haiti earthquake

Mike Kiniry / WGCU

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is set to expire in a year for people from. These are people who were given refuge in the United States after the devastating earthquake of 2010. They were given the right to work, their children were able to attend school, and thousands of TPS families in Florida hold mortgages on homes. The end of Temporary Protected status was set by President Donald Trump for July 22, 2019, meaning in one year, thousands of people living in Southwest Florida will have to leave. We’re spending the hour learning more about Haiti -- how it came to be, and how it is now, eight years after that earthquake. And throughout the year, we’ll talk with Haitians in our community about how they’re planning for the end of TPS, in our project called "Where is Home- Haitians Counting Down.”

Our guests are: Dr. Philippe Girard, professor of Caribbean history at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and author of “The Memoir(s) of Toussaint Louverture.” Professor Girard has studied and published extensively about the life and impact of Toussaint Louverture, who led that successful 1791 slave rebellion in what was then the French colony of Saint-Domingue; and Skyler Badenoch, CEO of Naples-based Hope for Haiti.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Candice Villarreal / U.S. Navy

The Trump Administration announced its decision Monday night to end Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for the nearly 50 thousand Haitian nationals who have been living in the U.S. since the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200 thousand people.

RIBI Image Library via Flickr

Federal officials announced plans Monday to extend Temporary Protected Status for the more than 58,000 Haitian nationals that have come to the U.S. in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that hit the island nation in 2010.

On Jan. 12, 2010, former Associated Press reporter Jonathan Katz was the only full-time American correspondent in Haiti when the earthquake hit. The massive quake left hundreds of thousands of people dead and more than a million homeless.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, foreign aid was pledged from all corners of the world. But six years after the devastating earthquake --  in spite of the combined efforts of international aid organizations, foreign governments and Haiti's own leaders – Haiti is still struggling to rebuild.

It’s been five years since a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean island nation of Haiti in the town of Leogane just west of Port au Prince. 230 thousand lives were lost in the quake and another 1.5 million more people were driven from their homes. The Haitian government estimates some 30,000 commercial buildings and 250,000 residences were destroyed or severely damaged by the earthquake.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, money for relief and recovery efforts poured in from around the world. According to the United Nations, more than $13 billion has been earmarked for recovery efforts through 2020. However, much recovery work remains as 85,000 Haitians are still living in displacement camps and many of those who’ve gotten out of the camps still struggle to find permanent housing. We’ll explore relief and recovery efforts then and now with the Naples-based non-profit Hope for Haiti, and we’ll hear from members of Southwest Florida’s Haitian community. 

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