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7882: Re: 7837: Re: 7785: The Gourde, or, Money in Haiti (fwd)

From: Pierre Jean <pierrejean01@yahoo.com>

This mythical currency called "Haitian dollar" is at
once irritating (to me) and indicative of the
relatively long period of time during which 5 gourdes
were equal to one dollar. This 5:1 ratio was so
ingrained in Haitians' minds and daily business
transactions that it remained even though the gourde
started a slow but steady depreciation process.

I am always fighting with shopkeepers and business
people in general in Haiti when I ask them to quote a
price in gourdes. In fact, I make it a point to force
them to do the (relatively simple) conversion from H$
to gourdes because I refuse to have to do it myself.
Try finding the right mix of bills and coins for

As for the 300%, 400%, 500% (soon?) or whatever that
percentage representing the exchange rate happens to
be, it is an aberration that the government should
have eliminated years ago. After all, clinging to the
Haitian dollar is in a way clinging to this Haiti of
old when there was an artificial stability in the
currency (and in society, at least for those wealthy
enough to be disconnected from the harsh realities of
life) that will never be again.

There is a new economic order, a new political context
that all Haitians must accept as reality. The Haitian
dollar is just not real.

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