Gracia Desille is 57, a grandmother and a dry cleaner. After Haiti’s earthquake, she became one of thousands of Haitian-Americans in South Florida desperately searching for news about their families back home.
“I try try… call. I buy (phone) cards. I buy cards. So many cards…” she told me. “Nobody answers.”
The day after Haiti’s devastating quake I walked into Notre Dame D’Haiti church in Miami to find people singing hymns, their palms turned to the sky, their rosary beads swinging gently. Some knelt, slouching over the pews in front of them, heads buried– a posture that suggested grief as much as prayer.
Little Haiti seemed to be moving in slow motion as people first grappled with the magnitude of the destruction in their homeland.
We caught up with hip-hop artist Mecca aka Grimo at a recent TPS rally. TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is short-hand for a legal shield that allows immigrants to remain in the United States temporarily, while their home country recovers from natural disaster, or unrest. Haiti has seen plenty of both, but Haitians have never received the protection.