Haiti protests delayed return of Baltimore Archdiocese-sponsored youth mission group

The Baltimore Sun

A youth group sponsored by the Archdiocese of Baltimore has landed in the United States after violent protests in Haiti delayed its return.

The mission group — which included nine people ages 16 to 20, and three adult chaperones — was supposed to return by July 7, Sean Caine, a spokesman for archdiocese, said in an email.

The group’s original flight was canceled. They rescheduled for Monday, but encountered a road blockade on the way to the airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, Caine said.

The group reached the airport Wednesday, flying out in the afternoon and arriving safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Caine said.

The protests, which left at least three people dead, erupted after Haiti’s government attempted to raise fuel prices. People were looting shops that were burned and vandalized in Port-au-Prince.

“No one was injured or was ever in danger,” Caine said of the mission group.

Flight cancellations had left multiple U.S. church groups and volunteers stranded over the weekend.

The Archidiocese of Baltimore has “long had a sister relationship” with an archdiocese in Haiti, fostered by a former employee who was Haitian, Caine said. That former employee now operates a foundation that supports Haitians through the Catholic Church, he said.

The Associated Press and Baltimore Sun reporter Christina Tkacik contributed to this article.

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