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Energy & Environment

Charlotte Haitian Entrepreneur Reacts To Country’s Devastating Earthquake

Courtesy of Natacha Candio
Natacha Candio opened Caribbean Buzz, a Haitian food truck, in 2018. Now she's donating 20% of her sales in August and September to relief efforts following Haiti's earthquake.

Natacha Candio, who has been in Charlotte since 2016, says she dropped everything when she found out there had been a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti. Her sister, who lives in California, called to give her the news.

“I just paused because my heart just stopped,” Candio said.

It took her hours to get a hold of her sisters who still live there. She says they’re fine but she still hasn’t heard back from her cousins.

As she watches the news, Candio says she feels scared, angry and frustrated.

“I have clips my sisters are sending me,” Candio said. “There's this little kid that's probably 6 months old, fully dressed to be baptized, dead.”

Candio says she doesn’t know how to help. She says even if she sends money to her family, they don’t have access to the resources they need.

“So it's just feeling powerless. What do I do with the little resources I do have?” Candio said. “I can't do anything. And I can’t be reactive and just go to Haiti. What am I going to do?”

Candio was born in Haiti and moved to the U.S. when she was only 9. She’s now one of around 5,000 Haitians living in North Carolina.

The earthquake has killed more than 1,200 people so far and comes only a month after the Caribbean country’s president was assassinated.

Candio says it seems like Haiti can’t catch a break. But she wants to make one thing clear.

“Haiti is not cursed,” Candio said. “We just don't have the proper resources, we don't have the proper manpower.”

She says she wants people to see the beauty in her home country.

In 2018 Candio opened Caribbean Buzz, a Haitian food truck in Charlotte. For the rest of August and all of September, she says 20% of her sales will be donated to support relief efforts in Haiti.

She says if people want to donate supplies like clothing or nonperishable food items they can drop them off with her at her food truck.

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