Showing posts with label Haiti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haiti. Show all posts

Sunday, May 6, 2012


old pavilion worship space with the beginnings of construction for the new
Things are afoot at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  We have been worshiping under a pavilion in the former cathedral parking lot, located between the old cathedral and the old convent.
However, we have a big event coming up later this month: the consecration of the Diocese of Haiti's first suffragan bishop. After 150 years, this is a big deal.  We are the biggest diocese numerically in the Episcopal Church, so there is a lot of territory to be covered.  The cathedral already needed a more solid worship space, something with doors and walls (I heartily concur as I listen to the downpour outside), and Holy Trinity Music School needs a place to hold concerts since the destruction of the Salle Ste Cecile two years ago.  With the upcoming consecration and the need for space for the guests, this new, much larger pavilion is going to be a real blessing.  If I understand correctly, the sides of the building will not go on until afterwards, which will leave more space around the building open for the congregation.

Canon Oge Beauvoir is the suffragan bishop-elect who will soon make history in the Diocese of Haiti.  Read Sarah's entire post and see the rest of her pictures to find out what else is afoot at the site in Port-au-Prince.

Sarah, a  Sister of St Margaret and an Episcopal priest, is in Haiti to help with the recovery from the earthquake that devastated the country a couple of years ago.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


From Yahoo News:
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier returned Sunday to Haiti after nearly 25 years in exile, a surprising and perplexing move that comes as his country struggles with a political crisis and the stalled effort to recover from last year's devastating earthquake.

Duvalier, wearing a dark suit and tie, arrived on an Air France jet to hugs from supporters at the Port-au-Prince airport. He was calm as he was led into the immigration office. He left the airport without making a statement to journalists, waving to a crowd of more than 200 supporters as he got into an SUV.

"He is happy to be back in this country, back in his home," said Mona Beruaveau, a candidate for Senate in a Duvalierist party who spoke to the former dictator inside the immigration office. "He is tired after a long trip."

Beruaveau said he would give a news conference on Monday.

Pray for Haiti.

H/T to Mark Harris at Preludium, and please read Mark's post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


From the AP via the Miami Herald:

The air was choked with memory Wednesday in this city where everyone lost a brother, a child, a cousin or a friend. One year after the earthquake, Haitians marched down empty, rubble-lined streets singing hymns and climbed broken buildings to hang wreaths of flowers.

The landscape is much as the quake left it, thanks to a reconstruction effort that has yet to begin addressing the intense need. But the voices were filled with hope for having survived a year that seemed to get worse at every turn.

"We've had an earthquake, hurricane, cholera, but we are still here, and we are still together," said Charlemagne Sintia, 19, who joined other mourners at a soccer stadium that served as an open-air morgue after the quake and later housed a tent camp.

The Haitian government estimates the number of deaths at 316,000. Bodies are still being found in the rubble, so the number will go higher. Approximately one million people remain homeless.

The people of Haiti still need our help. I give through Episcopal Relief and Development, because the organization has low overhead, and the donations go where they are needed, to help those who need help. Also ERD pays local people to do the work of cleaning-up and rebuilding.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Since the bulk of my financial support for recovery from the earthquake in Haiti goes through Episcopal Relief and Development, I was pleased to see that Nicholas Knisely at The Lead posted a link to the Episcopal Relief and Development Report on the work that has been done in the country during the past year through donations to Haitian relief.

Click on the images for the larger view.

The full report is here. ERD operates with very low overhead, with the greater part of the donations going to the people who need help.

Make a donation at Episcopal Relief and Development.

Update from Ann in the comments:
ER-D also hires local workers and buys supplies locally whenever possible - building the economy while helping with recovery.
Thanks, Ann.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


From the Guardian:

Gunfire in the centre of Port-au-Prince has left at least one person dead as violent disputes over the conduct of the presidential election continue to grip Haiti.

Election officials attempted to calm the unrest, now in its fourth day, by promising a recount of the vote to settle which two of the three leading candidates go into a final round.

Supporters of Michel Martelly, a popular carnival artist, say he is being deprived of a place in the runoff through vote-rigging to favour Jude Celestin, the ruling Unity party's chosen candidate.

Several people suffered bullet wounds in the Champ de Mars, a park beside the national palace that has become a shantytown in the wake of January's devastating earthquake. Supporters of Martelly were detained (above) as police quelled the riots.

The presidential election has been widely criticised by UN, US and EU monitors for being poorly organised and riddled with fraud and intimidation of voters.
Trouble upon trouble for the people of Haiti. What next?

Meanwhile, the cholera epidemic continues to take its toll.

While containing the violence remains the Haitian authorities' priority, the cholera epidemic that has so far claimed 2,000 lives continues to sap energies and resources. New evidence emerged today that appeared to support suggestions the disease was introduced by UN peacekeeping forces from Asia.

Genetic tests carried out by a team of scientists in the US confirmed that the strain of cholera that has hit Haiti came from south Asia. It was a particularly dangerous mutation that resembled a strain found in Bangladesh.

Prayer for Haiti
By Josh Thomas at the The Daily Office.

O Father of the poor and Mother of the oppressed: Enfold in your arms the suffering people of Haiti. Comfort those in mourning; relieve those in pain; give shelter to the homeless and hope to those in despair. Feed your people, O God, with bread both earthly and divine, and give them your water and wine. Help them bury the dead, nurse the sick and wounded, and raise their faith and dignity, for they are some of your dearest children. Proclaim your truth that this vibrant, creative nation still shines as a beacon of freedom throughout the Americas. And help the people of Haiti, with the nations of the world, to rebuild their colorful land in the image of your Son Jesus Christ, who knows our suffering because he took our mortal pain into his body on the Cross, then rose again to live and reign with you and the Holy Comforter. Amen.

O God, we pray for your peace that passes understanding to fill the hearts of the people of Haiti that violence may cease, and that the people of the country may join together to work for the betterment of life for all in their country. We pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In the Church Times, Giles Fraser, Canon at St. Paul's in London, writes wonderfully on Jesus' descent into hell.

THE Bishop of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, the Rt Revd Pierre Whalon, has just returned from a visit to Haiti. He preached at St Paul’s the other day, and came to lunch with us afterwards, where he told a story about how bad things are in Port-au-Prince.

He spoke of coming across an open pit of bodies that people were also using as a rubbish tip for house hold refuse. All he wanted to do was climb down into the pit and clear out the rubbish. That is to be my abiding prayer thought for this year’s Holy Week.

Christ jumps into the pit of death to claim even the grave for his victory. With this last act, the victory over death, Christ is the Lord of all. There are no corners of human experience that cannot be redeemed by his love.

Although the words, "He descended into hell," are present in The Apostles' Creed, today we tend to slide over the words without giving them due attention. Read Giles' entire post, and you might change your mind.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


My friend Georgianne Nienaber made her way to devastated Haiti to write about the plight of the people there. She has written eloquently in The Huffington Post about the desperate and dangerous situation of the people of Congo. And now she is on the story in Haiti.

From The Huffington Post:

What should the mainstream media do when the guy who identified the H1N1 outbreak in Mexico and was a key player and founder of ARGUS, a global detection and tracking system for the early detection of biological events, says Haiti is facing a serious gap in preparedness, early warning, and rapid response regarding pediatric diarrheal disease? If they are doing their homework, they talk to him and other epidemiologists and doctors in the field who say that the big NGOs and the United Nations are fudging the facts about their accomplishments.

As [Jim] Wilson reports on his website, and contrary to what the United Nations and Care International have reported , about safe drinking water and sanitation in the IDP camps, the opposite is true.

This man is telling the truth. I was there. So was my physician husband, and what we witnessed is beyond the pale. Hand washing is non-existent and raw sewage is flowing throughout the camps. Walk anywhere with peril. Human feces are everywhere, even in the ruins of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. Open sewer grates serve as pit toilets. At the risk of providing too much information, I abandoned my shoes because they had become too saturated with human waste picked up in the camps.

The cat may already be out of the bag. My husband saw and identified cases of infant diarrhea on March 12 in a camp of 5500 outside of Petionville. Here is some raw video of the conditions on that day. When we returned seven days later, a small Irish NGO, HAVEN, was trying to build latrines, but you can imagine what the surrounding grounds were like with 5500 people having no sanitation facilities.

Ordinarily, I would have been on top of Dr. Wilson's request immediately, but I was incapable. Why? I had picked up the disease myself and have spent the last two days and eight hours of that time with constant bouts of simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting. It was the worst illness I have ever experienced in years of traveling and I can only imagine what it is like for a baby, let alone an adult, to sleep in the rain and mud at night, have no shelter under a blazing sun and 90 plus degrees, and no hope of feeling better. I had access to the best antibiotics and palliative care, including rehydration that is not available to these people. Infants can die within 24 hours of contracting this disease.

The rainy season has not even begun yet.

As Dr. Wilson says, "Complacency is a dangerous state of mind."

Read the entire article and watch the video at HP. The situation in Haiti remains dire. We must not permit our interest and our concern for our neighbors to the south to flag. We must continue to offer our help.

Want to help? Here's the link to Praecipio International, "a non-profit organization that tracks disease outbreaks globally, [and] is planning to re-deploy to Haiti to assist in curbing unfolding infectious disease crises as the rainy season begins." You can donate at their website.

Monday, January 18, 2010


John D sent me the photos of the murals in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I wanted to see pictures of the murals, about whose beauty I'd heard so much, but my online search proved fruitless. Perhaps, I was not diligent enough in my search, but then these two photos from John D landed in my mailbox. When I asked permission to post the pictures here, John D responded:

Please post them, if you wish. I'm afraid very few people in the rest of TEC ever saw them. I particularly love that the artist(s) chose African faces for the traditional stories.

Mrs. John D (Betsy) took the photos.

Of the picture above, John said:

Actually, this is my favorite, and apropos for Epiphany.


How sad that the lovely cathedral and the beautiful murals are now a pile of rubble.

Of course, compassion and help for the people of Haiti must be our concern before buildings, but I can't help but grieve the loss of such beauty as the cathedral and the murals.

If you'd like to help, I suggest Episcopal Relief and Development. They're one of the best, with low overhead and nearly all of the money going to help the people of Haiti.


Ormonde Plater said...

The famous murals of Cathédrale Sainte Trinité, on the life of Christ in a tropical setting, can be seen at Windows on Haiti. All were destroyed except the wall with the Baptism of our Lord (lower left).

Thank you, Ormonde, for the link to photos of all of the murals.