MIAMI (CBS4) – It’s been nearly two and a half years since a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti. The island nation is still recovering as witnessed first-hand by CBS4 News Anchor Shannon Hori.
She joined a group of South Floridians who recently traveled to Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti blighted with earthquake rubble, as they took part in a mission to deliver much-needed help.
The National Palace in Haiti used to be a symbol of pride for Haitians but it is still crumbled and in pieces. To many people in the country, it’s now a symbol of how little has been done since the January 12, 2010 quake.
Marie Chery moved from Miami to Haiti to serve as the Country Director for Project Medishare, the non-profit started by two South Florida doctors, Barth Green and Arthur Fournier.
Chery said her home country has gone from poverty to misery.
“It makes me feel angry a little bit,” Chery told Shannon Hori. “It still has not changed. To see it here it brings back the earthquake, the trauma, the loss for the country, the people who died.”
Half a million Haitians still live in tent camps where food, water, employment, and hope are in short supply.
Chery and Shannon visited one of the tent cities within walking distance of the National Palace.
The Haitian government has told them that they will be relocated to homes, but they are still waiting. Until then, people shower and cook their food on the streets and the children don’t go to school because few can afford it.
Shannon met one family who lives in a tent. Barbara Laurant showed the inside of the tent where there’s only a single mattress. She explained how she sleeps on the mattress with her husband and mother-in-law. The three children, including one under the age of one, sleep on the ground.
“When it rains we are flooded because water gets in here and we have to stand up all night,” Laurant said through an interpreter.
To make things even worse for the family, Laurant’s husband was just in a horrible motorcycle accident and is in the hospital. His mother told Marie Chery that they don’t have the money for necessary medical tests and they don’t know what will happen to him.
Chery referred her to Project Medishare’s hospital where he will be able to get the tests for free. It brought the family to tears because for this family, it’s one of the few good things to happen to them recently.