Haiti Visit Day One: A Bustling Port-au-Prince

Haiti damage

An example of how the earthquake that struck Haiti January 12th, 2010 crumbled some structures and left others still standing. Photo by Mikaele Sansone/CRS

Mikaele Sansone, of CRS’s Global Fellows program, joined four priests, one deacon, and anther CRS staff member in a trip to Haiti as part of the Global Fellows program. They went to witness the work of CRS with the intent to share the Haiti story with Catholic communities in the U.S. Mikaele filed this report.

Today we arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Approaching the airport we flew over the city and a sense of apprehension began to build up inside of me. My mind began to race with the possibilities of what we were going to see upon deplaning, not to mention the next eight days. Walking through customs everything appeared “normal”: baggage claim was pure chaos, but the good news is that no one lost their luggage.

The situation in Haiti did not become clear until we began driving to the CRS office. It was amazing to see some houses standing and not affected by the earthquake at all (at least on the surface) and right next door there was nothing but rubble. People were moving about the streets and cars were maneuvering their way in and out of traffic. The only barriers we encountered were motorcycles cutting us off and taxis stopping to let a passenger off. The city was definitely bustling with activity.

The CRS staff provided us with a great overview of the challenges facing the Haitian people in rebuilding their livelihoods. Things are moving forward and the Haitian people are making it a happen.

This was only the first day; we have seven more to go and a lot more to see. Check back to hear more of our journey.

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