By Jacqueline Charles and Nancy San Martin
Two years after a devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, seeds of progress are starting to take root. But the troubled country still has a long way to go.
PORT-AU-PRINCE — In public squares where dirty, overcrowded tents once housed thousands of homeless quake victims, children now ride bikes and kick soccer balls in the open space. Roads previously barricaded by rubble are clogged with traffic. A downtown nursing school and a hilltop hotel that collapsed are under reconstruction.
Two years after Haiti’s most horrifying 35 seconds, seeds of progress are evident across this battered nation where a devastating earthquake left 300,000 dead and some 1.5 million homeless in its capital and surrounding cities.
But with more than a half-million people still living in squalid camps, and billions of dollars in promised aid still to arrive, much remains to be done for the changes to take root. And some Haiti experts and Haitians worry that the country could still slide backwards without major efforts to create jobs and economic reforms.