When she was 18, Shakira started her own foundation called Pies Descalzos. This foundation aims to increase education in poverty stricken areas by building schools available to all. After the earthquake in Haiti, Shakira announced she would be building a school in the country to benefit as many of the victims as possible. This past sunday, she traveled to Haiti in search of appropriate grounds for the new school.
Today on her website, Shakira wrote a letter discussing much of the destruction she encountered in Haiti, the immense hope she found many Haitians still have, as well as importance of being globally aware. Upon reading this letter, I was immediately struck when I read that 86% of the Haitian population is unemployed. Considering we think it is a big deal that the current unemployment rate in the United States is only just over 10%, I find it unfathomable to understand the repercussions of having a rate at high as Haiti’s. Another thing that really struck me in this letter was that Shakira said, “Las generaciones más nuevas absorben estos ejemplos y saben que en el mundo de hoy los problemas de un solo pueblo son los problemas del mundo entero.” I find this to be incredibly true. I feel that as the world is growing, the newer generations are beginning to understand the extreme importance of global awareness. She continues to say, “…porque se que hay mucho por hacer e individualmente podemos ser gotas de agua pero juntos somos un océano.” While disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the Haitian earthquake etc., may be physically specific to individual countries, they are in fact global disasters. In situations like these, it is important for those who are able “to come together as one” (We Are the World) and support those in need.
If you are interested in reading the rest of the letter, here is the link: http://es.shakira.com/news/title/ayer-visit-hait