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Escaping Education Indepedence in the Islands

Looking out of the $2 van taking us through the streets of Cayman Islands, I see a group of school girls playing soccer. There are about eight girls in red plaid dresses with white socks and black shoes kicking the ball to each other. The dirt and grass stains seem to deflect off their clothes in the hot sun. It is the final days of the school year.

In the past month I've visited Cayman Islands and Mexico. I spent my time reading extensively about Haiti.

I'm not originally from the Caribbean or Latin America but I have a strong affinity toward its history. The family relation may not be through the first generation but we are inextricably linked.

The education system, left behind from former British inhabitants are evident in these vacation destinations. The schools are predominately private, many schools created to support the influx of ex-Patriots and others fleeing their homeland for an endless escape from reality.

In Cayman Islands, July 1st was its last day. I meet a young girl and her family on the airport line. Originally from Florida, she is sad to have missed her last day. School is more disciplined but primarily the same for her.

But her experience is different from those who call the island their homeland. Too many children escape education. I see a young girl at the straw market with her mother. She is not in uniform, she's not in school. She is at work with her mother, watching over her younger sister.

Haiti is still climbing out of the debt it was saddled with when it won its independence. As Jamaica reaches its 50th anniversary of independence, 50% wished they had stayed with Great Britain.

Independence becomes clouded when it does not generate equality.

"Few Americans are aware their country once occupied ours, and for such a long time. This is not surprising, for as one Haitian proverb suggests, while those who give the blows can easily forget, the ones who carry the scars have no choice but to remember." -Author Edwidge Danticat

This post is part of the 40/40/40 series.

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