Haiti | St. Louis Public Radio

Haiti

Eddie Albarran, who is studying photography, took photos of a DACA rally held outside the St. Louis office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. on Sept. 6 2017. He spoke at the rally.
Provided | Eddie Albarran

A St. Louis woman from Haiti is among immigrants who are concerned about the future of family members and others without documentation, despite the recent restoration of certain protections.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it is accepting renewal applications from young people seeking protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Obama-era program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16 and were under the age of 31 when the grant took effect in 2012. President Donald Trump sought to end DACA. A federal judge temporarily blocked that decision this month.

Meds and Food For Kids

On a typical day in 2010, Joseph Volcy found himself sitting outside of his church after choir practice when he felt a great tremble, “like a bulldozer on the road.” He looked up, and from his seat on a bench, he saw half of a mountain come down behind his church. Then came the dust.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Volcy said. “No one could see where they were going. When I left the church to go home, I couldn’t. I saw a lot of people on the back of taxis and people being brought to the hospital, where some of them died. But I still couldn’t tell what was going on.”

Haitians or people of Haitian descent living and working in the Dominican Republic must have submitted paperwork to prove their legal residency by a June deadline or they will soon be deported, under a law to crack down on migrants.
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

The U.S. will be monitoring the situation as thousands of Haitians leave or are deported from the neighboring Dominican Republic as it cracks down on migrants, according to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake.

The magnitude 7.0 tremor was the worst to hit the region in more than two centuries, killing over 200,000 people.

Today, more than a million Haitians are still living in tents and improvised shelters, without access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

Washington University professor Lora Iannotti was in Haiti on the day the earthquake struck. She has returned several times since then to continue her research in nutrition and public health.

Before going back to Haiti again last week, Iannotti spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra about health conditions in this struggling Caribbean nation.

Dr. Pat Wolff at a clinic.
Provided by Washington University

Dr. Patricia Wolff, founder and Executive Director of Meds & Foods for Kids (MFK) was one of our guests today on St. Louis on the Air.  MFK has been in Cap-Haïtien combating malnutrition with Medika Mamba (aka Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food)  since 2003.  Last year’s earthquake exacerbated an already extreme situation there, crippling existing infrastructure and multiplying demand for limited resources.

As Haitians look back on the earthquake devastation that remains and look ahead to the hurricane season, they clearly see that a lot of work remains.

About 1.5 million Port au Prince residents (out of the country’s population of 8 million) still sleep in tented camps and spend part of each day standing in line for purified water. Coordination among aid organizations that have been in Haiti for a long time is going well, but that’s not the case with many of the organizations that first came in after the quake.

Dr. Pat Wolff at a clinic.
Provided by Washington University

Six months after Haiti's devastating earthquake, some Haitian institutions are planning for a "new normal."

The tragedy in Haiti has steeled the determination of several seasoned St. Louis volunteers to educate, mentor and help more Haitians become self-sustaining. Haitians must serve their own people and run their own hospitals, schools and society, they said in interviews this week.

Expansions are planned in Haiti for two St. Louis-founded institutions.