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Baie de Petit Goave

Old School Canoeing in Haiti
There are few places in the Caribbean where you can see an ancient artifact, centuries-old, in a museum, then, the very next day, see the same thing in regular, everyday use like it was hundreds of years ago.

Haiti, though, is not like many other places.

It was there, on the shores of the Baie de Petit-Goave, where I came across this canoe. Crudely hand-carved from a singular tree trunk, it bore every bit the resemblance of a canoe I had seen just one day prior at the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, located a few minutes drive from my digs at the Marriott Port-au-Prince.

Better known as the MUPANAH, Haiti's National Museum is home to the most amazing collection of historic treasures and art found anywhere in the Caribbean. Among them, a canoe just like this one; just like the ones used by the Taino Indians who once proliferated all over Hispaniola, and all of the Caribbean region, before European colonists wiped them out.

Here, in coastal regions all over Haiti, their legacy lives on, in part, in humble canoes like these that bring history to life in a way you just can’t experience anywhere else.