The village of Sobier is near and dear to our hearts. Please Read below to find out more.
The village of Sobier is about a 3 to 4 hour drive from Port-au-Prince depending on the traffic.
The village is nestled in the mountains above the port city of Miagoane that is only accessible by foot, or 4-wheel drive.
The village consists mostly of homes like this that can house a family of 4-8 with no electricity, no bathrooms, no running water, no internet.
There is one solar powered streetlight located in the village center. People gather here to sell cooked food like rice and beans. There are no stores, no bakeries, no laundromats, and no wells for water.
The dirt is this deep red color that that will not only stay with you weeks after you return, but also makes growing crops more difficult.
You will often see cooking huts like this outside of the home that people cook their meals in.
There are very limited crops that they grow in the village, but they do have quite a lot of Mango trees. Their diet consists of a lot of mangos.
They also grow a lot of these beans, which are one of the main sources of protein for them.
While you will see families with chickens, they are raised for meat and eggs. You will see goats, pigs and cows around the village, but they are usually sold as one of their main sources of income.
You will see goats tethered all throughout the village.
Although not as common, you will see some cows roaming around here and there.
Eventhough there are 2 schools in the village, less than 50% of the kids go to school because they can't afford the $20 a year tuition.
There is no water in the village of Sobier. It is over a 2 hours round trip hike down the side of the mountain and back up to the fresh water source. We hiked down the mountain with them to see the water source and I clocked on my phone over a 70 flight climb back up the mountain.
When we arrived on our first visit, we found the clinic looking like this. Just a rock outline of the foundation. We had our work cut out for us.
We started off having to fill in the base with rocks that weighed between 50-100lbs.
We quickly realized that this was going to be a huge job. Michael asked how much is the typical daily salary for a local worker. It was $1-$2 a day. He quickly hired 25 locals for the week to help us expedite things.
With all of the help we had, we were able to get accomplished in days what might have taken weeks if not months.
Everything in Sobier pretty much has to be done by hand. For the concrete we had bags of cement delivered by 4-wheel drive, jugs of water delivered by motorcycles and the sand and gravel was dug by hand from a local quarry.
The same few pieces of lumber were constantly reused when pouring the cement. The same nails were hammered in and pulled out each time the wood was used for a new pour. They cut down the local giant bamboo and used it as support.
One of the lessons learned from the 2010 earthquake was proper use and properly securing the rebar to avoid wall from pancaking down like so many did during the earthquake
We were so proud of our progress and so glad for all of the locals that we employed to help build with us. We loved the idea of helping pump money into their economy by employing and empowering them.
Once the foundation was done, the next step was to build up the walls with cinder blocks. Each block was made on site by hand, mixing the concrete and poring it into the one and only mold we had.
The quickest and easiest way of getting things done was by bucket bridades. They were used to move water, sand, rocks, and cement. We washed and cleaned the 8 or so buckets we had at the end of the day so that they were ready for whatever the next morning had in store.
Johnny (left) has been to Sobier every year and has been to Haiti 8 times. Michael (right) is our team leader and was the first one to travel to Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake. He has made 10 trips to Haiti and has been to Sobier all 5 times.
Every step in building the clinic has been done by hand.
Michael Cutting The Ribbon With Team Member Johnny and Members Of The Community
Because the village of Sobier is so remote, many basic ailments go untreated.
Because of social economic issues of Haiti, they aren't able to fund the operations. We are looking for partners to help sponsor a weekly clinic.
During our visit in February 2019, we funded a two day clinic that included 1 doctor, 1 nurse and 1 health practitioner. During the 2 days, they saw 170 patients and dispensed the medication immediately to them for free.
Each patient was pre-screened by the nurse, collecting their stats and information and the reason for their visit.
After the pre-screen, the doctor called each patient into the exam room and treated each ailment.
Our team member Stephen, who is fluent in French, helped handing out the prescriptions and explained the dosing requirements to each patient.