Friday, 30 September 2011

Some images and thoughts from Haiti

Alfredo visited the north of Haiti, where they didn't receive much damage from the earthquake but received all the people escaping the devistation. He travelled by bus from the Dominican Republic and crossing the border was a huge difference... DR was clean, organised streets, electricity, shops and businesses... cross the border and everything is dirty and dusty, there are no organised steeets and just the one main road that is full of potholes.

The rubbish impacted Alfredo, everywhere is dirty. There is no rubbish collection and no sewers, everything ends up in a canal on the edge of the street (makes me think of London 100yrs ago!)

The people don't have much, but they are resourceful. everywhere there are little street sellers selling the little they can - petrol by litres, biscuits, handicrafts, cooked food.

Alfredo travelled in a pick-up with 20 people and 5 sacks of materials. The only nice cars are owned bu the very rich or the NGOs and missions working there.

The Ecuadorian army were working near where they visited. They have been working with the UN, helping police the area.

The OMS mission compound where they stayed was beautiful, an oasis in the middle of a desert. green and well-kept, it shows what can be achieved. They employ lots of people to look after the guesthouse and grounds, trying to help as many people as possible with work.

The community has a water system that was built years ago (maybe upto 50 years ago!). Water does get to the community, but there isn't enough and isn't clean and only a few connections receive water, the peoplel have to go and collect water still.

no one has latrines or bathrooms. This explains why Cholera has spread so quickly and is so difficult to stop.

The families live in little groups, with the grandparents with the house at the front and children and grandchildren have the houses behind in the 'garden'. There are no organised streets, just groups of fmaily houses with little trails leading to each. Designing a water system will be difficult!

the Haitian women cook amazing food... Alfredo put on weight while there!

As in all places, despite the poverty there are rich people. They live in luxury houses with high walls and security. The nice restaurants are on the seafront (so the diners can look out to sea and not at the poverty while they eat). The top hotel is on a hill and built like a fort.

NGOs and Missions and Foreign governments are still treating Haiti as though they are in need of relief, giving them everything for free and doing everything for them. Haiti needs recovery and development now, help the Haitians think, plan and build their own water systems and letrines and schools. Help them develop the soil and grow food, build new houses and leave the tented camps.

But Haiti was in a bad way before the earthquake... Haitians need a transformation of the mind before the country can change.

Alfredo felt spiritual oppression while he was in Haiti. Vudoo offerings can be seen everywhere and the cemermonious drumming can be heard in the mornings. The community they visited is a few miles from one of the main vudoo religious sites.

Vudoo has the Haitians trapped. It is the main religion and relies on people believing in curses and pacifying the gods. The saying goes that Haiti sold its soul to the devil to get inderpendence from France and are now a cursed nation.

Haiti needs Jesus and the freeing spirit of the Holy Spirit. The church is growing, the key is that Jesus isn't added to the vudoo collection of saints and gods but belief in Jesus breaks the chains of the Vudoo.

Keep Haiti in your prayers.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

HCJB Global article about Alfredo's trip

Ecuadorians in Haiti: Making Water System Repair a Community Rally Point
(Sept. 16, 2011 - by Ralph Kurtenbach)

Haiti’s reconstruction needs loom large after damages inflicted by the devastating January 2010 earthquake. But in the country’s north, Ecuadorian civil engineers César Cortez and Alfredo León anticipate going deep with one specific community by helping reconstruct its water system.

Cortez, who has worked with HCJB Global Hands for many years, is surveying the area about six miles south of Cap-Haitien. He is being accompanied by León who joined the team a few years ago. They are collaborating with Lifewater of Canada and One Mission Society.

“The water projects team we have sent is on the ground with two purposes,” said Martin Harrison, director of community development for the Latin American Region, who has had satellite phone contact with the engineers who are in Haiti for 10 days.

“Firstly, they want to build relationships and confidence with the communities that have expressed interest in a water project,” he explained. “Secondly, they will be collecting information and conducting topographic surveys with a view to producing a long-term solution to the community’s water and sanitation needs.”

The Sept. 12-23 trip objectives are similar to those of Cortez in January 2011 when he surveyed the Cap-Haitien area’s wells and documented his findings. “There are about 100 wells in that area,” he said. “Really, the first option is to rebuild one of the water projects that, maybe 50 years ago … the Red Cross had built.”

“Right now it is completely destroyed,” Cortez added. Reestablishing Cortez’s ties to the community is key to the Ecuadorian duo’s visit. Just as the Vozandes Community Development team’s efforts emphasize community involvement and empowerment in Ecuador, so too Cortez and León are seeking to guide a Haitian effort, not eclipse it with foreign intervention.

“A key element is relations,” said Cortez. “Everything is based on relations—relations with God, with churches, with leaders and with the people in these communities. So the best way to pray for us is that God can help us in these relations.”

During three weeks in Haiti earlier this year, Cortez was also able to teach in a seminary and in local churches around Cap-Haitien.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Carta de Haiti, Jueves 15 septiembre


Estamos bien, un poco cansados despues de caminar muchos kilometros haciendo la
evaluacion de la comunidad. No hay recoleccion de basura, no hay calles (excepto la de
ingreso) ni letrinas. la gente sobrevive vendiendo chitos, aguacate y cargando celulares
( no hay electricidad) es trsite y desafiante ver como simpre hay maneras de ganar
algunos centavos.

Regresamos en una camioneta junto con 20 personas en el balde y cinco sacos de cosas.
recibimos muchiiiiisimo polvo.

Es un poco dificil empezar en un lugar en donde siempre reciben todo gratis por parte de
ONG, ya que siempre nos estan pidiendo dinero, incluso en ingles!!! Y nos llaman Blanc
(blancos) por no ser de raza negra, que ironico!!! jajaja.

Es un buen momento para relexionar de la forma de llevar un evangelio renovador y difente
a la gente, valorando su autoestima y haciendoles ver que ellos MISMOS pueden hacer

Bendiciones desde Cabo Haitiano, Haiti

Alfredo (y Cesar esta ya desacansando )