Rosette Louis -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Rosette Louis



“We are happy to do the work”

Rosette Louis, 70, shares a tiny temporary shelter with three of her four grown children. During the day, as temperatures make living in the tent unbearable, her children go out in search of work—anything to help the family survive.

At night, all four adults share meager rations of rice and bed down in a space barely big enough for one.

Before the 2010 earthquake, Louis rented a house in Léogâne and ekes out a living as a street vendor. Since the earthquake, Louis’ bleak situation has turned desperate, forcing her to survive on virtually no income in a tent made of worn tarps.

“I had nowhere else to go,” she said.

On a blistering morning in July, Louis was on a work crew of 20 community members helping to clear the land for the Carter Project.

“I’m healthy,” Louis said, beaming. “When I’m tired, I take vitamins! We are all happy to do the work.”

When asked how she feels about owning her own house, the slender woman breaks into an impromptu dance. “I’m really happy about the new house,” she said. “I’ll be happy to live there with my children and try to find a new way to survive.”