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Gerardo Huertas - Disaster Operations Director
Costa Rica
Disaster Operations Director (The Americas) for WSPA
Recent Activity
Since the earthquake hit Haiti six months ago, we have treated more than 25,000 sick or injured animals there. The backbone of our operation is the mobile veterinary clinic, which has been going into earthquake-stricken neighbourhoods giving aid and vaccinations to thousands of dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses and other animals. We’ve also started to repair the wall around Haiti’s National Veterinary Laboratory and main lab infrastructure, which fell during the earthquake. We’re about to install 24 solar-powered refrigeration units: these are essential for storing animal vaccinations. Later this month, we’re going to launch a public awareness campaign, “Publigestion,” to... Continue reading
A few days ago we drove out to Lougane to run a temporary clinic. Driving out of town, the landscape becomes calmer. There are fallen buildings here and there, but the greenery tries to compensate for it. We set up camp under the trees, surrounded by a half-fallen house, a bush full of thorns, a few banana trees and a big mango tree facing a dusty road. A man with a bike and a loudspeaker went around the village announcing our arrival and urging people to bring their animals. Soon, the first wave of goats arrived, followed by pigs, cattle,... Continue reading
I am back in Santo Domingo now, having completed what I think was a really successful first visit to Haiti. In the three days we spent there, we achieved a number of things: we had meetings with several people who could help us draw up our medium- and long-term plans for the ARCH effort in Haiti, and we made a first hand assessment of the capital and a few areas around as well. We visited the towns of Leogane and Jacmel, both of which were also seriously affected by the earthquake. As my colleague Juan Carlos Murillo, WSPA’s Disaster Management... Continue reading
Today in Port au Prince, the joint ARCH team began its field assessment to see what we can do to help the animals that are such an integral part of the Haitian community. Pictured here is Dr Juan Carlos Murillo, WSPA’s longest serving disaster management veterinary officer and a member of the ARCH team in Port au Prince, as he checks a Haitian dog to determine the state of his health and treat any lesions he might have had. As Dr. Murillo says, "The animal was as normal as can be expected for a dog that survives day by day.... Continue reading
Early this morning, as you can see, the ARCH team prepared to depart for Port au Prince. Picture copyright WSPA/IFAW It has been fairly hectic, with preparations for departure taking up all our time over the last few hours. But now, we are finally ready to board this plane that will be flying us into Port au Prince today. Our next update will be from there. Continue reading
Late on Thursday, we landed in Santo Domingo (in the Dominican Republic). Normally this city, referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Caribbean’, is a typical seafarers’ town. But now it is occupying news headlines around the world as the ‘Gateway to Haiti’, a far less romantic association perhaps, but a truly vital one. Aid agencies from around the world are gathering here, preparing to enter Haiti from this ‘safe corridor’, though we now hear that the sea port into Haiti has been opened and secured by the US military as well. Hopefully this will mean that the cargo ships... Continue reading
Thank you, to Judy and all our supporters out there who are following our rescue teams attempt to help the animals of Haiti. We appreciate your support!
Hi, we have posted a few updates since the 13! Take a look at the main page, we even posted one today!! Thanks for following our rescue effort blog, Cheers Gerardo and team
Yesterday, I received an official communication from the Government of Haiti, requesting WSPA’s immediate assistance and asking that WSPA staff be deployed to help with the emergency relief operation ‘as soon as possible’. The Director of Inspection and Vigilance for the Environment, Environmental Department of the Government of Haiti, with whom I have been in touch over the last few days, wrote to me saying: “After the information exchanges that we have been keeping and given the magnitude of the disaster suffered by Haiti, putting the country under great risk of infecto-contagious diseases spread and possible animal epidemic outbreaks; …... Continue reading
My team and I have been closely monitoring the situation in Haiti since the devastating earthquake hit the capital, Port-au-Prince, last night. With most communications infrastructure down, it meant we had a long night waiting for information that beyond sketchy news reports. Since this morning, we have been in talks with the United Nations (under serious stress themselves since their office in Port-au-Prince has collapsed, with 15 staff members dead and 20 still missing) and the local Red Cross Chapters to gain a further understanding of the impact on animals caught up in the situation. Our Disaster Liaison Officer from... Continue reading
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Jan 13, 2010