Port-au-Prince, Haiti — In the central plaza, there was once an orgy of music, street dancing and revelry unmatched by any other nation in the Americas, Haitians say.
But where there was joy now sits a vast settlement of people left without loved ones, without homes, without life’s belongings.
Haitians have celebrated Carnival through dictatorships, military coups and bloodshed. Popular belief was that if a government failed to deliver on Carnival, Haiti’s equivalent of Mardi Gras, it was sure to fall, said Marie Laurence Lassegue, Haiti’s minister of culture and information.
But this year, the three-day festival has been canceled, another indication of the enormity of the earthquake’s devastation.