Like most people, I'm thinking a lot about Haiti these days, an already struggling country dealt a devastating blow. I've had a spot in my heart for Haiti for a while now... a good friend of mine travels there several times a year, working with an orphanage and a hospital in the northern part of the country. In early 2007, he called me up one day and asked if I would accompany him on his next trip, primarily to capture in photographs the people of Haiti, the lives they live, and the challenges they face. And so I did. The images below are the result of that trip. The outpouring of support, prayers, money, and aid that the world has sent Haiti's way over the past few weeks has been remarkable. I hate that it took an earthquake to make it happen. And I hope, I hope, that after the news crews leave, when the eyes of the world have turned to whatever hot spot shows up next... I hope at that time everyone who has texted money to the Red Cross, who has donated to various NGO's, who has prayed for the people of Port-au-Prince, will continue to actively support Haiti and those who are doing such good work in that country. Will you seek out ways to help those who need it... a month, a year, 5 years from now?
I've shared some of these images before, but it's been a few years, and I thought that some people may like to see what Haiti is like outside of Port-au-Prince. Hopefully they'll add a human face to a country that right now seems synonymous with "disaster."
A hospital in Passe Catabois, a small village near the northern coast of Haiti.
The people are beautiful as well, and strong.
This girl's eyes pretty much knocked me over.
The orphanage my friend works with is called the House of Hope, and it provides food, shelter, and education to the kids that live there. Although they aren't located in Port-au-Prince, they too are experiencing fallout from the earthquake. Many children are newly orphaned as a result of the quake, and House of Hope is working to accommodate as many of them as possible. If you're able, please find an organization (whether it's a place like House of Hope, or the Red Cross, or any number of other organizations that work in Haiti) and partner with them long-term. Help is desperately needed now, but it will still be needed a year from now.
The rest are simply images I took elsewhere in Haiti that struck me, for one reason or another.
All images © 2007 Ryan Estes. Please don't use them without permission.