The Open-Hearted People of L'Asile

L'Asile, a small village with a population of 32,000, is a cityship within the Ainse-a-Veau Arrondissement, part of Nippes Department.


The residents of L'Asile experience back-breaking poverty, earning only $300 USD each year. They derive their income from farming produce on small tracts of land. Bringing their crops to market provides them with enough money to keep them from starvation.

L'Asile is surrounded by hills, subject to grinding poverty, and many families make do with thatched-roof dwellings. For those who are able to afford the material, they build tin-roofed abodes. But whatever kind of housing they reside in, the population does not have either running water, or a dependable source of electricity.

More than three-quarters of L'Asile's residents practice Catholicism with the remaining 25% either Protestant or Voodoo adherents. The Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph's overlooks the village.

L'Asile does have a main hospital, but it is under-equipped and dependent on aid relief for such necessities as antibiotics, sterilization, and intravenous drip supplies. The cholera epidemic, occurring after the earthquake of 2010 and a recurrence of it recently, has strained the hospital's limited capabilities, but the medical facility has managed to remain open.

Not surprisingly, L'Asile's road infrastructure is nearly non-existent, and the few roads available that have been built are unpaved. Automobiles are also scarce in this primitive place.

But though L'Asile's people endure hand-to-mouth living standards, they receive visitors to their village with warm and open hearts.

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Read more: town, Nippes Department, L'Asile, City

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