In March, 150 nations pledged more than $5 billion dollars to rebuild Haiti. Construction firms around the world, and especially in South Florida, began jockeying for those funds. Developers and planners from South Florida bid on contracts to build roads, construct housing, and remove debris. And not just developers and planners. Even Royal Caribbean, based in Miami, bid on housing contracts.
After the earthquake, nine-year-old Peterson Exais was trapped under rubble for four days. Once he was rescued, Peterson was rushed to a tent hospital in Port-au-Prince. Chad Perlyn was the first doctor available. He is a pediatric plastic surgeon at Miami Children’s Hospital.
Perlyn knew the tent hospital was not equipped to treat Peterson. So he put the boy on a list for treatment at one of the U.S. hospitals that were tending to young earthquake victims– hospitals in far-flung cities like Orlando, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
After January’s massive earthquake, thousands of Haitians fled to the United States. More than 2,500 of them were school-aged kids who were quickly placed in classrooms across South Florida.
The new students were suddenly immersed in a foreign language, culture, and school system. It could have been a bewildering experience. But at Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, the Haitian students who lived in South Florida before the quake took the recent arrivals under their wings.
A few days after the earthquake, the U.S. government decided that Haitians living in the United States would be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. However, there has been much confusion about who can apply, how you apply and what happens after you apply for TPS.
For example, only Haitians who were living in the United States before the earthquake are eligible for TPS. As Alicia Zuckerman discovered, some Haitians refer to TPS as “Ti Pelen Sosyal”– Kreyol for “L’il Social Trap”– because they fear that they may be deported if they apply.
When Rev. Jean-Mary Reginald learned about the massive earthquake in Haiti, he reflexively walked to his church– Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church in Little Haiti– and opened the doors. People began to arrive immediately. The church, he says, “is the living room” of the Haitian-American community in South Florida.
“Eleven-Eleven” was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the architectural firm that produced the “Birds Nest” stadium in Beijing, and is also behind the new Miami Art Museum.
Developer Robert Wennett wanted to build a garage that would challenge assumptions about what a garage can be, and he wanted to make money off restaurant and retail leases. But he also wanted to create a public space.
Jeremy Glazer is a legislative analyst, a former high school teacher, and a Miami native. On his phone message, he has been known to identify himself as a “future hall-of-famer,” but he says he hasn’t decided yet which hall of fame, or what his achievement will be. He recently finished his first novel and is looking for a publisher.
Jeremy Glazer writes about the ups and downs of internet dating in his story, Mismatch.com. Glazer read this piece at a recent Lip Service event at Books & Books in Coral Gables. It was recorded at the WLRN studios.