Cornell University

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News

January 29 2010

ILR student, Kristina Francillon, BSILR '11 shares a personal account of the earthquake in Haiti

HaitiKristina Francillon was interning at a union in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, when the earthquake struck the city on January 12, 2010.

Thankfully, she and her family escaped unhurt, however her grandmother, like thousands of others, lost her home in the earthquake.

Kristina recalls looking out of the window and everything looked blurry. "For a moment, I thought it was the end of the world." Soon after the earthquake, she ventured out of her home and witnessed the magnitude of the disaster. "There was debris and destruction everywhere, it was surreal."

However, the response from the local and international community, in the form of solidarity and donations, was overwhelming. While some people took advantage of the situation by selling necessities at exorbitant prices, most people earnestly committed themselves to the relief work.

Despite the magnitude of the tragedy, Kristina sees this as a "new chapter" for Haiti. She believes this is an opportunity for realization and change within the country and a reason to re-focus priorities.

HaitiKristina feels the tragedy helped put things into perspective, as everybody lost something important. Although, she believes it will take many years for the country to recover, she is hopeful about the future and hopes to visit Haiti in the summer.

Please see the attached link for more information on Kristina's experience working with Labor Unions in Haiti.