Between August 15 and September 7 of 2008, Haiti - the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, was barraged by four different storm systems. First, came Tropical Storm Fay, then Hurricanes Hanna and Gustav. Before Haiti had even a few days to recover, a category 4 hurricane, Ike, brought a month’s worth of rain and wind, crippling an already devastated and desperate Haiti.
Recognizing the monumental need, Richard Hotes and his team of volunteers jumped into action. They rented trucks and filled them with tents, bags of rice, and buckets filled with food. In true Hotes Foundation style, Richard and his volunteers journeyed to the remotest villages east and north of Port au Prince, where the poorest of the poor were being ignored by local government agencies and international aid organizations.
The international aid community, including NGOs, governments, and international organizations, received nearly $130-million dollars in response to these four storms, yet as is tragically the case after disasters, these massively-funded organizations were completely absent in areas with greatest need - where the poorest of the poor lived. While this has been the case everywhere the Hotes Foundation has provided disaster relief, nowhere has it been more obvious than in Haiti.
Today, the memory of the 2008 Haiti hurricane relief mission holds special meaning to Richard Hotes and Hotes Foundation volunteers. On that trip, Richard Hotes led the team to find a remote the village on the shores of Lake Azuei. The Hotes Foundation has worked along-side the villagers to create many ongoing operations to improve the living conditions and elevate this village out of poverty.
The discovery of Lake Azuei village by a group of volunteers responding to disasters, going themselves, and giving directly to the poorest of the poor, is strong proof of how true aid should be given.
Read more about the Hotes Foundation’s programs in Lake Azuei Village.