Some Haitians have a sharply different view. They say the Caracol Industrial Park does little more than replicate failed efforts from the past and contend it will benefit outsiders more than Haitians. They also worry it will harm some of the few pieces of undamaged environment that still exist in Haiti.
"It's really all-in on this project, and there's a high bar to deliver," said Laurent Dubois, a historian who teaches at Duke University and is author of "Haiti: The Aftershocks of History." ''It really needs to deliver in a big way so that people will think, yeah, this was the right thing to do."
The stakes are high in large part because the Clintons have been so heavily involved.
The Caracol project was in the works before the earthquake but it became a top priority for the Obama administration soon after the disaster. Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, has made almost monthly visits to the site on Haiti's northern coast.Bill Clinton also took an interest. He attended the project's groundbreaking a year ago with Martelly. The $124 million put in by the U.S. makes the park Washington's biggest single investment in the aftermath of the quake and it is certain to shape the legacy of the Clintons, who last visited Haiti together in 1975 on a wedding gift following their honeymoon in Mexico. Monday's trip is Hillary Rodham Clinton's third to Haiti since the earthquake, and there have been more than a dozen visits by her husband, who was co-chairman of an earthquake recovery panel before its mandate ended a year ago. The industrial park to be inaugurated by the Clintons was built on a 617-acre (250-hectare) site meant to "decentralize" Haiti's economy away from the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince and help develop the long-neglected countryside.