A year after the earthquake in Haiti, vast destruction largely remains, particularly in Port au Prince and the areas closest to the epicenter. But amidst the piles of rubble, pancaked homes and shaken lives, Haitians and international volunteers are working together to slowly rebuild communities. One Boston-based non-profit organization, All Hands Volunteers
, was asked by the mayor of Leogane -- the city closest to the quake's epicenter -- to design and build a commemorative space around the mass grave just outside the cemetery gates where thousands of quake victims are buried.
With two weeks to complete the project, the plan for a memorial enclosure came together in time for today's one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. And true to a famous Haitian proverb, ÒMen anpil chay pa lou,Ó
, many hands -- from all around the world -- are helping to lighten the load.Site leader Chris Mewes from New Orleans and local volunteer Leopold Junior Andre remove the old sign at the site of the mass grave and prepare to install a new one; Alistair BremnathLocal volunteer Leopold Garcia Jean mans the power saw to cut pickets down to size for the memorial enclosure; Terry WardThe need for international aid and assistance remains immense in Leogane, where rubble is still piled in the city streets and families continue to live in tent camps; Terry WardLocal volunteer Emmanuel Jean mans the bobcat to clear a walkway at the cemetery memorial enclosure for the victims of the Haiti earthquake; Alistair BremnathAll Hands local volunteer Leopold Junior Andre paints pickets on the feathered fence of the enclosure. The pickets were donated to Project Leogane by the Canadian Army; Alistair BremnathAll Hands volunteer Katie Taibi from Bel Air, MD. and local volunteers Ramone Thermidor and Jacquerson Paul plant greenery around the posts of the memorial enclosure; Alistair BremnathSite leader Chris Mewes greets Leogane's adjunct mayor during a visit to the site the day before the quake's one year anniversary; Alistair BremnathAlexandra Fontus from Leogane paints the window opening at the front of the memorial enclosure; Terry WardThe front of the memorial enclosure was designed as a window of sorts, to offer views onto an existing cross that was placed on the mass grave site after the earthquake; Alistair Bremnath