Helping Without Hurting

In anticipation of our upcoming trip in early July, this video series is a good reminder about why we’re serving and how we always need to be thinking about the impacts of that service.


I Gotta Have More Choir

Last week, our Executive Director, Joe Shaffer, returned to Cap Haitien to continue work on one of the Espwa projects near and dear to his heart.  For years, he has been involved in sharing the beauty of Haitian choirs (read about our project here).  On this trip, Joe recorded enough content to produce new albums for three of the choirs – “Gran Chorale,” “Chorale Lajenes,” and “Son De Soley.”

One of the ongoing needs for both Gran Chorale and Chorale Lajenes is the purchase of choir robes for their performances.  Espwa gave support funds to each of the choir directors (Simon and Marirose) during the trip, but the choirs are still about $1000 short each.  The funds will purchase robes for over 85 people.  If interested in donating to this project, add a comment of “Choir Robes” to your donation on the full Razoo site here.


It was great working with Anne, Rosie, Nico, Manu, Eve, and Fannie of Son De Soley again.  Listen to Son De Soley’s first album below:

The Big Truck That Went By Review

Our latest review covers the 2013 book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan M. Katz.

Big Truck That Went By-2The book is written by a journalist who was working in Haiti prior to, during, and after the 2010 earthquake.  His firsthand account covered the terror experienced as the earthquake happened, then all the relief and recovery actions after the disaster.  He then began to delve into the systemic problems with the earthquake pledge money, the misguided efforts to create an industrial park north of Port-au-Prince, the cholera outbreak introduced by UN soldiers, and finally, the presidential race that elected Sweet Mickey Martelly.

The book was a readable, interesting account of events with lots of personal commentary.  It drew in elements from history and culture and presented a deeper understanding of the country than one would get from simply a historical account of the earthquake.

If you’re looking for a little bit of everything “Haiti” – disaster, corruption, culture, yet hope – give this one a try.