Monday, January 12, 2015

5 Years After the Earthquake in Haiti: A Reflection by Dave Hampton and Friends

With his permission, we are reprinting a portion of Dave Hampton's article about Haiti.  Dave grew up in Winston-Salem and graduated from Mt. Tabor High School.  Dave is an accomplished architect and worked on the reconstruction in Haiti after the January 12, 2010 earthquake.  This article focuses on the reflections of the people that have come together to assist in Haiti's successful revival.  Please click the link to read the complete article on

 5 years after the earthquake, Ayiti p’ap péri!

By Dave Hampton

Today is the fifth anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake which rocked Haiti.

After reports on moments of silence observed, and reflections of that fateful day, you will have, by now, read or hear several accounts of Haiti today.

How far the nation is still behind.

How ineffective international aid has been, how it has been misallocated, how many homes were built or not built, and how many still must be built to reach the thousands still languishing in temporary camps.

How the government disappoints – its lack of capacity, the corruption, the re-appearance of unwelcome ghosts from the past (especially “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who returned in 2011 after an absence of nearly 25 years, and died there in 2014), and the specter of authoritarian rule.

You will have already read or heard all the reasons why not enough has been done in five years.

And that’s as it should be, for there is much to be held to account, still.

But for me…

not today. Not today.

Ayiti p’ap péri! (Haiti shall never perish!)

It is ironic how fortunate I have been to come to know so many people as a result of the events of January 12, 2010.

Today, I share the reflections of some of the friends, colleagues, and former coworkers from my 3 years in Haiti: why they are hopeful for Haiti’s future, or how working in Haiti inspired them.

About Dave Hampton:  Dave Hampton is the creator of and Principal of re:ground llc, a consultancy providing expertise for the integration of natural systems and built environments to clients in international development, urban, and post-disaster markets. He has over 20 years experience in architecture, planning, and construction; 8 years as a leader in the sustainability field; 3 years in a post-disaster developing nation context.
From 2010-2012, he worked with Architecture for Humanity and J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO) to manage the transition from emergency response to redevelopment by enlisting and supervising a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, planners, and builders to oversee the adaptive reuse, retrofit, and construction of new clinics, community centers, schools, and homes. He returned in 2013 to work on government capacity-building with UN-Habitat and Internews. Dave also has extensive experience managing multi-level (and multinational) donors, funders, and clients. His experience with Urban Habitat Chicago and the Delta Institute Rebuilding Exchange helped curb demolitions, bring the deconstruction industry to Chicago, and encourage materials reuse and repurposing at a municipal scale. In 2014, as part of the post-Hurricane Sandy ‘Rebuild by Design’ recovery initiative, he participated in Resilient Bridgeport with Waggonner Ball Architects.
He is a 2016 Master in Design Studies Risk and Resilience candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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