When I heard a month or so ago that “Ticket to Paradise” was going to be broadcast by Al Jazeera and also made available online, I knew I wouldn’t want to miss it. Haitians have been arriving in Brazil since 2010, looking for a better life after the devastation of the massive earthquake there that killed untold thousands and left survivors homeless and in dire need. In fact, immigrants from many nations have been attracted by stories of Brazil’s “booming economy.” Thousands have arrived in the state of Acre via a perilous route through other South American countries, paying a small fortune to “coyotes” to get them across borders and through countries.
It was heartwarming to see close-up the help Damião, an ex-soccer player, has been providing in terms of legalization and employment assistance. This documentary follows him and his Haitian assistant, Ricardo. Although Brazil is not quite the “paradise” many, including Haitian immigrants, imagine it to be, it is certainly vastly better than Haiti ever has been or is today.