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Jan 20, 2010 7:28 PM by Jon Carrere

Louisiana's Past Helps Haiti Relief Efforts

When things in Haiti settle down, rebuilding efforts will come soon after.

An area of concern is the language barrier between American relief workers and the Haitian people.

But a part of Louisiana's past is meeting with the present to help bridge the gap.

Stephen Ortego runs the english to Louisiana french website www.francolouisiane.com.

Like most he's been trying to figure out what he can do to help the people of Haiti.

"I received an email from a good friend of mine from someone who has and N.G.O. that does communications that was sending two peole into haiti to put up cell towers," Says Ortego.

Social networking is playing a huge part in relief efforts so what better way is there to reach a large number of people than to put a distress call out over facebook.

He's been able to locate people who can speak Louisiana Creole, a language similar to what they speak in Haiti.

In twenty four hours over thirty people have already responded.

Ortego also reached out to CODAFIL , a Lafayette non-profit servicing french speaking people in Acadiana.

Their response was the same.

"People came to help us when things were down and out after the hurricanes here and these are our brothers and sisters we're probably related," Says CODAFIL rep Elaine Clement.

The whole history of Lousiana has been tied to Haiti, its one of the reasons why creole in Louisiana sounds similar to creole in Haiti.

jcarrere@katctv.com

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