I am happy to report that I returned safe and sound a little over a week ago from my trip in an around Cap Haitien, in the northern region of Haiti. I had the pleasure of spending the week I was there with our in-country staff member, Domond, whom many of you know.
The conditions while we were there were safe and calm and we never felt even the least bit in danger. On my way out of Cap Haitien, I was able to greet a small group of parishioners from St. Joseph Church in Evansville, IN on their way in to visit their parish twin in Plaine du Nord. I realize that conditions can change at any time, but all indications at this time are that it is safe to visit the north of Haiti. I would encourage those of you who can fly into Cap Haitien to visit your parish twin to plan to do so. Unfortunately, American Airlines is not flying to Cap at this time, so the only option to fly direct from Fort Lauderdale of Miami is Spirit.
The only real change that I noticed during my visit is that, believe it or not, most of the roads have gotten far worse! The northern region is experiencing a drought. Most of the area has not seen a drop of rain since early November. So, I invite you all to join me in praying for rain for them, as this is typically the rainy season when they count on considerable rain for their crops and water supplies.
Last week I was at the offices of Food for the Poor in Coconut Creek, Florida and in a briefing I learned that shipping has opened back up and FFTP is shipping about 10 containers per week to Port-au-Prince – another hopeful sign for Haiti. However, at the same time, many of you have probably heard about the additional killing of 7 police officers recently in the capital city, so the violence there continues.
Many twin parishes have asked about shipping to Haiti, since PTPA will not be sending down containers for the time being. I have learned of a very reliable and relatively fair-priced shipping company out of Fort Lauderdale, named CAS Xpress. I have talked to two sources who have told me that they have used them many times with great success in shipping to both Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, and I have talked to the owner over the phone (who is Haitian-born). If you are interested in sending down supplies, here is their website: https://www.shiptohaiti.com/