Houses flooded in Seguin, Haiti, towards the country's southern coast, during a June 3 storm. Photo courtesy of Getho Ville

Jocelin Joseph’s home in Seguin, a village in Haiti’s southwest, stood over a sinkhole, possibly for years. But no one knew of it until storm-fed rains on June 3 washed away topsoil, revealing the hole at ground level.

From inside their concrete-block home 12 feet away, Joseph’s family saw the mouth of the hole widen that Saturday afternoon. Not knowing what lay beneath the ground’s surface, Joseph, 30, along with his parents and young siblings, quickly moved their belongings out and fled. They found shelter in a nearby primary school.


The first storms of the season hit farmers and villagers especially hard last week.

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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 is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.