth habits. There are also various mysterious tree species, such as one that no one can climb because then the man’s testicles will become very large. People here respect that sort of things.
If you go for a short walk you very soon will meet bare ground without any trees.
Haiti has only 1.5% of their trees left. This process of destruction began when Haiti, in 1804, liberated themselves from France and had to pay a high ransom. Haitian trees were then cut to be used to build railways in France. Similar events have, for various reasons and with different actors, continually occurred. Today, many trees are cut every day in order to produce charcoal. In Haiti, 95% of the population cook their food over charcoal fires.
According to the UN, the critical minimum limit of the tree population is at 30%. Here it is 1.5%. Many foreign organizations have come here to put a lot of money in various tree-planting project to help save the environment. Many of them have failed and in the mountains you can see remnants of started projects that did not succeed. They have only resulted is perhaps a few trees. I think this is Haiti’s biggest problem. Erosion is spreading more and more and the task is getting harder.
In areas where there still are plenty of trees and plants, peoples lives are much better. The food produced here is wonderful! Delicious! All fruit tastes very sweet because the sun is shining all year round. There are fruits such as mango, pineapple, star apple, guanabana, cherimoya, guava, apricot and many others that are very tasty but only can be found here since they are difficult to export because of their short shelf life.
Now it is the mango season. There are 40 different varieties of mango in Haiti. The one we have at home is called Mango Franciska and tastes great.
I´m having thoughts of starting a project… to plant trees.