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A decade of recovery: January 12, 2010 - Haiti Earthquake

It is hard to believe that is has been a decade since the 2010 earthquake shook Haiti, devastating the country. The magnitude of this disaster drew my attention to the impacts of natural disasters on disenfranchised and marginalized communities - communities facing extreme vulnerability. This event marked the beginning of my studies and engagement with community resilience in the face of natural hazards and the relationship between cultural settlement patterns, local knowledge, and disaster resilience. I recall the Jalousie settlement in 2012 as the community became more established and social cohesion aided individual recovery. What happened in these settlements and what was a primary argument in my early graduate work speaks to the problem of ‘permanent housing’ in planned resettlements like the ghost town pictured. These planned settlements rarely ever work because they fail to realize systemic issues and thus fail to present a solution to an urban and intrinsically socio-cultural problem.

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