Beyond the Haitian Tragedy

On January 19, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

It is difficult to conceive the the destruction, pain and suffering that the earthquake in Haiti has caused.  Of course, we can  see images and a continuous stream of news stories from this country. I truly feel for Haiti and support all the relief efforts.  It is a daunting task. Having done business in this country a few years back, I am familiar with Port-au-Prince and it’s surroundings. Even with updates coming from a family friend, I still find it hard to digest the pain and suffering. Hats off to those involved with the rescue efforts.

But it brings me to a discussion that, given the current state of of the situation, is somewhat difficult to introduce; but I believe their is an opportunity in this countries’ recovery to significantly increase the survivors quality of life. Yes, rebuilding will take years. Yes, this is a poor country.  But in the end, this country, in my opinion, has the potential to enter into directions that would bring a new economical influence to this rather isolated country.  Things were certainly slowly improving before the quake.  When I traveled there in 2005, there was no government. Over the last several years, a government has been in place…and I believe making improvements, albeit, slowly.  They were and are a very poor country, but I think this tragedy could be used as a springboard to leap ahead with change for the better.

Bottom line, this is a Carribean country with beautiful surroundings. With the right infrastructure in place, there is no reason tourism should not be a significant draw to this country in the future similar to what is enjoyed by the other country on the island they share, the Dominican Republic. Most islands in the region also have industries for coffee, rum, and sugar cane. There should not be any reason that similar industries could not exist in Haiti. I visualize nice resorts visited by an international community. I visualize a country with great people welcoming such visitors, and yes, I visualize a rebuilt Haiti with the government and services in place, properly manned to provide a safe and welcome country to all. Not certain how all of this would be financed, but I believe the opportunity is there and with the tragedy at hand, this country has the opportunity for a new start, and it would be great if the international community extended beyond their current aid efforts into seriously rebuilding Port-au-Prince.

Again, I do not mean to minimize the current dire situation there today. People have lost families, love ones, and everything they own.  They have a steep climb just to stablize the situation even a little right now. These people do not deserve this tragedy. My thoughts are constantly with them, and I still personally know people in this country.

But I do believe their is an opportunity to rebuild and make this country so much better than it was before this tragedy. Here is to the hope the we, the international community will not abandon them once the worst is over, and help them rebuild into a country that can benefit from the beauty of the people and its surroundings.

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