haiti national palace
People gather in front of the grounds of the damaged National Palace in 2010, after the earthquake. Photo by Garry Pierre-Pierre

NEW YORK — On January 12, 2010, Jimmy Amisial, then a teenager, was living in his native Gonaives when he felt tremors. Though the epicenter of the earthquake that struck in Haiti was 15 miles south of Port-au-Prince, the moments of shock soon turned to anguish as Haitians worldwide worried about the status of loved ones. 

Amisial remembers waiting three days to finally hear from his mother, who was visiting the Haitian capital. Luckily, she was unharmed. 

“You didn’t have to be in Port-au-Prince to feel how impactful it was,” said Amisial, now a resident of Elizabeth, New Jersey. “The government needs to try to help people build their houses so when earthquakes happen they don’t have to run from their homes.” 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.

Larisa is a reporter for The Haitian Times covering politics, elections and education primarily. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she has interned at CNBC and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is also a recipient of a 2021 DBEI Fellowship by Investigative Reporters & Editors. Larisa can be reached by email at larisa@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @larisakarr.

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Leonardo March is Brooklyn-based visual journalist from Puerto Rico and a Report for America corps member

Leonardo can be reached at Leonardo@haitiantimes.com