Coming from the United States, it is hard to fathom why the things we consider trash are ones others consider treasure. While traveling in Haiti, I found myself giving a lot more than I planned. The need was overwhelming. While I was in Haiti, I noticed a lot of unused land, unfinished homes, and animals running loose. The only thing I could see when I looked out of my window was destruction. Land that was previously used by children as a designated play area had now been gated and marked as a hazardous dumpsite. Every night I awoke to the smell of burning trash and grown men yelling in the streets. The smell of smoke lingered for days. There was so much work to be done and yet there seemed to be no progress . People were still unemployed and kids were taking on adult responsibilities instead of continuing their education. People lacked proper identification such as a social security card or picture ID. What is a soul without a name? I found myself asking why I should care about any of this. It’s not my life or my problem. I could just wait for my plane; it would be my ticket out. I had so many questions and only one woman would answer me. She shook her head and responded with, “My child.” That phrase stuck in my head, and I realized that if I wanted to help, I would have to do it on my own.
In reality, the overwhelming need of money, supplies, and manpower require more than just my abilities. Since these areas do not have large media outlets, I decided to take it upon myself to spread the word. Please, let us join forces and partake in this movement. We need to encourage and motivate these people to succeed. We need to show them that they are able to stand on their own two feet again. “Give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but teach him how to fish he will eat for a lifetime.” Haiti, the first Caribbean state to achieve independence, occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola with its mountainous views and tropical climate. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas due to decades of violence and instability with a huge income gap between the Creole-speaking black majority and the French-speaking mulatto’s (mixed African and European descent). Haiti became the first black republic in 1804 after a successful slave revolt against the French. As Haiti celebrated 200 years of independence, a rebellion toppled the government in February 2004.