On May 7, Claude Généreux completed a seven-day mission in support of our Haitian union counterparts in the Confédération des travailleurs et travailleuses des secteurs publics et privés (CTSP). Here are some on-the-ground observations and photos from our Secretary-Treasurer.
Looking down, Port-au-Prince has blue spots everywhere that look like swimming pools in North American cities, but they’re actually blue tarps.
Most residents of Port-au-Prince, including our union counterparts, are still living in tents nearly four months after the January 12 earthquake. The unions have established and are operating several camps. The current CTSP office is a big blue tent.
Every piece of flat ground in Port-au-Prince is occupied by encampments. For example, there is an enormous camp directly opposite the ruined presidential palace.
The hotel where our delegation is housed is still partially collapsed. The hotel tennis court is covered with tents.
On May 4, our delegation helped set up a medical clinic for members of the CTSP and supply it with medicine. That evening, we hosted a party for their children, the first since the earthquake. It was a touching moment for us. Since the disaster, it was one of the few times that these children could be what they are - children!
In clinics, patients suffer from malnutrition. They usually go for days without food.
On site, it often seems like barely a week since the disaster. The overall situation is hard to describe simply and accurately, and it cannot really be conveyed in just a few lines.