Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Guest Post: On the Ground in Haiti

There are a lot of reasons why it is a good thing John Weis is in Haiti. Most of them have to do with helping the recovery effort and partnering with Messrs. Clinton and Farmer. But another reason is helping me with this blog as the earnings call last week and the Board meeting next week have put me squarely behind the eight ball. Anyway, there really isn’t anything I can say that matches John’s eyewitness account from Port-au-Prince.

This is day two in Haiti and from what I am told things are getting better slowly but surely. When I arrived I was expecting to see the worst but the first thing I saw was two C-17′s landing from the US unloading pallet after pallet of supplies. There were other nations at the airport as well including Brazil, U.K., Israel, France and Canada all with troops on the ground and ready to assist in any way they could. What was amazing is that as fast as they unloaded, it was being taken out of the airport compound to those who needed it. There were huge encampments of relief workers only dwarfed by the camps set up by the people of Haiti that had lost their homes.

The other thing that struck me was the sheer number of people on the ground helping in the relief effort. Not just military, but ordinary citizens who dropped what they were doing and came down here to help, some on their own dime and some associated with organizations or governments. Three of the people I spoke with had jobs and families that they simply put on hold and came down to Haiti to help people they didn’t even know.

While I thought I was prepared to see the destruction as a result of the pictures you see on the news, being here and seeing it is another story. The destruction in the downtown area was complete and very focused in the area of the government buildings and the immediate surrounding areas, although there is no place you can go where there isn’t some level of destruction by the earthquake.

Destruction to a building in Haiti

Destruction to a building in Haiti

The pictures fail to capture the magnitude of the destruction and the raw power it took to destroy some of these buildings that had walls 3 feet thick. Many people are living on the streets right in front of their homes because they are afraid to go back inside. Other homes, while still standing have huge structural cracks making them unsafe. Others have had their homes completely destroyed and you see them trying to salvage what they can from their homes taking what they can from their lives before the quake.

As a result, there are literally thousands of people living in makeshift camps in any area they can get a patch of land. Pallets, tarps, plastic, scraps of wood, metal and any other building material you can imagine are being used to construct shelters. Kids are all over the place. As soon as you walk into the camp they are curious and want to know your name and tell you theirs.

Kids in the camps in Haiti

Kids in the camps in Haiti

You can imagine that water and sanitation are huge issues in these camps. One of the projects that Royal Caribbean has supported was the installation of water distribution centers within these camps. These tanks are 1,200 gallons that are placed in areas throughout the camps and are filled with clean drinking water on a daily basis. I have included pictures of the water distribution tanks, several pictures of the camps and the team that has put it together. Their work has literally saved thousands of peoples lives. This initiative was spearheaded by Maryse and Daniel Kedar who are not included in these pictures but it goes without saying they were behind it all the way.

Members of the water distribution team

Members of the water distribution team

This is just one example of how two leaders not associated with the government or relief organization made a huge difference with a modest amount of money but a lot of effort and initiative. Other examples of this initiative include temporary hospitals being set up in the streets which are filled to capacity and are not run by the big organizations like the UN or US Military, but by doctors and a few of nurses that lived in the area. It’s very impressive what a few people are capable of doing when they have to and when there are no boundaries established and have to get things done.

On my part, I’ve been working with the Clinton Foundation and Partners in Health on their short term and long term logistics operations in the country. These guys are also doing a heroic job here in Haiti with a lot of work ahead.

I guess the key message of this blog is that there are a lot of people working to improve the situation here and a lot of work ahead. Things are improving but there is a long way to go and the country needs your support.

Haiti Presidential Palace

Haiti Presidential Palace

Haiti Presidential Palace

Haiti Presidential Palace

Haiti Presidential Palace

Haiti Presidential Palace

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

Kids in Haiti camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

1,200 gallon water distribution tanks have been placed throughout the camps

Members of the water distribution team

Members of the water distribution team

Members of the water distribution team

Members of the water distribution team

Haitians stand in line for fresh water

Haitians stand in line for fresh water

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.

17 responses to:
“Guest Post: On the Ground in Haiti”

  1. valerie Goodson Sweatt

    Thank you RC, for your many efforts in behalf of Haiti, in particular, the clean water distribution program. It is good to see smiles on the faces of Haiti’s children.

  2. travelling Insurance

    Hi Mr. President.

    I have stories and images of some of our clients royal carribean experiences. I offer travel insurance information to would be explorers, travelers, and vacationers. I would love to provide a guest post to your readers about the importance of safety in travelling abroad and the importance of being prepared before going on a cruise. Would you be interested? I look forward to hearing from you.

    regards,

    Blake

  3. Guylene

    THANK YOU RCCL. YOU ROCK!!!!

  4. MARK

    Great work RC. I know that Solar Outdoor lighting (SOL) is seeking ships to transport solar lighting solutions. Please contact them. They are based in Palm Beach. URL is http://www.solarlightingusa.com
    Please make it so.

    Mark

  5. Elfie Martin

    So glad to hear of the good work RC is already doing! I wonder if you’ve seen this report http://owl.ly/13vLS which stresses the continuing difficulties of delivery and distribution of aid? In particular, there are more ships carrying supplies than there are places to dock and unload. It may already be happening: if not, please consider making Labadee available for some of those ships? Many thanks and all good wishes for your continued support for the people of Haiti,
    Elfie

  6. Collette Herman

    John, we are so proud of you! Keep up the good work and stay safe!

    God bless you and all the workers and the people of Haiti!

    The Hermans

  7. Alice Edwards

    Dear, Mr.Goldstein
    Again THANK YOU!, and all those that work along side of you . It is so nice to see those picture of the children with those wonderful smiles , Thank you for sharing them with us.
    We will be on the liberty Of The Seas on April 11 , I have read somewhere that the ships have bins to donate clothing and shoes , is this true? We have sent donations of money to the organizations listed here and the Red Cross , but still it makes me feel like I need to do more . Please keep up the wonderful job you are all doing for Haiti . And if there is anything we could do when we are sailing with you, please let us know . God Bless You All
    Thank you,
    The Edwards Family

    • Adam

      Hi Alice. Thank you for the question and for your contribution. As many of you know Royal Caribbean International has been helping with the Haitian relief effort by delivering needed supplies to Haiti on our ships for humanitarian organizations. We understand that many of you are also interested in helping by bringing needed supplies onboard with you, unfortunately because of the logistical challenges of collecting and distributing donated supplies we are recommending that guests who would like to help do so by donating money to relief organizations, such as Food For the Poor (http://foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean) or the Pan American Development Foundation (http://www.padf.org), who can best collect, purchase, manage and distribute relief supplies to where they are needed.

  8. Lynn Moran

    As a former sales rep back in the late 80′s (hope you remember me!)I am so proud of the aide that Royal Caribbean International is providing in Haiti. Royal Caribbean International continues to be a fantastic cruise line not only in the product that is delivered but with the “cruise family” that the company is made up of.
    Best Regards,
    Lynn M.

  9. Robin Tennant

    My husband and I are leaving on Sat. Feb. 5th on the Independence of the Seas. We are proud to tell our friends that one of our stops will be Labadee and that
    Royal Caribbean is part of the relief efforts.
    Keep up the great work!

  10. Elizabeth Loewen

    You should be ashamed that RC continues to dock in haiti, at your $50 million wharf, on your $1.6 billion dollar boat, while you have been profiting extensively at Haiti’s expense for over 20 years. Cruise-goers, please do not support RC in Haiti.

  11. Dean Siler

    Mr. Goldstein
    I understand you all have a cruise ship that goes to Labadee. Could this Ship be chartered for a mission trip to Haiti to help those in need. It would be great to give people a opportunity to serve others. We at Faith Building Missions are Partnered up with Food For The Poor as well. I just got back from a cruise on Monarch Of The Seas With Klove When a was Talking with several folks about a mission trip There hearts were ready to go. If WE could build a learning center to teach the Haiti People constriction How they can build their country back. This is a huge project, but all things are possible. We have planed many small mission trips. I believe we could fill the ship up with people just waiting to receive a blessing. Thanks Dean FBM

  12. Michel Page

    Our organisation (L’Arche International)is in charge of lodging and taking care of mentally handicaped persons in Haiti. We have two communities of about 30 persons one in Carrefour in Port au Prince and the other in Chantal near les Cayes. The latter was not touched by the earthquake. In Carrefour they have water ; a well on the site is still functioning and giving also water to people around. But their building is unsafe and they are now living outside on the ground with blankets..Since they are handicaped they cannot be displaced to obtain help from the international organisations. These persons still do not realise what is happening due to their handicap but they are in urgent need for tents and some food for thirty persons. I am begging help for them.Their address is L’Arche Carrefour
    Lamentin 52-Angle rues Thomas et St Charles
    Carrefour Haïti. The person responsible may be contacted by Email Email 1 : evelyneverdier@hotmail.com
    I am waiting for commercial airlines to get there as soon as possible but in the mean time please bring them some help.
    Michel Page

  13. bjorn jakobsen

    Dear Mr. Goldstein

    After 100 cruise pt, You can call us

    Royal Diamond Pluss

    Regards
    Cruisebjorn

  14. Elibert

    Haiti Loves you…………

    Dear,
    I just want to make you know you are doing a great work, continue and God will continue with your own blessings. I THANK YOU, all the way I see the word thank you is too little to say you. The true reward is from God. May God throw all kind of blessings unpo your Company. The world needs more company like yours.
    One more time THANK YOU

  15. Elfie Martin

    I hope it’s okay to leave a message here for Michel Page of L’Arche International who left a request for help for the L’Arche community in Carrefour: I’ve been in touch with Evelyne and understand that tents, food, medicines and blankets are still needed. I’m in Wales but would very much like to help. You can find me on Twitter @Elfiem or email me elfiem@googlemail.com
    With good wishes to all at Royal Caribbean and our dear friends at L’Arche,
    Elfie

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