"Haitians Eat Dirt" and "Mudcakes for Starving Haitian Children" and the simple "Dirtcakes, Anyone?" are headlines that barely graced the pages of United States press about a month and a half back when America finally became vaguely aware of a crisis that has been in the works for some time now.
What was supposed to be a one week trip to come home for my Mom's birthday, has now been unwillingly extended due to the upheaval in Haiti that began Thursday night in Les Cayes. Shots rang out. Bodies fell. Fires burned on the streets and in hearts. Rioters fueled by pains in their bellies attempted and succeeded in burning part of the UN base in Les Cayes. The mob continued to move through cities towards Port au Prince leaving in their wake looted stores, fire burning barriers and injured fellow Haitians.
Today, we prayed things would have simmered, and that the government would have heard these desperate cries for help, but it was to no avail. Voluntary evacuations have happened at the UN base in Les Cayes, and rioters are moving towards the National Palace for a full on strike. The Haitian Authorities are moving in position to protect the Palace, but how far will desperation take a person? How far will it take a mass of people pulsating as one starving body?
In a country where more than 80% of the population is living off less than two dollars a day, food prices have done an unbelievable jump- the price of spaghetti, a breakfast favorite, has doubled in the last year. Other staples, rice and beans, have increased more than 50%. These are issues that cannot be ignored. Not only do they affect us as a project (remember we make over 3,000 meals a day) but as a country.
Does the media in America help? You tell me. How many people, until you mention it, have any idea about the recent riots? As a matter of fact, how many people you know even know where Haiti is? In a country that is only one hour away from the most powerful country in the world, starvation should not happen. Something needs to change, and fast. If not, this already corrupt country is literally going to starve to death.