Building destroyed by the earthquake in Jacmel, 25 miles from Lamontagne. Photo by Mike Goodman

The web of friends and family connected to Haitians stretches far around the world. In 2010, roughly a million Haitian nationals had migrated to other countries, while 2,000 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) worked in Haiti. Time passed slowly while we waited, first, for word from those who lived there and, second, to know what we could do to help.

In Wisconsin, Mike Goodman, my partner, and I sat at home, tea cups in hand, intent on Brian Williams and his nightly news. We were unable to fully grasp the pain, terror, dust, death, fear, screams, sadness, gasps, anger, desperation and heartache those survivors in Port-au-Prince felt that first night.

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Avatar photo

J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.