KAPALUA, HI - OCTOBER 16: Morgan Pressel of th...
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Isolated from the rest of Molokai by towering sea cliffs on the topside of the island, the peninsula and community of Kalaupapa is a small village located on the northernmost point of Molokai. The 3,315-foot sea cliffs, the highest in the world, form a tremendous backdrop. Besides their natural beauty, the sea cliffs have managed to keep Kalaupapa separated from the rest of the world for centuries. The peninsula is so remote and inaccessible that it was used as a leprosy settlement in 1783. At that time, Father Damien started the community to separate the terminally-ill people from the rest of the population to avoid its spread throughout Hawaii. At its peak, Kalaupapa was home to more than 1,200 men, women, and children who were sent into exile. It wasn’t until 1969 that the practice of banishing affected patients was repealed. Today, only about twenty patients of the now-called Hansen’s Disease still live in Kalaupapa, amongst a diverse range of other residents and the peninsula is now called the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. While the peninsula may not be the most prime Molokai real estate, it certainly is one of the most unique. Hand-in-hand with the local culture and laid back attitude of people on the island, the community today works to be self sufficient and thrives on its own with only a weekly cargo plane delivering goods to supplement occasional product shipments by sea.

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