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Friday, January 22, 2010

Back From Haiti, Councilman Says: 'It was horrible. I saw dead people.'

On Monday, 14th District Councilman Fernando Cabrera, his daughter and about a dozen other people from the Bronx chapter of the Latin and African-American Chaplain's Association (LACA) boarded a JetBlue flight to the Dominican Republic, carrying big bags and suitcases full of emergency supplies: antibiotics, bandages, baby food and more.

On Tuesday, at 1 a.m., the crew loaded themselves and the supplies into a 12-passenger van and a jeep and made the seven-and-a-half-hour trip to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. What Cabrera saw was total devastation.

"It was like if you walked down Broadway and every other building or more were completely destroyed," he said, in a phone interview this afternoon, his voice hoarse with sickness and exhaustion.

"It was horrible," he said. "I saw dead people. One house was crushed. There was a girl, you could tell she almost made it out because her hand was sticking out."

Cabrera said more and more locals are flocking to the area's hospitals. The most immediate problem, he said, is a lack of supplies. Amputations and C-sections are being performed without anesthesia. He said the supplies are there, but they're not getting to the hospitals.

This may have something to do with a fuel shortage that forces motorists to wait in lines at the few working gas stations for hours. In order to get back to the D.R., Cabrera said they paid someone $10 for a gallon of gas.

Port-au-Prince is also in desperate need of more skilled physicians. He said his church, New Life Outreach International and LACA are raising money to sponsor the stays of qualified doctors. For just $7,000, Cabrera said, they can pay for 15 doctors to be in the disaster zone for a month.

Through fundraising at the church and elsewhere, Cabrera said LACA is bringing in $3 million in supplies for the relief efforts.

For more information and/or to donate to the cause, you can call New Life at 718-562-2230 or LACA, at 718-842-8555. They will provide you with more information about how to donate.

You can also donate to the Red Cross's efforts at redcross.org, or you can just donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "Haiti" to 90999.


  1. Wow! I am glad to be able to be a part of a group of people that are TRULY making a difference not only in the Bronx, but all over the world. Dr Cabrera, thank you for your example!!

  2. Council member Cabrera you have impressed me. You are indeed a leader in your community. Keep up the good work of helping people.

  3. Wow... I am really impressed.. I can already see the return on the investment of my vote!!

  4. Thank you Councilman for exemplifying the spirit of the Bronx; A spirit that cares, and wants to help!!! I see the Bronx will start to be seen as a great people!!! Greater things are yet to come!!!

  5. Donate your money to reputable groups that have been working in Haiti for decades including the following:

    Save the Children
    Red Cross
    Doctor's Without Borders

    Cabrera shoudl spend his time doing charity work in his own district and getting up to speeed on the needs of the consitutents in his district.

  6. To the last comments: Cabrera has been doing work in his district. You forget that there is Haitian people in the district who have family members in Haiti. Cabrera is also working with the local hospitals and physicians. I least we know where our money went ....... do you know where your donation went? Did you donate?

  7. Here we go, More Cabrera Haters.....Which councilmember did you represent again?.....Nevertheless you obviously dont have a face cause ur posting anonymous. I must go with the last post and with "Sticks" on this one Cabrera indeed is making a difference all around and surely is a great example. As to the last post, You my friend said it best. WE KNOW where are money is going. Cabrera did the right thing and it was to take the supplies DIRECTLY where it needed to go. Theres NO MIDDLE MAN with this councilman.

  8. If Dr. Cabrera is guilty of anything, he is guilty of putting his feelings and comforts to the side in order to meet a valid need. A need that none of us can argue with... This topic is of such a serious nature I am not going to venture into a debate... Again, I am proud to know that a Representative of the Bronx was a direct participant of the relief...

  9. Did you guys hear that Dr. Cabrera took supplies directly to a hospital in Port-au-Prince, where Bronx surgeons and PA's were volunteering. Some of the doctors were even doctors from district 14..

  10. I did hear something about that but for all who would like to take a look first hand here it goes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvUs6UK8ovI


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