Haiti

I’m at a loss for words about the situation in Haiti following a devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck Tuesday; in fact, I had planned to write about something else today, but the tragedy is so great, and the images are everywhere I look, that I felt compelled to at least devote one blog post to it.

Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. According to the US State Department’s Haiti Web site, “there are no ‘safe’ areas” in the country. This NY Times op-ed by Tracy Kidder offers a brief history of Haiti and how it ended up in an economic and political predicament even before the earthquake hit (and yes, America has played quite a hand in this situation). Also check out the newspaper’s Times Topics section on Haiti, which aggregates numerous articles and summaries about the country and the earthquake.

If you feel like giving, and somehow you missed ways to do it, here are some of the simplest ways I’ve seen to donate a few dollars:

*Text HAITI to 90999, and $10 will be given to the Red Cross; it comes out of your phone bill. It works — you will text the number, get a confirmation text back, and then you reply YES.

*Former President Bill Clinton has mentioned this other means of giving: text HAITI to 20222 and $10 will be given to UN Relief Efforts.

If you’re looking for a long list of ways to give, MySA.com has listed many resources, some of them local, here: How to Help Haiti’s Quake Victims

Also, here’s a story by San Antonio Express-News reporter Vincent T. Davis, about local aid heading to Haiti.

As far as videos, here’s a Frontline World online rough cut about a Haitian musician and first-time Haitian music festival from 2007.

Also, below is a video showing images of Haiti pre-earthquake, set to Arcade Fire’s beautiful song “Haiti.” The band has also listed ways to help on its Web site. What’s striking about this and the Frontline video is that they show Haiti as a real country, not just a ravaged one. Now I look at the faces and wonder, where are these people now, and are they OK?

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~ by viannadavila on January 14, 2010.

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