Re: [SACC-L] Haiti Update
- Tony thanks for all this information. I will make sure we have copies available at our SACCFest. Please stay safe....george
----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Balzano <abalzano@...>
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010 5:07 am
Subject: [SACC-L] Haiti Update
> Can someone PLEASE POST OR FORWARD to SACCFest-2010?
> To: Colleagues and Friends
> From: Tony Balzano
> Re: Haiti
> Date: February 22, 2010
> My apologies for this impersonal response to your questions and
> concerns about my fieldwork in Haiti. Now that commercial air
> traffic has resumed I will be leaving for Haiti on March 1st and
> plan on arriving in the Fond-des-Blancs valley on March 3rd.
> I am as prepared as one can be to arrive in a country under rubble
> and in mourning. The earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince on
> January 12, 2010 did little structural damage in Fond-des-Blancs,
> about seventy miles west southwest of the epicenter. The social
> impact of the quake, however, has been profound. Relatives who
> escaped the quake with their lives returned to Fond-des-Blancs,
> some with severe injuries and all with nothing more than the
> clothes on their back. The economic burdens of health care,
> school fees, and feeding additional family members as the local
> price of food rises precipitously are sorely testing traditional
> adaptive processes of resource exchange. How peasant families are
> coping with these burdens will be a major focus of my research.
> Below are responses to the more commonly asked questions I have
> received from colleagues and friends:
> 1. Have you heard any news from Haiti?
> I have been relying most heavily on two websites for information
> about what is happening on the ground in Haiti: The OneResponse
> and Haiti Vox sites.
> OneResponse is a collaborative inter-agency website maintained
> through a partnership of OCHA (United Nations Office for the
> Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and MicroSoft. It is
> designed to enhance humanitarian coordination within the ?Cluster
> Approach.? This site provides information to understand the
> global nature of responding to a humanitarian crisis. Go to:
> Haiti Vox is an excellent site for more holistic reportage on the
> global response to Haiti's earthquake:
> NGOs are funneling millions of donated dollars to Haiti. The
> Relief Web site is used by tens of thousands of non-governmental
> organizations, including those working in Haiti, to exchange
> information. Go to:
> 2. Why is Haiti so poor? Why is the Haitian government so
> An excellent primer on these issues can be found in the fifteen
> short essays posted by the Social Science Research Council. They
> can be used to start conversations about poverty and politics in
> Haiti with students and community groups:
> Widely cited works on the history of U.S. policy in Haiti include:
> Paul Farmer (1994) THE USES OF HAITI. Common Courage Press.
> Peter Hallward (2007) DAMNING THE FLOOD. Verso.
> Robert & Nancy Heinl (1996) WRITTEN IN BLOOD. Univ. Press of America.
> Randall Robinson (2007) AN UNBROKEN ?AGONY. Basic Civitas Books.
> Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1990) HAITI STATE AGAINST NATION. Monthly
> Review Press.
> 3. Is it safe to return to Haiti?
> People ask this for one or all of the following reasons: Geology,
> Health, Personal Safety.
> Prof. Eric Calais? (Purdue) site has a great deal of seismic
> information about the Enriquillo Fault. Go to the Manakar, et al
> link to see the scholarly paper that predicted the earthquake:
> Harvard maintains a site that includes up-to-date information on
> damage to the infrastructure:
> This Center for Disease Control link is for relief workers and
> health care professionals (not anthropologists) traveling to
> I am not a devotee of these recommendations but I am up-to-date on
> tetanus and will be bringing along a broad-spectrum antibiotic and
> Rx-strength paregoric.
> Personal Safety:
> There were an estimated 60,000+ non-military expatriates in Haiti
> before the quake. There are at least that many there now and a
> several thousand of them communicate via Corbett?s List about a
> variety of issues including personal safety. Indeed, anyone with
> research, business, avocational, or other professional interests
> in Haiti would do well to subscribe to Corbett?s List. This can
> be done by writing to Prof. Bob Corbett:
> 4. Will you have phone and Internet in Haiti?
> I do not anticipate having Interest access in Fond-des-Blancs.
> Cell phones do work most of the time in many locations in Fond-des-
> Blancs. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have questions
> about Haiti. I can be reached at the numbers listed at the end of
> this memo. Be sure to check your service provider on fees you
> will incur.
> 5. How can I help?
> I feel very comfortable passing on the recommendations of the
> Haitian Studies Association to donate money to the Lambi Fund,
> Partners In Health, and Fonkoze (Haiti?s Microfinance Bank for the
> Poor). These three organizations are deeply embedded in Haitian
> society and culture. They do not have expansive bureaucracies and
> are found all across Haiti not just in the Port-au-Prince. Here
> are there websites:
> Thanks to those who offered donations for me to carry to Fond-des-
> Blancs. However, I am not accepting donations until I can reach
> agreements and make arrangements with peasant community leaders in
> order to devised the easiest and most cost-effective way to
> directly benefit local families and traditional cooperative work
> Anthony Balzano, PhD
> Professor of Anthropology & Sociology
> Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences & History
> Sussex County (NJ) Community College
> 1 College Hill Rd.
> Newton, NJ 07860 (U.S.)
> SKYPE: anthonybalzano
> VeriZon GSM Phone: 973-271-7680
> Haiti Digicel Phone: 011-509-3777-3695
> Haiti Digicel Phone: 011-509-3674-4166
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]