Reflections on the Devastating 2010 Earthquake

Posted on Jan 12, 2020

Women hold hands on Haitian Flag Day in Boston
Women hold hands on Haitian Flag Day in downtown Boston, Mass. Photo by Zack DeClerck / Partners In Health

Ten years after a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Loune Viaud, executive director of Zanmi Lasante--as Partners In Health is known in Haiti, reflects on that fateful day and how she has lead her team to respond in the weeks, months, and years that followed.

Dear PIHers,

Ten years ago today, Haiti was shaken to its core by a disaster without precedent. The earthquake that struck on the afternoon of January 12, 2010, forever changed the trajectory of a city, a nation, and a global community.

At the time, our fear and grief combined with the frantic action that the moment’s overwhelming urgency required. As the scope of the response unfolded, the despair and pain felt by so many were met by the grace and generosity our shared humanity demanded.

Over the past decade, that initial surge of solidarity has grown into sustained partnerships. In partnership with the government of Haiti and the community of Mirebalais, Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante has built a modern teaching hospital and launched numerous programs that extend quality health care to countless people every year.

This calamity was not the end of Haiti’s tribulations—there is still so much more to do. With you at our side, our neighbors, patients, and colleagues have rebuilt and restored the country’s foundations—strong, and ready for the decades to come.

We will forever mourn those lost during the earthquake and its aftermath, but their loss has not been in vain. In their name, we will continue the long work of recovery.

I am privileged to work with incredibly dedicated, local and international staff, who save lives every day because of your support. Their passion and your solidarity are potent ingredients for justice.

On this important day of remembrance, from the birthplace of PIH, we are sending you our most heartfelt thanks.

Nan souvni ak nan lespwa (In hope and remembrance),

Loune Viaud
Executive Director
Zanmi Lasante | Partners in Health Haiti

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