As I sit here in my warm, comfortable home in Hawaii, my thoughts are constantly going out to the people of Haiti, especially the earthquake victims from last week. But this is just an example of a flawed system gone from bad to worse. In my twenties, I traveled a lot to third world countries like Haiti, and had first hand experiences of living in sub American standard living conditions. When I lived in Peru in 1977 and 1979, we had no running water. We filled up a 55 gallon drum from the public supply twice a week when the water was turned on and showered by bucket. For 2 hours a night we had electricity that powered a single light bulb in each or our 2 rooms–when it worked. We dug a hole in the dirt outside that served as our bathroom and the entire village reeked of urine. I only tell you this to let you know that I have first hand knowledge of third world living conditions. I have lived in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and traveled to many other 3rd world countries around the world, and the story is the same–the rich make up a very small percentage of the population and they are getting richer and control 90 plus percent of the wealth, and the poor make up 90 plus percent of the population and are getting poorer.
The average American uses 30 times the required energy necessary to sustain a human being on this planet. We have a lifestyle that is at the top of the charts. We as Americans are the most wasteful humans on the planet, and the USA with only approximately 6% of the world’s population uses more than 25% of the world’s natural resources. AND I am just as guilty as the next guy. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and does not have much of an infrastructure to allow improvements in its standard of living in “normal” times. Now with the disastrous results from the recent earthquakes, this fragile infrastructure is in ruins. Communications if any are suspect, many roads are impassible, clean water is in short supply, and disease is now the biggest fear, and will probably be the biggest killer. Estimates are that 20,000 people per day do not get the surgery required to save their lives. What can we do to help?
We can certainly send money to the Red Cross, Unicef, and other honest, viable charities that will help get things going–well at least as fast as possible considering the current state of affairs. But the bottom line is that many thousands more Haitians will die from lack of medical attention, clean water, and disease.
We at the Waimea Bay Chili Pepper Company will donate 50% of all GROSS revenue brought in for the next 30 days to the Red Cross for Haitian relief. That means that 50 cents of every dollar (not profit) will go to this relief. In addition, we will also donate $1,000.00 to “Clean Water for the World”. This charity manufactures water filtration systems, and then installs them in third world countries.
We as humans can live without food for many days, but can live without water for only a few days. Clean, potable water is worth its weight in gold to these countries that do not have a means of obtaining this life sustaining necessity. I urge all of you to dig deep and donate to an organization that will help the less fortunate. I urge you to think about how fortunate we are here in the USA or any other country that lives the life. We need to be more compassionate, and more giving, and learn to live on less, and conserve not only for our future, but for the people in the world that need our help today.
Thanks for reading our blog,
The Waimea Bay Chili Pepper Company