March 19, 2009
Rep. Marty Walsh spent St. Patrick's Day in Haiti this week. Walsh joined a delegation led by fellow Dorchester state Rep. Marie St. Fleur for an informational trip to the Caribbean county, which is still reeling from the heavy hurricane season.
The delegation, which also includes UMass-Boston professor Adenrele Awotona, state Rep. John Quinn (D-Dartmouth) and about a dozen businessmen and educators, returns on Sunday. Officials from Westfield State College will also accompany the delegation.
Walsh traveled to Israel in 1999, he said. "It really opened my eyes to the conflict of Israel and this will open my eyes to the situation in Haiti," he said. Walsh added that his expenses for the trip would be paid through his campaign account.
The itinerary includes meetings with Haiti's ministers of commerce, education and transportation, and local chambers of commerce. Walsh noted that he had a large Haitian population in his district and he was interested in learning the culture and "seeing what they've lived with." The trip will focus on the country's infrastructure and education system. As for St. Patrick's Day, Walsh planned to spend it in Port-Au-Prince, the country's capital, specifically. "I'm going to have my own breakfast," Walsh quipped.