British Columbia

B.C. teens mark Haiti earthquake anniversary

Wednesday's anniversary of the Haiti earthquake is weighing on the minds of Nelson, B.C., high school students who arrived in the country just before the quake hit.

Wednesday's first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake is weighing on the minds of Nelson, B.C., high school students.

The group landed in Haiti about 45 minutes before the earthquake hit and communication was virtually cut off. Eventually they made their way to a nearby mission and were able to get an email out to reassure parents they were safe.

They spent six days at the mission before Canadian Forces arrived to get them out on a military flight.

Nicole Amos, who was part of the humanitarian mission, said she was looking forward to a unique experience, but unprepared for the events that unfolded.

"A year later, this is when I am starting to get those trauma feelings — the emotions, the frustrations and the sadness," she said.

Amos still has vivid memories of Haiti following the quake.

"The whole time we were there, there were aftershocks that would wake us up in the middle of the night.… And you'd have to get up and run," she said.

Classmate Skye Spears said the experience strengthened his resolve to help others.

"It kind of made me want to get into the career of some kind of humanitarian relief work. I would not want to be in the position where there was just an earthquake and you don't have any food, water, shelter," he said. 

The teens are fundraising in the hope of returning to Haiti to finish the humanitarian work they didn't get to start.

They plan to spend the anniversary together as a group.

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