Jacmel 2010

When we drove into downtown Jacmel the first thing we saw was the completely collapsed gas station. One of the hardest hit neighborhoods was the historical area and some of my favorite buildings were marked with a red check meaning they were condemned. Rubble from the main building collapse at Hotel Cyvadier was being crushed by men with simple tools and transported with wheelbarrows, and this was the case all over. When we went to give hundreds of pounds of medical supplies to the Jacmel Hospital, we saw the condemned church across the street and met the priest who had set up tents for his parishioners in an empty lot. Walking through the Jacmel Cemetery, we found a woman praying to the Baron cross who wouldn’t let us photograph her, but after she left (and told us not to follow) her ceremonial flame continued to burn. We were invited to a special Vodou ceremony where beautiful Mambos danced and prayed and sang for Haiti, and Danballa and other loa made appearances. Many organizations and countries were contributing aid in various ways, and we came upon Spanish drivers napping along their large convoy of supplies and Save the Children dispersing blankets. We ran into many memorial services with full funeral bands. Although Kanaval was cancelled, paper maché artists still had work to display yet much that was ruined in the earthquake. Zanmi Lakay gave out a lot of supplies and funds to these artists and their families.

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