FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Civil unrest in the Caribbean country of Haiti has led the US State Department to issue a level four travel advisory, basically banning travel to the country. The State Department has also ordered non-emergency US personnel and their families out. A local woman, however, has decided to stay and continue her work at a Haitian hospital.
Green Bay native Brittany Galvin has been living in Haiti for the past year and a half. She was also in the country in 2010, when a massive earthquake rocked the capital city, as well as back in October when another earthquake caused extensive damage. And now, she's living and working in the country as it's seeing significant protest from those who oppose the government. Galvin said the situation became so dangerous, the country was locked down.
"Basically we couldn't get from our place to the next largest city, which is about 45 minutes away, for about ten days. There were burning tires in the streets, people blocking cars, throwing rocks if you tried to go by, and in some areas actually shooting at vehicles," adds Galvin.
The unrest has led the US government to issue a travel ban, warning of violent and unpredictable demonstrations. While Galvin says things have been pretty calm the past few days, the situation is unnerving. With a diesel shortage because of the lockdown, supplies for the hospital where she worked were depleted. They've since been refilled, but uncertainty remains countrywide.
According to Galvin, "The opposition party was calling for demonstrations again all this week, which never materialized thank God because people needed to get back into some kind of activity. The country was really hurting"
Galvin says she feels safe in the town where she is, but she does have a vacation planned for next month where she's scheduled to come home.
Meanwhile, a group of about 30 people from the Green Bay Friends of Haiti organization were supposed to travel to Caribbean next month for a mission trip. That trip is currently on hold.