Spain’s Queen Sofia recently visited aid projects in Haiti

By TRENTON DANIEL Associated Press

At a dinner … hosted by Martelly, she recalled in a brief statement how she visited Haiti two years ago, and said that “Haiti is a special country for me.”

“Now, and for all time, Mr. President, Haiti can count on Spain and all Spaniards,” the queen said in Haitian Creole as she read from a written script.

On Saturday, the queen tour[ed] several projects financed by the Spanish government and her own charity, the Queen Sofia Foundation.

One of those sites is a water sanitation plant outside Port-au-Prince that removes waste collected from cholera treatment centers. A cholera epidemic has killed more than 6,200 people and sickened almost 440,000 others since it surfaced last year, according to Haitian health officials. Many people who fall ill rely on the improvised health clinics to stay alive.

“It’s a key way for us to solve the cholera issue,” Martelly told the AP, referring to the Spanish sanitation project in an area north of Port-au-Prince called Titanyen.

Then the queen plans to see a center at the Sisters of Charity in Cite Soleil, a seaside neighborhood that is considered one of the poorest and dangerous areas in Haiti.

The queen will follow that visit with a trip to Leogane, which saw thousands of homes destroyed because of its proximity to the quake’s epicenter. The Spanish Red Cross is helping build 1,500 transitional shelters in a housing project funded by the queen’s foundation.

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