The doorman/guard at our local sushi restaurant is a Haitian named Jean. He speaks French and English, and is learning Portuguese through immersion. Jean is a big, friendly fellow who always greets “mes amis” as we walk past with the dogs of an evening. Always willing to chat, he seems happy and content.
But when we really stop and talk, we realize how hard life is for him here in Brazil. He came a year ago, leaving his family behind in Haiti as he works to raise money to support them, and, he hopes, to start a better life for himself and them when he returns. Here in our neighborhood, he works two jobs that we know of — doorman at Sushi Nabe and valet at a Mineran restaurant — making survival wages.
Jean’s story is not unique in…
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