Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

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Guest Post: Moving Forward In Haiti

From John Weis

Well, it’s been approximately 2 months since my last blog about Haiti and the start of my assignment and I wanted to share with you some of the experiences and projects we’re working on. In summary, it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride with its share of rewarding experiences and frustrations in terms of helping as many people as you can but not helping enough.

Adam asked me to write this a couple of weeks ago but at the time I was in a very frustrated state of mind with projects that were not moving forward, communities not getting enough help and things grinding to a halt. If I wrote the blog then, it would have not been very positive, so I wanted to spare you the whining and write this when there was more progress going on down there.

In short, there is progress being made but at a very slow pace. The immediate relief in terms of medical, rescue and security was handled by a variety of international organizations including the US Military, Israeli Government, Red Cross and a host of other groups that are too numerous to count. There were also smaller organizations on the ground referred to as NGO’s (Non-Government Organization) that assisted in the relief effort and most of them are in it for the long haul.

At this point, a significant number of agencies that were there in the initial stages are leaving the country with their work completed and relative stability maintained at the moment. There is still a huge amount of work that needs to be done though, mainly in the area of housing and clean up. The tasks are monumental and if you think about it for too long, it’s discouraging. When you reach those points, you have to step back and realize you are doing everything you can and you’re making a difference for the people you’re in direct contact with — especially the kids.

Anyway, we have had a busy couple of months and the team at Royal Caribbean, Labadee, our ships and SOLANO has put forth a heroic effort in helping Haiti recover from this disaster. Here is a list of what has been accomplished to date:

1. Relief Supplies – This is where everyone at Royal Caribbean really came through working together to deliver desperately needed medical supplies, food, water and equipment of all kinds via the vessels that call on Labadee:

a. 2,425 pallets
b. Or 121 truckloads of relief supplies

There are many people involved in coordinating these deliveries and all of them play a critical role but I wanted to recognize some of the key individuals that are making this happen weekly: David Scott and David Southby (Site Managers at Labadee), Richard Pruitt and Lauren Ordway (Shoreside Royal Caribbean) Don Cope and Laura Pullins (Royal Caribbean Logistics) and all the shipboard crew making the space for an extra 5 truckloads of relief supplies each voyage that calls on Labadee.

2. We worked with Maryse Kedar, SOLANO President, to open and maintain over 15 temporary schools in the Port Au Prince area. Also constructed over 30 water tanks in the camp areas bringing fresh water to thousands of Haitian’s living in those camps.

3. Completed plans and raised enough money for the construction of two primary schools in the north.

4. Working on the construction of an orphanage in the Port Au Prince area in partnership with Partners in Health.

5. Coordination of over 10 barges of tents, equipment, vehicles and other supplies directly to the Port Au Prince area.

Also, in any single day there are numerous requests to coordinate special deliveries, make sure a hospital gets food or water or kids going to a temporary school have schools supplies for the children. If you know someone that can help, or can do it yourself, you usually get involved. It’s really hard to say no.

Interested in helping? Royal Caribbean International is working with Food For The Poor and the Pan American Development Foundation. We encourage guests to make monetary donations to either of these organizations which are currently engaged in the relief effort. For even more information on Royal Caribbean’s humanitarian relief to Haiti, click HERE.

9 responses to:
“Guest Post: Moving Forward In Haiti”

  1. Paige Pepperdine

    Great posting John…I am very frustrated that I cannot figure out how to get boxes to Haiti…my suburban is loaded…Can you tell me an Address that you know would get to the right people. What is wrong with the Government down there? I heard about Customs holding up supplies.
    Thanks, Paige

  2. rAY vAUGHAN

    I would like to thank everyone RCL for their hard work in and for Haiti. I was in Port au Prince in the days right after the earthquake as a team member of Urban Search & Rescue Florida Task Force 1. I’m quite proud that our team save eleven lives. Through the works of the RCL family, I’m sure many more lives were saved too.

    But the real work of Haiti is ahead. It’s important that everyone understand that Haiti will need our help for many years to come. They need long term support to learn how to rebuild. Rebuild in ways that will survive more earthquakes, more hurricanes and more landslides. We have the resources to help them… let’s keep the people of Haiti in our thoughts.

    I’m going to be back in Haiti on April 13th. But this time I’ll be arriving on the Liberty of the Seas and under much better circumstances. If there’s anything I can do explain the situation in Port au Price to my fellow passengers, please let me know.

  3. Jim Wage

    All of Royal Caribbean management and staff, thanks from a loyal diamond member,keep it going, Jim Wage

  4. Jim Wage

    Adam, give your whole team a big God bless for the help they have done for the great job in Haiti. Thanks again Jim

  5. Jim Wage

    Adam, give your whole team a big God bless for the help that they have done. great job in Haiti. Thanks again Jim

  6. LUCIA ESPOSITO

    I’m an italian woman, not yet a customer but I think will soon become your customer.
    I wonder if it can donate in any place that needs it the excess food that is always on ships cruises.It would be a wonderful initiative to help the most needy and not always only in emergencies. Already doing so? Could be legally?
    Thank you for your answer.
    Lucia esposito

  7. Shauna

    I am so honored to work with Royal Caribbean. Haiti has a special place in my heart. Starting back in the 80′s we imported art from Haiti. We met the people and the artists. We feel in love with the people and their spirit. I am lucky enough to have a working relationship with RCCL. So when I hear of everything you are doing to help the country (and had been doing, way before the earthquake!) I am proud to be partnered with such a company. Thank you! Shauna Hoffman

  8. Jean Cito ceria

    Dear,
    I just want to congratulate you for being a such support for Haiti, you are a friend in good time also in bad time. Keep going and God will bless your company more. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
    I want to make you know also I would like to work for your company.Royal Caribbean. What can I do? I am in Haiti. Already, I thank you for responding me.

    Sincerely Jean Cito CERIA,

    • Adam

      Hi Jean Cito,

      Thank you for the nice words. Also, thank you for your interest in working with Royal Caribbean International. To find career opportunities available with Royal Caribbean, please visit, https://jobs.rccl.com/jobs/rccl_jobs.nsf/shipboard.

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