News / Americas

    Haiti Quake Survivors Cope with Physical, Emotional Scars

    Alex Villarreal

    Thousands of Haitians sought refuge in the United States after the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year.  Many suffered unimaginable trauma and bear both physical and emotional scars.

    For the Jean family, life together is a blessing.

    “Because we were in [the] face of death.  That’s the work of God, because we are alive,” Stevenson Jean says.

    Stevenson lived through Haiti's earthquake with his mother and six siblings.

    His father, Jean Claude, was in Miami, working to support them.

    “I call my family, the phone, the phone is dead,” he recalls.

    All are safe now, but life still is not easy.

    Marie-Rolle Jean
    Marie-Rolle Jean

    “We had many difficulties after the earthquake. I had two children hurt in the quake and myself," explains Marie-Rolle, Jean Claude's wife.

    And with another child on the way, the Jeans also struggle financially.

    “$400 per week.  Not enough for my family,” Jean Claude says.

    To help cope, they rely on faith.  Emmanuel Zizi is the pastor at Worshipers' House of Prayer in Miami.

    “All of us have the same problems, so this is really, we help each other carry our burdens,” the pastor notes.

    Another group helping quake victims is Haitian Women of Miami, a social services agency for immigrants known as FANM.  Marleine Bastien founded the group.

    “These victims, they go through a lot.  A lot of them need housing, they need to move, they need access to school,” she explains.

    Nerline Cajuste
    Nerline Cajuste

    Nerline Cajuste came to FANM for help applying for health care aid.  She had hip replacement surgery after suffering injuries in the quake.

    "After the surgery, I have a blood clot.  Now I feel pain, I feel pain in my leg.  I cannot walk good now," Nerline says.

    The pain is not just physical.

    "It makes me sad," Nerline adds.

    "250,000 people died.  These people, they are traumatized," notes Marlene Bastien.

    When Brutus Michel relives the earthquake, he remembers his wife.

    "Her heart was beating so fast, that she died 12 days later," he explains.

    Michel says moving in with family in the U.S. has helped him cope.

    It's a daily battle all too familiar to Claude Cyntia Riou. She shares her story with the help of a translator.

    "This picture is the last picture that I took of him," she says, holding a photo of her son.

    Riou had just picked up eight-year-old Tonton from school when the earthquake hit.

    "When I saw his feet out of the car, I said 'Oh my God, Tonton died.'"

    Riou says she relives that moment every day.

    "I’m laughing, I talk, but it’s not me.  I’m here, but not really," she says.

    But with the help of her other children and her faith...Riou, like other survivors, carries on.

    "For me, Tonton is not dead," Riou says.


    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Colombia Says 2 More Journalists Missing in Rough Area

    Journalists missing in region where security forces are already carrying out massive search for prominent Spanish journalist, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday

    Cuba to Legalize Small, Medium-sized Private Businesses

    Move could significantly expand space allowed for private enterprise in one of world's last communist countries

    Coca Cola to Halt Some Production in Venezuela

    Sugar shortages and a deep recession have been forcing production shutdowns across the country

    Recording Allegedly Shows Minister Plotting Against Brazil's Rousseff

    Planning Minister Romero Jucá, who will step down temporarily, denies allegation, says words in published transcript of tape were taken out of context

    Mercury Poisoning Prompts Peru to Declare State of Emergency in Amazon

    People, rivers and fish poisoned; government blames illegal gold mining

    Peru's Fujimori Faces Money-laundering Investigation

    Probe opened in March, but became widely known Friday after report in Lima newspaper; investigation is focused on alleged suspicious financial transactions and campaign contributions