In the U.S., bridges are something we take for granted—something we see and use so often that we don’t think twice about how we would traverse the rushing waters below without them. In Haiti, bridges are far less common, and in rural Haiti, most are faced with the task of crossing rivers on foot or on the back of a motorcycle. But now, thanks to a partnership between St. Boniface, Mennonites working in Haiti, and a Canadian company, a new bridge is finally complete.
More than a year ago, St. Boniface was approached by a Mennonite group working in Haiti and asked if the organization would be willing to help install a bridge over the Lhomond River—the major river on the way to Fond des Blancs and many other communities. St. Boniface said yes. The bridge was donated by Rapid-Span, a Canadian company specializing in transportation infrastructure, and the process began.
Throughout the partnership, St. Boniface’s role was multifaceted: to get the prefabricated bridge out of customs; to get approval from national authorities; to find support from the community on where to install the bridge; and to coordinate the installation by hiring manpower and making sure certain materials—sand, rocks, cement, etc.—were available for support.
Recently completed and in use, the bridge has been consolidated with a stone wall to ensure it isn’t washed away in future floods or natural disasters.