Visiting Leogane: Earthquake Epicenter to become Center of Healing

James S. Gordon, MDHaiti0 Comments

Earthquake Aftermath

By James S. Gordon MD

Visiting Leogane the day after the inauguration, we are plunged into the canyon between the promise and its fulfillment.  The city,  which was the epicenter of the earthquake, is desolate, a combination of “the hour before the shootout” in the Westerns, and a scene from after the Apocalypse. There are empty lots where once there were buildings; rubbish is thrown on top of rubble; motorcycles buzz around, but their riders are solemn.Leogane Street 5


We stop to buy Haitian CD’s and talk with a 30-ish man whose face looks frozen, who is standing near the rack. “Is this your store?”  I ask, of the tiny cabin.

“It is not mine,” he says, “but I built it.”

“What about your house?” I ask.

“My house was destroyed,” he replies.

“Did you lose family?” I ask.

“Yes,” he says, and slowly, deliberately, names them. “My brother, my other brother, my sister, my mother.”


Leogane CD stand







Around us, other young men stand like statues. Only when the music from the CD begins does anyone move. The young man who actually owns the store shuffles his feet and smiles a little. A couple of the other guys sing along with Belo.

We know we will be coming back to Leogane and working there.

To be continued tomorrow . . .

About the Author
James S. Gordon, MD

James S. Gordon, MD

Website Twitter LinkedIn Instagram

James S. Gordon, MD is Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine; Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Family Medicine; Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of Manifesto for a New Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Care, and Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey out of Depression.

Related Posts

Breathing in, Breathing out: Haiti’s Children The Center is pleased to premiere the first of a series of short videos by award-winning documentary filmmaker Tod Lending on our Global Trauma Relief...
Back to School: So Much / So Little By Laura MilsteinAs children in the United States head back to school there is always a flurry of anticipation and excitement --- and the usual ru...
A Long Way to Go By James S. Gordon MDThe next day, before we leave, we spend time at the Foyer des Orphelins d’Haiti,  an orphanage not far from the airport. The ...
Now…and Then By James S. Gordon MDIn Port-au-Prince the next day, Kathleen and Catherine have the opportunity to see the small groups—with kids, teenagers, and...