It is a difficult role to be a visitor trying to better a situation for others. If you are at all sensitive to others and caring, you have mixed emotions about your role, whether you are a doctor, a bridge builder or a teacher.
One worker’s response to the recent New York Times article:
This article is indeed very interesting. I for one struggle with this a lot having seen many people, mostly non Haitians come to Haiti for the feel-good experience. On the other hand some of my best allies and collaborators in the work that I am doing in Haiti have been Internationals, or as Haitians would say (and I’m sure anyone who has been to Haiti as heard time and time again) “Blanc”.
For me it is a matter of conscience. You may not speak the language, look like the folks you are trying to help, you may even have to recognize that you are among the privileged in order to work in Haiti.
If the New York Times is critiquing our work, it’s progress — going forward respecting Haiti’s environment (eco and cultural) is the answer.