We started our day by heading out towards the rural area of Titanyen. Titanyen means “less than nothing”, and is where the Mass Graves memorial is located from the earthquake of 2010 . Despite some traffic and a re-route we made it — another exciting adventure on the tap-tap!
Upwards of 300,000 Haitians were buried there after the catastrophic earthquake— many of them didn’t have identification so they were brought from Port-au-Prince and dumped into the mass graves. Our guide and driver shared their stories with us of where they were when the earthquake happened and how it impacted them. The earthquake and the aftershocks were so massive and unexpected that the people really had no way to get the help that they needed, so many people were not able to be rescued. The earthquake devastated the city, destroying the Capitol, businesses, homes, schools, killing so many people and in the prices created many orphans.
After the mass graves we drove a little further to Grace Village in Titanyen. Our first stop was at Fleri Bakery and restaurant. We got to tour the bakery and hear how it has empowered the community of Titanyen through job creation and providing a place for fellowship and celebrations. It employs 26 locals and also has a program to help transition kids phasing out of Grace Village. The bread and pizza they were baking smelled amazing! It was so cool to see a place of such joy and hope after visiting the mass graves. We then went up the hill to Grace Village and got to tour it and see the clinic, school, and homes where the orphans stay. It was really neat to learn that the orphanage is set up family-style (instead of in dormitories) where they have house parents and get to grow up in a family unit. School was just getting out so we got to play with the kids! We even had a Haitian vs. American soccer game with kids ... needless to say the kids won— but we put up a good fight :)
Our last stop in Titanyen was doing the Elder visits. There are elders in the community that are selected and sponsored through Healing Haiti and we got to visit them in their homes, bring them a meal, wash their feet and rub lotion on their hands and feet. We visited 3 different elders and their faces lit up when we showed up and they appreciated our company, singing songs and praying over them.
We made our way back to the guest house and got to experience a delicious Haitian dinner complete with rice, beans, chicken, meatballs, and lots of veggies. Jeremy ate a whole plate of broccoli and said it was his favorite vegetable ever. It was fun to experience an authentic Haitian meal!
Overall, it was a hope-filled day seeing the good that is happening in Titanyen as a result of God’s work through Healing Haiti and the incredible Haitians here.
Thanks for following along our trip!