tout kay kraze, kalboso, san fenèt
ap fè twalèt nan yon gwo ma solèy.
Smashed-up, battered and windowless buildings
all are washing themselves in a big puddle of sunlight.
- Creole Poet Danyel Simido
I chose to title this book in Creole rather than in Spanish as the people I spent the most time with -- and photographed the most -- during my brief trip to the Dominican Republic were of Haitian descent. Volunteering in the Bateys (Haitian slums) of the North Coast, I caught a quick outsider's glimpse of the poverty that gives Haiti its dubious distinction as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. I also encountered a dignity, humility, pride that was not entirely unexpected but beautiful to witness nonetheless. The place where humility, dignity, and pride meet is a lovely place indeed.
The Haitian and Dominican people's natural appreciation for -- and celebration of -- color is quite simply a photographer's dream. I didn't really have to do anything other than be there, as perfectly composed photographs leapt out of the street into my lens.
In Hispaniola, even as surfaces crumble and break, they are bathed in fresh coats of color, washed in puddles of sunlight.
Josh Schrei, October 2009
A portion of the profits from sales of this book will go directly to help the Haitian communities photographed herein.