It was 2 weeks ago yesterday that the earthquake hit Haiti. I was in the office when I heard the news and I called down to Punta Cana to check in with our sales team, who were in Punta Cana at their annual sales meeting. The sales team were nowhere near Haiti, and had not seen much of the news coverage yet, except to hear that there had been an earthquake. They were not in the U.S. where the coverage was chaotic and constant.
Punta Cana and Port Au Prince are about 400 miles apart or 12 hours away by car. There are mountains and extremely rough terrain that divide the two nations. So the resort operations and vacations are uninterrupted in Punta Cana, and it is business as usual. The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism assures visitors that all of its cities, tourism and resort areas are conducting normal business operations.
Since vacations have not been interrupted, and the resorts are still welcoming visitors, we are in a unique position to help the Haitian Relief effort not only through our employees, tourism contacts and friends in Punta Cana, but even through Apple Vacationers going to Punta Cana.
If you or anyone you know is going to Punta Cana, La Romana or Cap Cana and staying at a Zoëtry, Secrets or Dreams Resort & Spa, who have a little extra space in the suitcase, can pack some items for the relief effort in Haiti. The resorts will gladly ensure it is delivered to the Red Cross and those in need in Haiti. The approved list of items needed (that you can pack): gauze, cotton, analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen), slings, elastic Bandages and sanitary napkins.
The Apple Leisure Group held a collection in our office for The Red Cross. We collected bandages, water, baby formula, medicines and many items needed by the Red Cross. More than 2,000 pounds of supplies have been collected by the Apple Leisure Group. We have been able, through USA3000 Airlines, to deliver supplies directly to the relief effort on the ground. It feels good to know if we collect Thursday, the items can be on the ground where they are needed Friday.
We plan to continue helping the victims of the earthquake, not only with our continued collection efforts, but also in our ongoing support of The Dominican Republic. The people of the DR are vital in helping the Haitian relief effort, so our continued, collective support of this popular resort destination is more important now than ever.