Friday, January 12, 2018

Haiti in the News

In eight days, our group flies to Haiti. Last night, Haiti made the national news because our president disparaged the country and its people.

Anderson Cooper's response is moving and poignant:



To reiterate: Eight years ago today, an earthquake hit Haiti, killing approximately 250,000 people (this is an estimate -- I've seen numbers as low as 150,000 and as high as 300,000; we don't have exact numbers because so few government and official people were there). For some perspective, about 2,600 people died on 9/11, about 1,800 died from Hurricane Katrina. Even using the lower numbers, the 2010 Haitian earthquake ranks as one of the worst natural disaster in the world since 1900, and the only one on the top list from the Western Hemisphere. Dr. Morse (doctor on our trip and frequent volunteer in Haiti) told me that you never meet a Haitian who didn't have a loved one die in the earthquake.

This Twitter stream claps back to those who may agree with the president by reminding everyone of the role the U.S. and other major nations played in keeping Haiti from succeeding. From the slave trade to crippling debt to government interventions to cruel tariffs, the U.S. has helped ensure that this country remains poor.

It is difficult to live in Haiti. Powerful countries have used and abused it. Mother Nature has thrown her worst at it. And yet Haitians are surving as best they know how. I'm sad our president insulted this country and its people, especially on such a grim anniversary. I hope our little group of volunteers can go do some good, despite this dark shadow.

To donate to the diocese's work in Haiti, specifically to support hospitals and medical teams in and around Cange, please give online here.

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