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Archive for the ‘Haiti’ Category

Haiti

Blogging in the aftermath of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti is a bit surreal.  The previous post on this blog included a friend’s itinerary from the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s closest neighbor.  After reading about the Dominican Republic, I had always imagined that the tourism industry in Haiti would soon pick up as well, bringing a infusion of capital into a country that desperately needs it.  Of course, all that has changed this week, at least for the time being.  It is my hope that the recovery efforts in Haiti will proceed with great haste and care.

Today brought some good news, however, the Obama administration has extended a special immigration status or Temporary Protected Status to Haitians living illegally in the United States that protects them from deportation for 18 months and allows them to work here.  Under this status, the Haitians living in the United States will presumably also be able to send funds back to their relatives in Haiti.  Only Haitians who were in the United States before January 12, 2010 will be eligible to apply for TPS.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/76485-haitian-immigrants-granted-special-status

There is more, however, that the U.S. Government can do to help the people of Haiti.  Specifically, it can press the International Monetary Fund and other international institutions and creditor nations to forgive $641 million in debt owed by Haiti.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/14/AR2010011403974.html

I know that a lot of you, like me, want to do more than contribute funds.  I recently found out about an organization called  Hands on Disaster, formed after Hurricane Katrina that places volunteers on large national and international disaster response teams.  For more information, check out their website. http://hodr.org/about/the-hodr-story/

Check back at my blog in the next days for other travel insight. And if you have any tips on how to get involved in Haiti on the ground, please send them to followtheleadeblog@gmail.com.

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