Michael Klatt is a CRS volunteer who helped create a waste management project in Honduras. He is currently completing his volunteer work at the Diocese of Chicago, Illinois communicating to parishes about Honduras and CRS. His blog is part of a series of personal reflections our volunteers are sharing from their journey and experience overseas. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’
CRS President Ken Hackett is visiting Haiti this week as a food crisis continues to cause hardship in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. He shares some thoughts on his first day in the country.
I arrived yesterday in Port-au-Prince from Miami and spent most of the day in our CRS Haiti office receiving briefings on our programs. They are most impressive. In our HIV and AIDS response, the CRS-led AIDSRelief consortium provides life-saving anti-retroviral medication through eight local partner treatment facilities to more than 2,900 people. Another 6,000 people with HIV are receiving clinical care. I also heard about all the support we are providing to orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS.
We are also involved in an interesting joint project with the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY. The project provides basic social services and counseling to Haitians who were deported from the Dominican Republic back to Haiti. We provide assistance to help these folks return to their families and we work with communities in both countries to prevent violence and discrimination and to make sure the rights of these people are respected.
The food crisis is obviously troubling to people here. I wouldn’t say it’s disastrous yet, but it is certainly a problem. The price of gas here is $6 a gallon, which is contributing to the high cost of food.
Although Haiti is poor, it is a beautiful country. It has always reminded me of West Africa. The people are gentle and kind.
Later today, I’ll travel to the southern city of Les Cayes to visit a clinic and some HIV and AIDS programs.
As Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Mexico continue our emergency response to the flooding in Tabasco, Mexico, the news media are turning to us for on-the-ground updates. Reporter Elizabeth Malkin uses CRS as a source for an estimate that half of the 750,000 residents of the city of Villahermosa have fled their homes.
The story also quotes Eufemio Flores of our sister agency, Caritas Mexico, as saying the last time the state of Tabasco suffered such serious flooding, in 1999, people had to stay in shelters for as long as two months. “It will be longer than that this time,” he said.
CRS Mexico Country Representative Erica Dahl-Bredine was also quoted over the weekend in a Bloomberg news service story, saying, “This is the worst disaster in Mexico’s recent history.”
For more updates, visit our website.
We are accepting donations targeted to our relief efforts in Mexico, as well as the recovery from Tropical Storm Noel that hit parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
CRS Commits $1.5 Million to Aid Survivors of Flooding in Mexico and Tropical Storm Noel in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and CubaFriday, November 2nd, 2007
Catholic Relief Services is responding to the flooding in the state of Tabasco in Mexico, as well as the damage caused by Tropical Storm Noel in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba. We have committed an initial $1.5 million for emergency relief, including water, food and basic supplies. We are working closely with our Caritas agencies in each country.
Each year, CRS sponsors the Eileen Egan Journalism Awards to recognize journalists who demonstrate excellence in reporting on international humanitarian and social justice issues. As part of their prize, the 2007 winners recently returned from a 10-day reporting trip to Peru. Here is the first article filed by this year’s Eileen Egan winners.
By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service
PISCO, Peru (CNS) — Six weeks after an earthquake flattened 80 percent of the adobe brick homes in Pisco, the town on the Pacific coast 140 miles south of Lima, had only recently started to rumble consistently with the more welcome sound of heavy equipment hauling away tons of rubble.
The otherwise flat terrain around Pisco was growing new hills, composed of broken adobe bricks, scraps of roofing material, windows, furniture and other unsalvageable remains of what had been a city of 116,000 people before the magnitude 8 earthquake on Aug. 15.
Caritas Peru, the Catholic Church’s relief organization, reported a national death toll from the quake of 519 people, with another 1,800 injured. More than 70,000 homes were destroyed, and 33,000 more were damaged.
Pisco, Ica, Chincha, San Clemente, San Andres and other shattered towns shake with seismic aftershocks only rarely now. Instead, their narrow roads tremble with the vibrations of bulldozers and dump trucks hauling away debris.