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Port-au-Prince is a city with an uninspired waterfront and downtown area. The city has expanded onto adjoining hills with incredible vistas. Currently, the city is a conglomeration of nondescript office buildings, slums, old Victorian houses with "gingerbread" trim, modern cement block houses, and million-dollar homes. The city's social system unofficially divides the populace into a majority of black African descent called "noirs" and a minority of mixed ancestry called "mulatres." This division continues to be the basis for the inequalities so glaringly visible in Port-au-Prince.

The city has few historic sites, but sightseeing is ample for a short visit. Major attractions are the Episcopal Cathedral with its Haitian biblical murals, the Catholic Cathedral, the Musee d'Art, the National Museum or "Pantheon," and many private art galleries. Haitian handicraft stores feature metal arts created from old oil drums, many with a delightful sense of humor. There are over 18,000 U.S. citizens registered in Haiti. The belief is that over half are children, although that is impossible to verify. The dramatic increase in the number of registered American citizens in Haiti also reflects better recordkeeping instituted over the past 2 years. Previously, no one registered unless they specifically requested it. Now, registration is routinely done for anyone who comes to the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit at the Consulate Annex. This accounts for a lot of the increase. The American business community in Port-au-Prince is not sizable.

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Page last modified: 02-08-2011 16:44:55 ZULU