Small Parish of Decostiere is in a rural area beginning
about 1 hour from Gros Morne and 2 hours from the large town of Gonaives via
which there are no good roads.
The pastoral leaders of this parish work extensively in
these communities to increase the community’s responsibility for nurturing of
faith and activity to address local needs.
This network of community groups and liturgical committees have the
responsibility to have the Celebration of the Word when the priests are not
there to give Mass, provide catechism and prepare the people for the
sacraments. In many of these areas the
priest can only reach them to give Mass once a month. These groups work closely with other faith
groups and civic groups to address the critical issues of hunger and drought
that often plague the area, as well as destructive flooding during peak rainy
For work the people of the parish must do whatever is
available. Men attempt to work in
agriculture though the arid terrain makes this very difficult. Women come down from the mountains with heavy
loads on their back and on their heads to sit in the sun to try to sell along
the road to Port-au-Prince for at least $2 or $3.
This are is fortunate to have the dispensaries run by the
sisters and a large community base with which to spread education on prevention
and nutrition. However, they often lack
adequate supplies with which to treat the people. Just this year a flu season left many in the
community suffering from symptoms for many weeks. They have requested assistance with simple
cough medicine and other fever relievers for children adults to keep their
symptoms from worsening and creating other health problems in the future.