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Photo Essay —  3 May 2013

Mormonism in Pictures: Church Donating 400,000 Trees in Haiti

Salt Lake City — 

“Mormonism in Pictures” is a photo essay feature from Mormonnewsroom.org depicting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members around the world. Today we feature photos related to the Church's efforts to plant 400,000 trees in Haiti.

Haiti Little boy plants

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In a continued effort to help Haitians following the 2010 earthquake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and friends are planting 400,000 trees in Haiti, with nearly 25,000 planted on 1 May 2013. Another 75,000 trees are scheduled for planting by year's end.

Haiti Tree Nursery

 

Haitian leaders have identified reforestation of the country as an important priority, and the Church has offered to help. Thanks to Latter-day Saints’ donations, shade and fruit trees (each tree being one- to two-feet tall) were purchased. “Members of the Church have talked about reforestation as a special project since the earthquake,” said Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Church’s Caribbean area presidency. “So the convergence of the two interests has come together now at the right time, and this project has taken shape.”


Haiti Happy helpers

 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013, was a national holiday in Haiti, so more than 1,800 Mormons and their neighbors arrived early at meetinghouses across the country to pick up saplings purchased at local nurseries. They were then divided into small teams before traveling to both rural and urban communities to begin planting.

 

Haiti Hillside planting

 

Trees are being planted in five cities, including three townships near the capital of Port-au-Prince.
 

Haiti planting3 cropped

 

The planting sites, chosen by the local Latter-day Saints and their neighbors along with help from government officials, will maximize impact, such as beautifying large park and recreational complexes.

 

Haiti Worker Surveys

 

Large numbers of families were relocated to camps in sparse desert areas north of Port-au-Prince following the destructive quake. Now, trees will be planted in newly constructed neighborhoods in the area where the Church has built more than 150 sturdy family homes over the past three years.

 

Haiti volunteer church

 

Volunteers worked more than 11,000 combined hours in near 90-degree temperatures Wednesday, digging holes, forming work lines and planting the first batch of 100,000 slated for this year.

 

Haiti Tree chain

 

The mayor of the Petion-ville Township said it was a “godsend” to have 7,000 trees planted in her community Wednesday, with more than 4,000 to be planted in the coming months. “I [am] happy, very proud,” said Mayor Minerve Yvanka Jolicoeur Brutus. “[I’m] not surprised because it’s a good deed, and that is what the Church is all about."

 

Haiti Elders prep

 

Port-au-Prince Stake President Gerzino Milford says: "Planting the trees is a means to touch the lives of each brother and sister in the areas we chose. That's the way, not only to plant the trees, but also to prove that we love them and want to protect them."

 

Haiti planting

 

“This is encouraging,” said Christian Dieugerville of Petion-ville. Gesturing to a ravine with no vegetation, he continued, “It was so dense you couldn’t walk through the woods because of so many trees. Now, … when it rains the water washes down and floods the whole street.”

 

Haiti Elders Sisters

 

Haiti Mormon missionaries were some of 1,800-plus volunteers who planted trees in the reforestation project.

 

haiti mother with trees

 

Fruit tree recipient Roselaine Saintil of Port-au-Prince notes that the trees "are green, but they are going to ripen when yellow. You cut it off, you can eat it, you give it to your kids, you make juice. You use it in different ways."

 

Haiti truck load

 

In April, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marked its 30th year in Haiti. On a hill high above Port-au-Prince in 1983, President Thomas S. Monson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel. The country is now home to nearly 20,000 Mormons.

 

Haiti YM carries small trees

 

In colonial times, Haiti was called the “Pearl of the Antilles” because of its rich natural resources and prosperous economy. Theodore Berthony, a local volunteer project manager for the Church in Port-au-Prince, has a dream shared by many Haitians. “The vision is to see Haiti return to be the Pearl of the Antilles,” he said.

 

Haiti planting2

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

 
 
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