Haiti for the Holidays

Dayanne Danier (founder of Fleur de Vie), Matt Diamond and Martine Cauthen.

 
 

After a good friend of mine has spent the greater part of the past ‘x’ amount of years persuading me to travel to her native Haiti, I finally caved, with an opportunity to visit several schools and help spread some yuletide joy. Now when it comes to traveling and the holidays, the idea of venturing off to a third world country may not seem like the most palatable of destinations, but then again, those ‘all inclusive’ vacation packages always leave something to be desired, so why not. Although the idea seems nice in theory – ya’ know, help those in need and all that good stuff.. the reality was something I wasn’t quite prepared for.

 

From the moment I left the airport and headed to historic Hotel Oloffson, a place that would become my home for the duration of my trip, my eyes became previd to a completely different world from anything that I have ever before seen. Any notion of my American mindset to keep up with the Joneses and overindulge was immediately made null and void as you enter a world that simply lacks basic necessities. A world where emotional hardships play second fiddle to basic survival. The experience was humbling, the people are a brotherhood, the children are grateful and the country is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. So hit that play button below and check out my photo journal of my holiday in Haiti. Special thanks Richard Morse and his incredible family for their hospitality, and to Dayanne Danier (of Fleur de Vie) and Martine for working tirelessly to make this trip a success and giving these children reason to smile.

 

RAM – “Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True)”

 

Visiting our first school in Porte-au-Prince

 

Tagged the wall @ Chicken Fiesta (PAP)

 

Watching children from the second school that we visited in Porte-au-Prince open their Christmas gifts.

 

Don’t get it twisted..

 

Group photo from the school we visited in Porte-au-Prince on Thursday (12/20).

 

Martine, Isabelle Morse and I at our makeshift arts and crafts station.

 

Spreading some Yuletide joy at the Yes We Can for Progress School in the mountains of Mirebalais (2 1/2 hours North East of Porte-au-Prince).

 

Visiting an orphanage in Porte-au-Prince on Saturday, December 23rd. All of the children have been placed with incredible homes in the states, where they’ll soon be united with their new families.

 

You could not pry this child’s hands from this Teddy Bear if you tried.

 

A view of Porte-au-Prince from the orphanage.

 

Beef, goat, rice, plantanes, Wild Haitian mushroom cornmeal, vegetables. (La Coquille, Port-au-Prince)

 

Group shot at the Oloffson with Richard Morse (founding member of RAM)

 

4 Replies to "Haiti for the Holidays"
Judy Diamond says:
January 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

incredible journey, Matt. Those children look well cared for and happy, despite their incredible hardships. How wonderful for you to have visited Haiti and given freely of yourself and your time and what a good friend your are to Martine.

dj emmo says:
January 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Great stuff Matt, very proud of you fam!

MJC says:
January 15, 2013 at 4:18 am

So important to pay it forward in whatever way we can. Looks like a great way to spend the holidays Matt :-)

April 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm

It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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