Three years ago, Cyntia Riou’s 8-year-old son and best friend were killed in the earthquake that shook Haiti to its core.
“God gave me the strength and I came to the United States on March the 1st. It’s going to be almost three years since I’ve been here now,” the earthquake survivor said through a translator Friday.
Riou, along with more than a dozen elected officials from South Florida, stood with Congresswoman Frederica Wilson as she urged the U.S. to remember its commitment to rebuild Haiti.
It was devastated by the quake on Jan. 12, 2010.
“Do what is right for the people. To create, train a police department to make Haiti safer. To make sure that the money is channeled for the people and not so much buildings,” Wilson said. “To make sure that the people who live in the tent houses have a place to go temporarily so that they can stop living in squalor.”
Wilson said lots there has been a lot of progress, but agreed with Riou when she said that not enough has been done.
“People can no longer continue to live like that,” Riou said. “Some of them are doing very well and others are living in misery.”
Even while the congresswoman spoke for the recovery of a struggling nation, she had one message for a select few that interrupted her over family reunification – help from the government that reunites families split up between the U.S. and another country. Wilson said already supports that.
“You don’t protest the people who are helping you, you protest the people who are against you!” she said.
Wilson said the best way to help the country is to visit Haiti.