Idaho native hopes to bring kids from Haiti to the U.S.

After living in Haiti for several years, Amy Miramontes plans to return to her home state of Idaho, and she hopes to bring kids home with her to get a better education.

BOISE - It's a journey that Amy Miramontes started seven years ago when an earthquake hit Haiti.

"I went on the mission trip and was working in Leogane, which is the area where the epicenter of where the earthquake was," said Miramontes.

It was this trip in 2010 that she met three kids, Rodriguez, Monika, and Tchaly, who would eventually become her family.

For the next four years Miramontes continued to make trips to Haiti every three months, but in 2014 it was those three kids that prompted her to make a decision that would change everything. 

"I felt like there was something missing when I would come and go," Miramontes said. "Half of my life was here and half of my life was there."

Now Miramontes lives with them in Haiti and sees firsthand what the siblings go through.

"There's no running water, you pump it," said Miramontes. "Maybe there's electricity. Whenever the electricity comes on it's so rare, literally everyone yells 'thank you Jesus' when the electricity comes on."

The siblings also have very little access to a quality education. 

"It's a thing that seems like something everyone should have in their lives, but they don't have access to it," she said.

A language barrier at the nearest school was a major hurdle. Miramontes says classes are taught in French, the language of the upper class, while the majority of kids speak Haitian Creole.

"It's a language that no one in their house actually speaks," said Miramontes. "They don't actually speak it and they're just memorizing things."

She also says the schools use forms of physical punishment. 

"That was really difficult as an American to see that happening to them, so as soon as that school year was done I had to take them out," said Miramontes.

For the last year, the siblings went to a missionary school that was started in their area. They began to learn English by watching DVDs. Unfortunately this coming school year, that won't be an option. 

"They actually can't go back to the school because there's not enough resources in the school," said Miramontes.

So she has found a way to bring them home where a visa would allow them to go to a private international school, giving them a real chance at a better life.

"It's just the biggest opportunity honestly I don't have any words for it," she said.

Since Miramontes grew up in Idaho, she says the combination or outdoor activities and kind people would be great for the kids. 

In order to bring the family to Idaho, Miramontes says they have to raise $30,000 for their tuition by August 15th when it's due. If you would like to help, donations are being accepted on this GoFundMe page

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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