PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP)--Tattered red, yellow and green umbrellas edge Port-au-Prince's broken and battered roads, providing shade for street vendors who struggle to eke out a day's wages by selling everything from groceries and clothes to tires.
Photo by Ken Touchton/Florida Baptist Convention
Gleaming buildings bearing such names as CitiBank and Hertz and a myriad of automobile dealerships stand in stark contrast to the rubble and garbage still strewn throughout Haiti's capital city.
Even as signs of commerce have reappeared in the six months since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake of Jan. 12, Port-au-Prince residents are forced to scrounge for life's basic necessities.
Seas of tents and blue tarps form makeshift cities covering open fields, barren lots and river beds as the nation grapples with providing housing for the estimated 1.5 million homeless.
A former police headquarters stands vacant, its parking lot now home to relief agency tents. Across the street, a collapsed multi-storied building is tackled by workers with sledgehammers and hauled away in buckets. For their efforts, they receive only $5 a day in wages.
By some estimates, 3,000 NGOs -- non-government organizations -- are operating in Haiti. Yet despite their massive efforts, there is much work to be done to help the crippled nation inch toward recovery.
"Life has improved" since the earthquake, concedes Phito François, the Confraternite Missionaire Baptise d'Haiti (CMBH) director of missions for the Port-au-Prince area. Read More