The infrastructure serving Port-de-Paix has fallen into disrepair over many decades and most of the population lives without electricity, water, or other public services. As in the rest of Haiti, there is no public education system. Children work in the fields with their parents as soon as they can walk.
Port-de-Paix is a city located on the northwest coast of Haiti. It is part of an arrondisement (province) of the same name. More than 500,000 people live in the vicinity of Port-de-Paix, although the official census number is half that. This includes the residents of small towns and farming communities such as Bassin-Bleu, Chansolme, and La Pointe des Palmistes.
Roadways are almost nonexistent, especially in rural areas, and it takes nearly eight hours to make the drive through the mountains from the capital of Port-au-Prince, although the actual distance is only 150 miles. Employment opportunities are scarce, farm production is meager, and the barest form of survival requires incredible tenacity. Many move to Port-au-Prince hoping to find work, only to face the same relentless lack of opportunity.