“Marisa, you have a box heading out tomorrow morning to the shipping company. Please join us in praying for the driver to be safe as he delivers the box.” Our shipment was leaving Haiti 1 week early, that seems odd. “Some items did not make the shipment. The exporter said this is the last shipment out of the country until further notice. They are out of fuel.” This was my conversation with Christelle the Director of Atelier Calla.
For those of you who don’t know, Haiti is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. Gang warfare has taken over. The government cannot control the gangs, kidnappings are on the rise, and there is rioting in the streets. Many have said Haiti is like a war zone. The only fuel at this point can be purchased on the black market at about $30/gallon.
Many of our artisans cannot go to work because the streets are unsafe, especially in the capital of Port au Prince. As I speak to our directors, I feel powerless to help. All I can do is pray and purchase as much product as I can with the hopes that we can get it out of the country.
Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The artisans need to work so they can provide for their families. They must travel on unsafe roads to get to the workshop and many now have to walk miles each way since they can no longer take a tap tap because of the fuel shortage. One artisan walks 5 miles to get to work. Christelle has offered for him to sleep in the workshop, so he doesn’t have to travel home every night, but he wants to go home. He needs to make sure his family is safe.
The driver made it safely that day and the shipment miraculously arrived. As I unpacked the box, I marveled at the beauty of each piece and all the obstacles that had to be overcome for it to arrive at The Marketplace. Please continue praying for our artisans and the people of Haiti. Pray that there would be a long-term solution for the country.
As you start thinking about Christmas gifts, please consider purchasing your gifts from The Marketplace. Not only will you receive unique handmade products, but you will also be making a huge impact in the lives of our artisans in Haiti as well as around the world.