Global Outreach

Haiti Today

Posted by Juan Urrea on Apr 7, 2015 7:58:00 AM

At the beginning of March, volunteer photographer, Tina Erdmann, and I went to visit our ministry partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

While in Haiti, our plan was to visit 4 of the 6 school locations in our Haiti child sponsorship program. Since my last visit to Haiti two years ago, I hoped to see changes for the better but it seemed as though the people were more disheartened and frustrated than ever. We were unable to visit any of the schools in our Haiti program due to the fact that the religious sisters are being targeted by unscrupulous robbers and thieves who think the sisters have money coming out of their ears. Particularly when the sisters are visited by foreigners, the thieves assume their visitors are leaving behind donations and loads of money. These vandals keep an eye on the sisters and if they have visitors, they come armed and demand money or any valuables. Some of our sisters have been struck or slapped when they resisted.

nun, non-profit employee and volunteer photographer posing for photograph Sr. Lops welcoming Juan and Tina to Port au Prince.

So going to the school locations would have been placing them in danger. It seems conditions have not improved that much at all. Haiti today continues to struggle economically. There is a lack of job opportunities, an increase in violence and crime, and the same lack of infrastructure. The people are looking to their government to make some headway and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. 

Port au Prince street scene Port au Prince street scene
 
Street vendors under sun umbrellas on the streets of Port au Prince, Haiti People selling their wares at street markets.
 
crumbling structure of earthquake damaged cathedral in Port au Prince, Haiti The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption damaged in the 2010 earthquake is still not completely razed, nor rebuilt.

To minimize the risk of danger, the Sisters came to visit us at the guest house in Port au Prince where we stayed while in Haiti. They brought some of the children sponsored in our Cité Soleil location, a very depressed area in Port au Prince, similar to the favelas (slums) in Brazil. We had the opportunity to take some photos and videos of the children who were happy to be out for a car ride with the Sisters. One has to wonder how those sweet and cute children struggle day to day living in such difficult conditions. They must be very resilient and blessed by God. 

a group of Haitian boys and girls Some of the children from the Cité Soleil child sponsorship programs.

The support provided to the children in Haiti by you, our sponsors and donors, is so important. The schools in our child sponsorship program are a safe haven for them, the one place where they are not under constant stress. The lack of stability in Haiti today makes it one of the most challenging programs for CARITAS For Children with regard to consistent communication between sponsor and child, but we cannot give up. It is clear to me, that our program there is very important. 

people walking in Port au Prince, Haiti The people of Haiti are our sisters and brothers in the family of God.

Haiti is a country of beautiful slim and tall people, who are jovial, friendly, intelligent, and sincere; living in a crowded country with few opportunities to improve their situation. I think we must pray a lot for the people of Haiti, so that they can find a way out of that voracious cycle of calamities and chronic poverty. Hopefully and with God’s help we might be able to come back to Haiti soon and visit each of the schools where we have children receiving the blessing of your support through our child sponsorship programs.

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