Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Haiti

H is for Haiti
 This post was written by a newer boy here at Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Therapeutic Boarding School. As a member of the World Geography class, he immediately thought of Haiti when he picked H.  The earthquake a few years back was his first thought, and became an integral part of his post. 

Haiti is a relatively small, island nation. It is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, right next to the Dominican Republic. When we think of earthquakes, most people think of California or tsunamis hitting Japan or the coast of the Indian Ocean. A majority of people don’t realize that when they think of tectonic plates, they are overlooking a lot of the picture. There is a tectonic plate, named the Gonave microplate, touching many of the islands of the Caribbean. This is why Haiti is prone to earthquakes, although they only occur every few centuries.

Haiti is a very poor country. Nearly a majority of Haiti’s wealth is owned by 1% of its citizens. Although not many people notice Haiti on a map, for decades if not centuries, Haiti has had a chronic problem of being over-influenced by outside forces. A majority of Haiti’s citizens are descendants of former African slaves. One of the main national languages is French. Very little of Haiti’s history has survived exploration due to being conquered and decimated by disease.

The gonave microplate in relation to Haiti and the earthquake
Since the earthquake, a lot has changed. About 89% of the people that lost their homes are back in permanent housing. Some humanitarian organizations have been trying to make the devastation into a positive, including starting healthcare, education, and modern housing systems. They are supporting communities with being cleaner and more hospitable, through creating jobs and urging families to educate their children. Some of the education reforms include training 1,000 teachers and creating school-government connections to strengthen the school system and assure longevity. Meanwhile, the housing reform consists of employing citizens to rebuild and relocating 10,500 families to new homes. The neighborhoods are better than ever, with clean water plumbing and protection measures for women and children. 

A large amount of the rebuilding of the nation has been facilitated by the Catholic Church. It is likely that the church will have strong influence over the government in the near future.

“The Anatomy Of A Caribbean Earthquake.” NPR. 2010. 3-24-2014. 

“Haiti.” Global Issues. 2010. 3-24-2014.

“Haiti Quake Recovery at 4 Years.” CRS. 3-24-2014.

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