IAmA survivor of the 2010 earthquake that struck Léogâne (west of Port-au-Prince), Haiti. On the five year anniversary of the disaster, AMA.
On January 12, 2010 one of the deadliest natural disasters in the past 100 years struck just west of the capital of the small island nation of Haiti. Figures of the death toll range from the low-end estimates of 100,000 to the upper-end government figures of 316,000, causing massive damage to families, the economy, and infrastructure immediately, while the lingering effects persist still. The five year anniversary of this disaster is today.
Five years ago I traveled to Haiti with a small group in order to help take supplies to a school on the northern side of the island, serve as a translator, and help assess what teachers needed in order to better do their jobs. After a productive week, we journeyed back to the capital in order to catch our flight, leaving on what was supposed to be the 13th of January. We arrived the day before, the 12th, around 3:30 p.m., about an hour before the earthquake struck.
Ask me anything. I am happy to respond, but please keep in mind that I will tell it from my point of view. Please keep questions directed to me, and let's try to keep the conversation away from controversial political issues, if at all possible.
I will be around for a while able to answer questions, and will try to respond to as much as I possibly can. Thank you!
Image of my arrival to Port-au-Prince, eventual evacuation to the Dominican Republic, and departure back to the U.S. Mods, if you require more proof, please PM me.
Edit: I have to take a break for a bit, but will return to answer unanswered questions. Thanks for your thoughtful input and great questions thus far. Be patient and I will be sure to respond to your question.
Edit 2: I am answering some more questions right now, so don't despair. Thanks for your questions, and to those of you that were there or are helping to disseminate information for those that wish to help, thank you. Some of the organizations listed below for those that are interested: http://www.haitiemergencyrelief.org/Haiti_Emergency_Relief_Fund/home.html
Edit 3: I will continue to answer questions, if there are more, later. I'm out of here for the time being! I hope that this is helping to understand some of the complex challenges that still linger from this disaster, and helps to paint a more realistic picture of what it is like first-hand after something like this happens. Haiti isn't alone in facing the challenges of coming back from something so horrific, and we often forget once it leaves the mainstream news outlets. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful feedback and questions!