Dr. Janet Tinoco, a faculty member in the College of Business at the Daytona Beach Campus, spent spring break in Leogane and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, along with members of Mission Haiti and the Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation. “My goal was to study the educational system and opportunities for the Haitian people, particularly with respect to girls and women,” she said.
The group visited daycare centers, healthcare facilities, primary schools, secondary schools, the University of Notre Dame-Haiti, and an eldercare facility for women. “The difference between the schools sponsored in part by nonprofits and religious organizations versus those that were under government ownership and management was startling. So much is needed!” Tinoco said.
On a positive note, she was pleased to see so many young girls in the schools the group visited and she believes education is key in helping Haiti escape its dire economic situation.
Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and the 2010 earthquake, have devastated a crippled county where poverty was already extreme and extensive. “I have yet to grasp all the nuances of the country and culture, but the people are proud and have a strong determination,” she said, “Visiting such an impoverished country was an eye-opening experience and made me appreciate even more what we have here.”
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