On 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti.
The quake flattened homes, buildings, and hospitals that were already under the strain of coronavirus. As if this wasn’t enough, tropical storm Grace dumped over a foot of rain just days later.
The earthquake left over 135,000 homes damaged or destroyed – including Marcel’s.
Together with our partner Habitat for Humanity Haiti, we supported people like Marcel who desperately needed help after the earthquake.
Read on to learn how Marcel was affected by the earthquake and how he managed to repair his home.
A Livelihood in Pieces
Marcel lives in a rural community in the South of Haiti, with his 5-year-old son – Maxo and older sister – Suzette.
When the earthquake hit, Marcel was working in a plantain field and feeding his bulls. His sister had run out of the house as soon as she felt the ground shaking. The quake left Marcel feeling frightened, weak and powerless. Luckily, his son wasn’t home at the time, and his sister was also uninjured.
Before the earthquake struck, Marcel’s home had three bedrooms, a living area and a foyer, along with an outdoor kitchen. While the earthquake left the main structure of the house intact, it destroyed the walls within his home. Luckily, he was able to salvage his bed and a few other personal items – including a photograph of great sentimental value to him.
After the earthquake, Marcel built a makeshift wooden tent next to his home where the three of them slept for about two weeks. The tent kept them from getting wet when storm Grace hit.
On the Road to Recovery
When we spoke to Marcel, he told us that he is hoping to rebuild his home, but it might take him several months.
We provided a shelter kit for Marcel’s family and he said that the most useful item in the kit was the tarpaulin. It helped him secure his original home where the walls collapsed. It also helped him keep his family safe from the elements, especially during hurricane season.
The family also found the kitchen set and the solar lamp useful, as it helped them resume their day-to-day lives.
Having a place to keep his loved ones safe is all Marcel is hoping for.
He wants to rebuild his home so that it can withstand earthquakes and hurricanes alike, no matter how powerful they are.