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CNN Heroes Saving Haiti

The morning comes to Hotel room in Dominican Republic, I turn on CNN, and I think I need closure. I lived in Haiti for two months, and then just when I leave, the country of Haiti experiences a terrible Earthquake.

I do not like to hear CNN in this melodramatic way say,
“Saving Haiti.”

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Saturday, January 30, 2010
By Andy Graham of
Travel Gear |  | Top Travel Site

I want to scream,

Why does if feel like CNN is saying that CNN is saving Haiti?

I have friends in Haiti, I know them, they will pick up the pieces, and get on with their lives, they do not need CNN, and they do not need me, they are my equal.

Cultural Manners

To be a responsible traveler, to be polite, the essential need is you treat people as equals, even when you know you are outrageously richer. Sadly, the developed world goes into underdeveloped countries and tells them,
“You need saved.”

I would like you to read a newsletter number 48 I wrote nine years ago in Belgium called:
Cultural Manners

I hear the world preach equality, however in the next moment remove the dignity of other humans by saying that are saving Haiti.

CNN is not heroes.
CNN is not saving Haiti.

I have friends in Haiti, I know them, and I lived on Rue Lamarre in Port-au-Prince for three weeks. I know my friends, yes they would like some help, but if I returned to Haiti. I sure as hell would not say to them,
“I came to save you.”

There is an arrogance of man, the inherent desire of man to want to say, I am better than you are. We buy cars, we buy houses, we buy iPad, and we live in Five Star Hotels. Then somehow say to others, look at me, I am better than you are, I am more important than you are.

The people of the USA want to know, we are a country of people that will help. The people in other countries want to know, they will be treated as equals. For one country to feel better about themselves, it precludes the other will feel worst.

Read this piece, and hopefully you will see some insights why I am angry with the USA, CNN and the Non Governmental Organizations wanting to say, “we are here to save you.”
Cultural Manners

CNN Heroes Saving Haiti


It is kind of on the same line of when you go to the equal opportunity office and they as you to check on your form what race you belong to. I never understood that one myself. One day I am tempted to mark Eskimo on the form and see if anyone notices (How would they know?).


I live in the "developing world" in the nation of El Salvador, years ago I befriended a few ex combatants, veterans on both sides of the El Salvadorian Civil War (1979-1992), like I was in late 1965, most of them were "recluted" or drafted in one way or another and one veteran who has been in combat can understand what teh other has gone through. I was in Viet Nam, my Batallion Cmdr. was a Graduate of West Point (In the late 1980s I took care of him for a year in Guatemala) who told us in Nam that "the "liberal" policymakers in Washington have sent me to fight a war I cannot win" I got out alive. We are all equals. I meet from time to time those who hold "important" positions in NGOs here, one Director is purchasing herself a $125,000+ home in an upscale area of El Salvador. Good for her. USAID is a pack of elite jackals. Other "Aid and Disaster Relief" organizations range from terrible to really worthwhile. There are far left organizations promoting an agenda through to Missionary organizations from Evangelical organizations. I help to help local friends I have known for a long time, I care about people, not political agendas or religious dogma.
I like your stance on NGOs few online in the travel world have the guts to tell the truth. I'm just a poster, not a Webmaster. I see the truth, the corruption and the end game of fundraising and egomania month in and month out, my local associate goes to the meetings and conferences, then we have a good laugh over the 'jerks' in the coffee place.
Saludos de El Salvador.
PS PD Good luck in Pana, the entire lakeshore is now full of algae and pollution. Not the crystal clear Lake Atitlan I remember.
Much of El Salvador and Guatemala's Maquilla Industry is now close or working at less than full capacity, with some exceptions, like Fruit of The Loom, much of the work has gone to China.
No doubt you'll find dozens of locals eager to sew in Pana.