Plans are underway for what officials say could be the largest gathering of Haitian nationals living in Dominica.
President of the Dominica Haiti Friendship Association Roland Desire said he expects hundreds to turn out in solidarity for a “big mass” on Jan. 12 at the Roseau Cathedral to remember loved ones who were affected by last year’s devastating earthquake.
January 12 marks the first anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the island killing over 300,000 people and leaving over one million displaced.
“We want to ask everybody who has Haitians working with them to give them the day off so they could celebrate in that mass because it’s an important day for us. That day will be a Wednesday. We want to use that day to remember our brothers, sisters, neighbors…” he said.
Following the mass, the Haitians are expected to get together for a cocktail to socialize with each other.
“At that gathering we expect to recognize all Haitians who have contributed to the development of Dominica. There are those who have worked hard over the years, the market vendors, those who have been selling across the streets. We expect to give them certificates and gifts just to thank them for contributing to the country,” he said.
Desire wants all Haitians to make an effort to participate in the event which he says is essential to the culture of the Haitian community.