Community Grown in a Graveyard

The devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake left tens of thousands dead and 1.5 million homeless. Thousands of bodies were buried in Titanyen—a notorious dumping ground for bodies. But after the dead were buried, the lively new community of Canaan arose.

With the area around Titanyen declared public land, the new settlement offered displaced Haitians a fresh start—they built homes, planning schools and kick-starting an informal economy.

But as Canaan continues to grow, it remains unrecognized by the Haitian government—and it remains uncertain whether it ever will be.

Pulitzer Center / Pacific Standard

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