Cambridge Architect Reflects On Challenge Of Rebuilding Haiti After Earthquake

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Monday marks the 5 year anniversary of the powerful earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people, and leaving almost 2 million more without homes. In the wake of the disaster, billions of dollars of aid flowed into the country, and many volunteers from governments and NGOs around the world came to help.

Among them was Paul Fallon, an architect from Cambridge. He'd visited Haiti before the quake struck, and afterward, he returned. He helped design and build houses, an orphanage, and a school.

Haiti needed help, and so Fallon went. But he says that he soon understood that Haiti had something powerful to offer him: something to nourish his soul and stir compassion that he thought he'd lost. So he quit his job to help rebuild Haiti, and to rebuild his own life.


Paul Fallon, Cambridge-based architect and author of "Architecture By Moonlight: Rebuilding Haiti, Redrafting A Life." He tweets @paulefallon. He'll be talking on Monday night at the Cambridge Public Library.


The Boston Globe Magazine: Rebuilding Haiti, Remaking A Life

  • "January 12, 2010, is a cold and short winter day in Boston. About 8 p.m. my sister calls with news of Haiti’s earthquake. 'As soon as I heard, I had to call you; I’m glad that you’re here, that you’re safe.' Pat has a flair for drama that I lack. It’s been months since I was in Haiti; I am in no danger. As she relates the tragedy, I realize she’s not calling out of any legitimate fear; she’s simply seeking the community we all crave in crisis."

The Boston Globe: The Boy Who Adopted Me

  • "Construction is an intense activity that ends abruptly, yet Dieunison has tethered me to Haiti for the long haul. It will take years for these boys to graduate, but if they do their part, I will do mine. Time does not factor when a boy hands you a nail and stakes a claim on your heart."

This segment aired on January 9, 2015.


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