María del Valle has sent a letter to the Society recounting the current situation in Haiti.
Balan 24 October 2022
I wish you all well.
I imagine you are already hearing about the situation in this beautiful little country. It is a pity that only in calamities do we get to know more about how people live here.
This situation has been deteriorating little by little and with greater intensity every day. Along with the insecurity caused by the more than 150 armed gangs that exist in Haiti, there is hunger. This was exacerbated by the inability to buy and sell products in the markets. In addition, at the border, only trucks that could pay the police escorts could pass, which means that only the trucks of the rich could pass and not those of the poor people. The lack of fuel is forcing hospitals to close. And now there is cholera in Port-au-Prince and even more so in City Soleil.
The cholera outbreak has been made even worse because people cannot buy food or water, as the gangs are not allowed to enter the affected neighborhoods. So people either drink rain water or sea water boiled for a minute. In short, there is nothing to stop the disease.
As always in life, the misfortune of some helps and encourages others. This is what is happening in Fonds Parisyen. This town is close to the border with the Dominican Republic. Near it the goods from the fields of very rich agricultural places such as Thiot used to pass. As they can no longer sell them in Croix des Bouquets, they now sell them in Fonds Parisyen and this has helped to improve the economy of the population.
We in Balan are doing very well. We cannot go to Port-au-Prince but we can go to Jimani, the first town in the Dominican Republic by Malpasse. There we get what we need to live, for the school and the health center.
The school until last week was the only one open in Balan; now there is another one. We feed the children every day with the help of the Solidarity Fund of the Mother House. The students are arriving gradually; the parents are afraid that something will happen to their children. So there are still some students who have not yet registered. We hope that eventually they will all be registered. At the school we have Marta as director and Rosa as preschool coordinator.
The health center has not stopped caring for the sick. We have had a good number of patients and now, with the high price of fuel, there are fewer coming. The team is made up of two doctors, a gynecologist, a therapist, a pharmacist, a laboratory technician, a nurse in the observation room and a receptionist. In addition, we are now being assisted by an accountant. We are working on several fronts. One of them is the number of malnourished children, which is increasing sharply, and another is the purchase of laboratory material, which is complicated. Manos Unidas used to help us in this area, but now we cannot continue because the situation does not allow us to do things in the way we would like. We hope to be able to continue this beautiful alliance in the future. I am working as a doctor and am managing the center.
Well sisters, this is just to give you an idea of how we are doing. It is really a complicated situation but it helps us a lot to be supported by each other. Thank you for your prayers. We appreciate them very much.
With much affection, your sister,
Maria del Valle