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drummer at festival Haiti Girls in Haiti

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Haiti: Belo's Song of Peace
Troubled island sells music and hope


Natasha Del Toro

A graduate from Columbia Journalism school, Natasha Del Toro is an independent documentary producer who focuses mainly on telling stories through an arts and cultural lens. This is her second piece for FRONTLINE/World. Her first documentary featured a successful art duo called Los Carpinteros, who live and work in Cuba.

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Length: 13:13

Given my experience in Haiti last summer, I could have called this story "My Haitian adventure: The masochistic delight of shooting a documentary about a chaotic first-time festival during rainy season in a country where nothing works."

It all started with my friend Frank Eaton's kidnapping in 2005. He was making a music video in Port-au-Prince for a local musician named Belo, when he and his co-producer, Haitian-American Alain Maximilien, were taken by gunmen and held for ransom in Cite Soleil, one of the country's worst slums. Fortunately, after paying, they were both released unharmed.

Despite the incident, Eaton said he wanted to return to Haiti for the first-ever Jacmel Music Festival, an event designed to draw tourists to the island. He also wanted to reunite with Belo, who has become internationally recognized for his socially conscious songs.


The music festival was held in the town of Jacmel, which is being promoted as a tourist destination.

The music festival was an attempt to lure travelers back to this once booming vacation spot, by showcasing the island's beaches and culture. Reviving the tourism industry would not be an easy proposition, with Haiti's reputation of violence, poverty and disease.

But in recent years, the country has become more stable with the election of a new president and the presence of U.N. peacekeepers, and Eaton said he felt safe going back.

If he had the nerve to return, I figured I would go too and film the story.

But my friend never made it on the plane. Two hours before we were due to depart from the Miami International Airport, he got spooked and drove back to North Carolina, where he lives.

I could have bailed, but I decided to try and rescue the production. Through the Associated Press, I tracked down Trent Jacobs, an American cameraman living in Haiti, and two days later, I was on a plane to Port-au-Prince.

I caught my first glimpse of the capital from the cracked window of an exhaust-filled car, while in rush-hour traffic and a rainstorm. Rivers of mud swept through the street, as people ran for cover with car headlights and candles as their only light.

After a grueling three-hour drive along a windy mountain road, we arrived at the festival in the beach town of Jacmel around midnight.


Haitian musician, Belo, has become internationally recognized for his socially conscious songs.

The situation only worsened over the next 48 hours: The driver disappeared with Jacobs' tripod in the trunk of his car, our audio equipment crapped out and our cell phones were stolen. Belo, the Haitian musical star I had arranged to interview, left the festival early because of poor event planning; the minister of tourism, my other main interview subject, came down with malaria; and the last day of the festival was canceled because of a tropical storm.

That night, feeling defeated, I spilled some Haitian rum into the sand as an offering to the gods for better luck.

What I started to understand about this trip was that the chaos around me played directly into my story. Haiti operates by its own rules and on its own time, which certainly made it hard to produce a documentary. But looking past its rough exterior, the country has natural beauty and a nutty charm unlike anywhere else. Since returning from the island, I've developed a strange affection for Haiti, its people, beaches, rhythms and spiritual energy.

Belo and others want the world to judge their country by these good qualities, rather than through the usual reports of violence and unrest.

In November, Belo came to Florida, where I live, to perform. Driving home from the concert, I was caught in the middle of a shootout in downtown Tampa. Though I jokingly call it the coda to my crazy adventure, the truth is, no one involved in the incident was Haitian, and the event never made the local news. It just goes to show, it can happen anywhere.

-- Natasha Del Toro

Additional Photos: Frank Eaton


Jeff Dorcene - Miami, Florida
I did not know about this festival, it's when I went to I found out. I am so proud that we are making such a big progress. I thank personally Belo and all the people that made this festival possible. I haven't seen my country for three years. I was afraid to go, but now I have seen this documentary I have another idea of the country and I am planning to go soon. I have the feeling that the country will be better and I hope that more tourist go to visit Haiti my country the Island most beautiful in the Caribbean. Again, thanks to PBS and and Natasha for showing the world who we are.

Brenda Michel - Miami, FL
Seeing the music festival was nostalgic for me. I haven't seen Haiti in four years and I miss it. Thank you Natasha for showing the world that we have an extraordinary culture. Like Belo says and all Haitians know, Haiti is full of talent. I pray that this feature will help our country blossom like the flower it was intended to be.

Austin Piper - Allen, Texas
I really enjoyed this story. It is refreshing to see that despite all the negative things surrounding Belo and his country, he has risen up to use his gift to try to improve Haiti. It is nice to know that, despite all of the mainstream music that glamorizes drug culture, gangs, treating women as sexual objects, life on the "streets," etc., there are still musicians in the world who use their music to send a message of peace and hope. While Haiti certainly has a long ways to go politically, economically, and socially, every little bit counts. Progress is progress, whether it is a stable, democratic government, or a musician urging gangs to put down their guns through his songs.

Allen, TX
Belo's determination to help end war and violence and spread peace in his country is really touching. I hope that his efforts someday will reach people as much as it has reached him and everyone else watching his documentary.

Ruben Morancy - San Francisco, California
Frontline is truly the only vehicle of true reportage in the news and story telling in the USA. I have lived for the past... years in America, this was quite possibly the one best story about Haiti that I have ever watched. Great job, Nastasha. Thank you Frontline and PBS for your continued broadcasting of stories such as this one. Ruben Morancy

Bryan Schaaf - Washington, DC
I enjoyed the video very much. Music is as much a part of life in Haiti as the air we breathe. I appreciate the time and efforts you took to make it. Nothing is easy in Haiti I know, but there is no other place like it. I wrote a blog about this piece at Thanks.

eden gass - new orleans, la
This is why I love PBS, and especially Frontline. not only does Frontline provide a forum for talented young filmakers like Ms. Del Toro, but also for her subjects, in this case the people and musicians of Haiti. In an overly homogeonized American media that is controlled by fewer and fewer people, these are the voices that are so often ignored, marginalized, and left out. I commend Ms. Del Toro for focusing on some of the most underrepresented voices in the world. She also transcends the broad generalizations that plague reporting on places like Haiti: violence, kidnapping, gangs, political instability. As someone who lives in a city that falls prey to these same types of generalizations in the media, I appreciate that Ms. Del Toro acknowledges those issues, but delves much deeper and presents us with a more true to life picture of what life is really like in Haiti. If the purpose of the music festival and Ms. Del Toro's piece was to revive Haiti's tourism industry, and present a more complete view of what the country has to offer, then in my case they have suceeded in their mission. I will visit Haiti, explore its landscape, music, people and culture, because Frontline, Belo, and Ms. DelToro have opened my eyes to not only its real problems, but also its real possibilities. Thanks Belo, Thanks Natasha, and Thanks Frontline!

Lionel Paul - Greenville, SC
I lived in Haiti for 18 years of my life, in a time when life was very peaceful for the Haitian people, when we lived in harmony among us and showed respect for one another. Now it breaks my heart to see what my country has become. Watching this documentary makes me feel hopeful, but at the same time I feel sad and emotional, because we never should have come to this low point as the first free black nation. We should have been a positive example for the rest of the Caribbean nation. I would like to thank PBS Frontline for a positive side of my beloved country HAITI.

Michaelle Lauture - orlando, fl
Belo you are wonderful!!!

Winifred Saget - Norwalk, CT
American media always shows one side of Haiti - the slum of Cite Soleil - and never the beautiful side of this country. Thank you FLW for this report.

Sarah Carter Stevens - Raleigh, NC
This is an amazing commentary on the circumstances of Haiti, but even more so on how we could start to challenge our egocentric views of America and negative views of other countries. When I have traveled to and lived in poorer, less developed countries, I always receive a lot of comments from other Americans about the horror stories they have heard about crime and corruption in these other countries. Yet, I have never experienced more crime, nor "hit the deck" more times due to random neighborhood shootings than when I lived in downtown Baltimore, MD. We need to focus on our own poverty, crime and corruption as much if not more than our neighboring countries.'

Belo tu es un grand mon cher flicitations pour le prix que tu as a rfi on est trs fier de toi !!!

shari - tampa, fl
Thank you, Natasha del Toro, for sharing Belo and Haiti with those of us who have everything to learn about this inspiring country and seemingly magical place.. One luv.

Pierre J Nicolas - Naples, Florida
For the premiere time, with its rhythm, its words, and his melodies. Belo has us impression with its Ragganga, we are proud by you Haiti nest proud of you, keep going as you have it to begin.

Rommie - Tampa, FL
A brave and wonderful portrait of hope. Inspiring.

Sue Frame - Chicago, Illinois
I was at the festival. To me it was not a flop.It was a very magical experience. I found nothing but beautiful people in Jakmel. The same people who care so much about their town and country that were willing to go to all lengths to show this love of Haiti to the rest of the world. The only obstacle was the rain and even then the show went on to an audience of 35,000 people the first night and 60,000 the second night. That was magic not failure. I've made friends for life there.

Jean-Jahkob Jeudy - Fort Richardson, ak
I think there are a lot of good things happening in Haiti every second, every minute, every day. You do not hear about that, because it's a GOOD thing happening. I want to thank PBS/Frontline, particularly Natasha Del Toro, for bringing this to the rest of the world.
Jean, Anchorage, Alaska


Washington, DC
Dear Natasha, We had met last year at the festival, and I am happy to see the great result! Your documentary reminded me of good old times, when all hopes were permitted. Unfortunately since then, I had to flee my country and my outlook on Haiti is a bit bleak. I was shot and kidnapped two months ago (12/07). Don't be too hard on Eaton, I can totally understand his reaction because like him, I went through this very traumatic experience.

Luc Harry - Petion ville, Haiti
First of all, I have to thanks Natasha for having this courage to come down to Haiti despite all the bad news she heard and realize this beautiful report. While she was in Jakmel I had to work with her for a while. She is really a hard worker and doing things with all her heart. The world needs people like you. Don't give up. For Blo, stay the way you are you doing things that Haiti needed 200 years ago. May God in his glory name protect you and make your life last longer. To finish, I hope one day the whole wild world will recognize that Haiti is a country like all the others and its citizens have the right to live normally.

Allen, Texas
This video sparked interest in me about the affairs in Haiti and Haitian culture in general. It was interesting to hear about how Belo and his producers struggled through adversity to continue to fight for Haitian respect and peace.

Reynald Sully - Wichita Falls, TX
Great work Natasha!I left my country (Haiti) since 1981, and still dreaming of going back one day. I was touched by your frank, courageous and vivid account of your adventure. Thank you.

Jossira - Neptune Beach, FL
Wow, Natasha, this is great! I really admire you being so brave and optimistic. Everytime I learn something new and positive from your documentaries.

Amazing what imagination can do. One love!

Marc Celestin - Boston, MA
I can't wait for you guys to show this on TV.

Fenoune Sainvil - Miami, Florida
I think this documentary was very interesting and insightful. It is refreshing to see a talented young lady bold enough and brave enough to go and shed light on what is happening. She gives you the negative and also shows you a positive side. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, however; talk is cheap and action speaks.

amy mcleod - tampa, fl
You are honestly an inspiration to me. If I had half the courage and perserverance that you do, I would be honored! I love you and am very proud of you and the work that you are doing. Keep it up as I know you will. Much much love to you and your family!Amy

Haitianpride - Zion,Freres, Petion ville, Haiti
I think Belo makes Haiti as well as Haitians proud. It's the first documentary that shows Haiti in a positive light. Keep it up BelO. We are supporting you all the way!

Marmelade, artibonite
Really great what you did Belo and we're so proud that you make the whole world appreciate our culture and talents. Excelsior!!!

Regine Longchamp - New York, NY
Belo is not just a voice for the renewal of Haiti, his lyrics also provide a roadmap both socially and politically. Thank you Belo.

Well done! I really appreciate this. Many thanks Natasha!
Excelsior BlO.

Mayerling Choute - Cape Coral, Florida
I am very proud of Belo and all of his hard effort to show the world that my Haitian people can be positive, successful and productive.

west palm beach, FL
Thanks Natasha for the report. Belo, nothing but love. Hope your dreams come true . Once again, thanks Natasha for your courage. I like the way you represent my country. Haiti cherie!

wideline servius - apo, ae
me and my husband been married for a year now after i joined the US army. my fellow soldiers often ask me why didnt you join the haitian army instead of the US army, im often spechless or just dont have a good enough reason for it. it sadden me to see how the country degrated by years. and i pray every day that haiti get restored and finally have a president that actually love haiti and want to make the island look like the beautiful place that it is. i also wish that haitians one day actually realize that they are the country's own problem and that it can only get better with thier own help. i am sorry natasha for your unpleasant trip but im glad that you made the best of it. i am writting this from Iraq, and it is crazy how i am helping Iraq while my country need a lot more help than them. i dont know what to do. sometimes , i just feel like, i think too much.

Roosevelt Jr Moise - Montreal, Canada
It's just just to say thank you to Belo and present him all my congratulations. He made a very good job and I hope that this is just the beginning!
Keep it on!

Rockville, MD
Great job. Shows another side of Haiti that the Media doesn't find interesting enough. Seems like all they want is destruction and violence in the news. It's nice to see positive things being showcased. Keep up the good work!

Sure, violence can happen anywhere but in countries like Haiti rapes and kidnappings of innocent citizens have turned into a dirty lucrative business in which some influential members in government are possibly involved since there is little or no protection of the population against thugs.

Larry Grant - Randolph, Massachusetts
I thank you Natasha Del Toro for taking your time to expose the good in this country, it was very educational to me. In my next vacation I will definitely visit Haiti in the summer.

Ernso Richard - Montreal, Quebec
Natasha, I would say your adventure is unforgetable and unique. Despite this situation you still find some positive side and it`s awesome. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring people about this nation which is still fighting for a better tomorrow.
I wish you a better luck next time.
Peace and love!Ernso ( Montreal)

miami, florida
I have been to Haiti and liked it.It was a bad time for Haiti-2004, but ironically Colombia and Haiti are the best places to visit in Latin America now. Alain, Belo and others are trying to stop the cycle of blame. To me, Haiti is the most unique place in the western hemishere.

Osias Ronald - Port - au - Prince, Haiti, West
I wish you a lot of sucess for your good job in Hati. I think that sharing the things positive about Haiti can help. I say we have to put our hands together to save our only country, HAITI. Big up to Belo and his staff.

San Francisco, CA
I agree with Flo McGarrell, it sounds like you were mired in your own technical difficulties. Your documentary is somewhat depressing and short-sighted. I too, was at the Jakmel Mizik Festival and I had an incredible time. I met so many amazing people and danced to the excellent live music all night. I think the festival, despite some difficulites, was largely a success. There are a multitude of artists,writers, filmmakers, musicians, social workers and activists who live and work in Haiti everyday, making their mark despite the challenges they face.

Great job Natasha ! Really tough conditions for everyone.
I was there, Belo was awesome! The Marleys were really good and Tabou Combo was unbeievable on the second day. The hard work paid off for everyone in this story,
KENBE LA Editor - Coconut Creek, FL
Belo is truly a talented artist. Eaton and Maximilien's kidnapping experiences were unfortunate, but glad to see that Ms. Del Toro's mini-documentary shed light on other aspects of the country. Frontline producers keep up these informative, light-shedding documentaries. Best to Ms. Del Toro in her documentary filmmaking and other endeavors.

Jethlou - Rennes, France
I definitely liked this piece of documentary. That's a shame the festival in Jacmel was not a full success. But it's a good incentive to witness people like Belo promoting Haiti despite so many daily bad news. Keep doing this good job, dude.May our beloved Haiti become safer and nicer one day (as soon as posible).

Johny Jacques - Brooklyn, NY
I have been telling people Haiti is on its way back but so many still aren't listening. In 10 years Haiti will be a full blown tourist attraction. There is no way a gem of a country can continue to go unnoticed. Political instability is finished and the youth new generation are growing up with fresh new ideas and mentality.I am happy to be here today saying that after 20 years away I finally went back home during the Jakmel Music Festival which had me so addicted I have been back 4 times since May and going back next week. Haiti is open for business.

philadelphia, pa
WOW, You are very brave. Honestly speaking, I would not go if I were you. Other than that, the image speaks volume. It is very weird that in Miami you were around a shoot out. Be safe and keep up the good work.Happy Holidays!!!

Fred Sylain - Fayetteville, North Carolina
Thank you Natasha for showing the positive things coming out of Haiti.

Please! guys give BELO a chance, support him cause we need to support each orther if we need HAITI to change we need to start from there.

markaron mooda - lake worth, florida
I love this guy Belo. I have posters of him hanging all over my room. Belo keep up the good work!

mystral toussaint - laurelton, n.y
Excellent job,keep on doing it ,I know it's not easy. Haiti needs people like you.Thanks

Roger Malebranche - Broadalbin, New York
Haiti was the most beautiful country in the world until the arrival of Duvalier. I would not trade my youth there in the forties and fifties for anything. Del Toro and Belo were not born then and they can only imagine the splendor of my native land before greedy politicians and their self interest induced class warfare made an awful mess out of the most beautiful land in the world. I know, I lived my first 25 years of life there. Please Guys keep fighting to bring Haiti back. I want to go back and see her once more the way she was, before I die.

Philippe Dumoulin - Atlanta, GA
Great job Natasha! It is by far one of the best reports that I have seen in recent years. Now that you, as an outsider, have tasted our rum, our culture and our way of life, I have no doubt that you will be back soon. You can imagine what we, Haitians outside of the country, are missing. Make sure you go back for the carnival in Jacmel for you will not be disappointed.

Kerline D. - Orlando, FL
First and foremost I want to say your documentary is exceptional! Thank you for giving the world a view of one of the many positives in Haiti. Despite the unrest and uncertainty the one thing we have as a people is HOPE. Belo is definitely one of our "creme peyi" that has not given up on our country. Thank goodness for artists like him who have taken on the torch to spread our culture to the world. I hope PBS airs this documentary in its entirety. Please help to show another side of Haiti not just the slums. We have culture and a rich history that has been forgotten/ignored by the world. Thank you!

Metz, France
This is the kind of press release we are looking for about Haiti. Too many good things happen there and they are never broadcasted so they keep talking only about violence. Belo is a wonderful artist that the whole Haitian people support.

Mr. Aulida (Kolo) Valery - Nun's Island, Verdun, Quebec, Canada
Join me to say thank you to Natasha:
Natasha, I invite my friends and family to join me to say you "Msi". I born and spent 30 years in Haiti (Ayiti) Land of Mountains, this magic and wonderful country with a special story. My lovely country became in January 1804, the first independent black-led republic and the only nation ever to form from a successful slave rebellion.Your documentary is a wonderful way to approach our culture. Belo from Haiti to overseas we love and appreciate your job for our music and culture. We believe that your voice, your music, and your attitude still give us wish that one-day things will revolutionize in Haiti.Best regards!
Thanks to Natasha again!
Many thanks to Belo...
Thanks Frontline to sharing that with us...Mr. Aulida (Kolo) Valery, Founder Multicoaching

Flo McGarrell - Roswell, NM
Wow, I don't see what is so positive about this piece. Frankly I found it depressing and not at all resembling how I experience Haiti in the four times I have visited. I was at the festival and I think you missed a lot of the magic that happened there, but then again I stayed up all night and danced until the sun came up, the bands that played did so with so much love and passion I couldn't let tiredness or weather stop me. It sounds like your experience was somewhat colored by your own technical difficulties.

Starline Mathurin - Tampa, FL
Thank you Natasha,
You did a fantastic job with this documentary. Your report was realistic, yet not negative. It captures the soul of Haiti and its people. Haiti is a rough diamond lying in mud just waiting to be shaped. But Haiti is not mud. Very few people are able to see the Diamond that Haiti is. Haiti hasn't had an artist like Belo in a while. The world hasn't had an artist like Belo in a while. Hopefully his voice will be heard far and wide.

pouche - Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Very nice report. Belo, Beethovas Obas and Emeline Michel let us know the true color of Haiti in their music and still give us hope that one day things will change. I really enjoy his music, because it really comes from his heart. Once again, it's a very, very nice report. Thank you.

This was a fascinating glimpse into a world I have always been curious to know more about. Thank you for giving me this chance, perhaps I shall become one of those 'pioneer tourists' they are hoping to see flocking to their shores!It looks lovely. Great job!

You value humanity in all people, and therefore, consider the good heartedness of Haitians throughout your account. For, indeed, they are warm and lively people in a land that allows glimpses of overwhelming potential. Yet, irrespective of those considerations, you nevertheless hold a mirror to our faces. You call it as it is. It is not because you grow attached to such a place that it is any less dysfunctional, difficult and somehow, handicapped by its very uniqueness.
You have the special gift of illustrating a difficult reality without irreversibly classifying (dooming) a place or a people.

David Cohen - Miramar, Florida
Congratulations for this report! It's about time we have another vision of this country full of promises. Haiti seems to be on the right path and it's good to hear it. Such a music festival could not have been possible not too long ago. Next time, with Belo and other artists with the same good spirit, the festival will attract lots of tourists.

Tatianna E. - fort lauderdale, Fl
Nice to see the younger generation has hope for a brighter future in Haiti. It would be nice to eventually go and enjoy these festivities without being 'spooked'. May this encourage new roads, basic infrastructure, community development and business opportunites. Good job to those involved.

It's a fact, violence, hunger, disease happen any where in the world yet they make it seem it only happen in one place. I personally thank you for your statement about Haiti. For anyone else who doesn't know about "Haiti" there is more do it beside what they showed on T.V. Always remember it's politics.

Good, special piece! though bittersweet in many ways. Must have cost the reporter a lot more than time and money to share Haiti's sychizophrenia and cultural strengths with the world. I hope that the documentary can remind all of us of what truly matters most in life--love. The documentary did make me wonder whether Haiti is really the problem, or the people who organized the concert, or both? For every Belo there seem to be a lot more incompetent people associated with "trying" to solve Haiti's problems. Good luck Belo-keep doing and keeping the faith!!

jean Charles - elmont, NY
I commend Natasha for this short documentary. This film demonstrates that despite painful and harsh reality of their living conditions, Haitian people are resilient and live with optimism and love their country and find the strength to cope with their misfortune.

The hard work paid off for everyone. There is a real purpose in this story. BRAVO Natasha.By the way, Belo,Tabou Combo and the Marley brothers were great on the second day of the concert. Would love to see a longer documentary.

The words of the film sing like the lyrics of Belo's music. The feelings come through the voice of the journalist and honor Haiti and the struggle of the beautiful island. I hope more people can have the good fortune of seeing this jewel you have created, Natasha. You have a way with words and film and I hope to see more of your passion. Learning and feeling blend with hope.

Cristy Michel - Los Angeles, CA
Thank you for sharing this with the world.

BlO is not only a simple artist who sings on the non violence but he also sings on other social topics. He brings good advice through his songs, and which are now much useful to the young of Haiti and all over the world.

stephan p - orlando, fl
Very well put together. A few more artists like Belo is all Haiti needs to get it back on its feet.

I lived in Haiti for ten years of my childhood and I'm happy to see it portrayed accurately for once. I love Belo and Haiti and wish it nothing but the best.

Paolo Mangones - Orlando, Fl
Very well written. Haiti is my birthplace, and its nice to see people taking action to show the world what the country has to offer. The people, the culture, the landscape -- that's what Haiti has to offer. It is an amazing place, with a lot of history. It will bounce back, as Haitians will again prove their will to survive. Thank you Natasha!

Orlndia, So Paulo

henry francisco - nyc, ny
Struggling artist trying to change his surroundings, with limitations and hunger, Belo is an example of a natural youth leader, like Fela once said "music is a powerful weapon". We need a longer documentary about this artist, and how he works his way to deliver a mesage of hope and peace. The Caribbean needs more Belos. Impressive.

- Longview, Washington
Excellent! In a time when great things should be heard from Haiti you had the Nerve to Spill it! Excellent. Plus I just Love Belo.

ocean fischer - los angeles, ca
this is an incredible story full of hope, love and manifesting what can truly be if you connect dreams & music. the people in haiti need this love, these dreams and music that can teach them a different way of peace and change. keep going!!!

Bob Krum. - Columbia, MD
Natasha - We take so much for granted in our lives, and often make the biggest issue out of small complications in our lives, or in frustration with the way things are going in our country (US and Puerto Rico). Your Hatian story and what you had to go through to tell it, help put things in perspective. Gracias por abrirnos los ojos un poco mas. (Thanks for opening our eyes a lttle more.) Best wishes on future projects.

adam - san francisco, ca
When your standard for "success" is that you put on a concert and it's a disaster but "nobody got killed," that tells you how rough things have been in Haiti. There's a ray of hope even in a flop! But Belo feels like the real deal and I like his song and his message. But doesn't it seem like the real heroes are the UN peacekeeping forces?

Tika LaFleur - Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
It's positively refreshing to read an article on Haiti that does not begin with "Haiti, poorest country in the Western Hemisphere". Cheers to your optimism amongst the organized chaos of our Ayiti Cheri. An often frustrating and always enthralling country, Haiti has pulled at the strings of many of our hearts. Keep up the positivity!

Maxe Millery - Parrish, Florida
Wow! It's wonderful to notice that someone saw into the 'soul' of this one-of-a-kind country called Haiti after just one encounter. I am going to keep this young journalist in mind. May her voice be heard far and wide in coming years.

peter yeadon - port au prince, haiti
For a while, everyone here has known about this guy Belo.There is an almost inevitability that this guy's talent will hit home in the States eventually - it has to. You just can't be that good and not be commercially successful.
Haiti has an incredible talent pool, especially where it comes to producers and songwriters. There is a will for musicians to succeed in the name of, and for the good of Haiti. This is one of the very positive things happening here. Please, if you ever get the chance, see Belo at all costs, preferably in as small a venue as posible before he outgrows this circuit. As an aging, producer who has worked with many fine singers and songwriters over the last 25 years, I am surprised when I get that genuine tingle down my spine these days. This is what Belo does to me.
Bon Bagay!

Laurence Richardson - Orlando, FL
Wonderfully written and now I really want to see the documentary. When and where?

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
It's right here on the web site. Just click "play" on the video.

Congratulations on this one-of-a-kind positive piece about Haiti.

Haitian Hillbilly - K-Bik, Haiti
Great piece Natasha. Thanks for taking the high road and doing a story about Haiti with some optimism. I hope this reaches as wide an audience as possible. Bless.

Jose de Miguel - San Juan, PR
This story hits me in the gut, not in the wrong way, but in a way that few will comprehend. I too have a deep connection with Haiti, the people in the story and everyone else.Recently returning from our trip (on motorcycles) through Haiti, meeting with good friends, seeing first hand, not by horror reports, the beauty of the land, the smiles of the people.I have been listening to Haitian music for years, as well as from many other worldwide places, sometimes in the distance you can swiftly hear the lament of a land and people that have been treated unfairly for way too long, more so by the "media"Congrats Natasha..
Acuerdate que somos Puerto Rico, donde estemos y en lo que hacemos.

Very commendable...

I wish there were more people like you Natasha. This is exactly what Haiti needs, fair and constructive journalism. Although you did not have the best experience while you were there, you did not dwell on it. As stated by Belo, an Artist I admire and respect, Haiti has many qualities that should be focused on instead of the usual negative reporting tarnishing its image. So for your positive work, I thank you.

I think that it's a nice report and i believe that people in general especially BelO can push Haiti forward with the messages they giving to people thoughout their songs and Haiti would be the most peaceful country ever.

I am very happy for your story We wait for you in Haiti.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Haiti does move at it's own pace. I am happy we are getting some positive press. We have so much to offer the world, we hope more people will come visit us to realize what a positive experience a trip to Haiti can be.

Belo is the revelation for 2007. The themes sung in his music bring new hope to the young Haitian people. Belo held the Haitian flag so high in Africa and knew to show with interest what we have in our culture. With the end of this year, peace and harmony are back in the country and everyone already has hope for real change.

edwin Lugo - Springfield, VA
I enjoyed it. It was well done. I am signing up for the Frontline/World newletter.

Bibi Rodriguez - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Natasha...Te felicito. Great job. Trate de mirar el primer reportaje pero la computadora que estoy usando no tiene RealPlayer.
BibiNatasha... I congratulate to You. Great job. Treid to watch the first news article but the computer that I am using does not have RealPlayer. Exito Bibi

lOUIS DE mIER - San Juan, PR
Excellent effort! All we hear about Haiti is negative, it is outstanding to hear about positive attempts.Thank You Natasha

Marcelino San Miguel - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Nice report! Think those who tried to put up the music festival were very brave indeed! It's not easy to put up such a show in an embattled nation like Haiti today. The time will come, and let's hope people like Belo can make it happen!

san juan, puerto rico
Very insightful.We live so close to Haiti, but know very little about it.