AP PHOTOS: Cockfighting is popular pastime in poor Haiti

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Colombia recyclers - "Pimp My Carroça"
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AP PHOTOS: Cockfighting is popular pastime in poor Haiti
Trash collector Hector Emilio poses for a photo next to his freshly painted cart as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city filling their carroças or carts, with discarded material such as plastic and cardboard, to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Colombian artist Lorena Correa spray paints the side of a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard, for profit. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Artists paint a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard, for profit. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Michael Cubillos, a trash collector, pulls his cart with a message that reads in Spanish, "Christ Loves You", after it was painted by an artist as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of these urban recyclers. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Colombian artist Taty Gomez paints her version of Latin American television icon El Chavo, on the side of a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Colombian artist Taty Gomez paints her version of Latin American television icon El Chavo, on the side of a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
An artist spray paints a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard, for profit. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Artists paint carts used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard, for profit. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Colombian artist paints Daniel Acuna paints his version of a Virgin Mary on the back of cart used to collect discarded recyclable materials, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Trash collector Carmen Diaz watches as Colombian artist Taty Gomez paints the side of a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Colombian artist Lorena Correa spray paints the side of a cart used to collect recyclable material, as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of urban recyclers, who travel the city collecting discarded material such as plastic and cardboard to sell. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
A trash collector pulls a cart that was painted by Colombian artist Lorena Correa as part of the artistic and social project, âPimp My Carroçaâ in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Dozens of artists from different countries and volunteers took part in the project, created by Brazilian artist Thiago Mundano to draw attention and respect to the crucial role of these urban recyclers. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
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PETIONVILLE, Haiti (AP) -- Cockfighting lives on in Haiti, where weekly fights draw crowds of men, hungry for the drama and the promise of a big payout.

The centuries-old sport, pitting two roosters against each other in a fight often to the death, is vilified in the U.S., where it is illegal. But it's a popular pastime for Haitians, especially in the slums and rural areas of the hemisphere's poorest nation.

Aficionados defend it as part of the island's culture.

SEE ALSO: Model locked up over parental abduction charges

At the Route Freres cockfighting arena in Petionville, makeshift rooster cages have signs in French: "If you need people's respect, you first need to respect yourself."

At the Morne Hercule arena men shout out bets and flash cash as roosters prepare to fight.

Cockfighting fits into a gambling culture that includes fighting bulls and "borlettes," gaudily painted outlets that play on New York State Lottery numbers. For people living on less than $2 dollars a day, as most Haitians do, the chance to win money betting on cockfights or the lottery is one of the main attractions.

Related: Haiti votes as rampant poverty persists:

Haiti Votes as Rampant Poverty Persists


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