Friday, 20 May 2011

Goodbye José

José Muñoz, volunteer for America Solidaria assigned to SOS Children‘s Villages Haiti, passed away on Thursday 19 May at the age of 28. Thank you José, for dedicating five precious weeks of your short lifetime to us and to Haiti’s children.

A truly gentle man with a truly gentle smile we will all miss: José. The picture was taken at his induction to the organisation „America Solidara“.
 José laughed a lot. I remember him laughing joyfully. He used to sit down to eat with us and say something that made us all laugh. But he was never laughed about the failures or shortcomings of others, his laugh had nothing cynical or hysterical. He just made the world a little happier. José was able to listen, he was able to see and he was very aware of problems and social injustices in our world, but he still had the energy - and desire - to laugh.

José came to the SOS Children’s Village in Santo on 11 April of this year as a social worker, together with his colleague Belén, a doctor. Both were from Chile, both were sent by “America Solidaria“, both volunteering in Haiti. Just five weeks after their arrival José passed away. The 28-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest on during the late morning of 19 May. Our co-workers, and especially his good friend Belén - the only doctor in the village - reacted quickly, gave him first aid and did everything in their power to get him to the hospital and save his life - but José didn’t stay.

All of us at SOS Children‘s Villages Haiti want to extend our deepest condolences to José‘s family, whom he loved very much. To his mother and his sisters, with whom he grew up and who played a big part in the development of José‘s compassionate and gentle character. To his father, who proudly told everyone he knew about his son’s decision to work in Haiti - which José, in turn, told us brimming with pride. To all his relatives and friends who said goodbye to José in March, fully expecting to see him again after his year of voluntary work in Haiti.

The dead live forever in Haiti, a woman once said to me. It seems José decided to immortalize himself and came to Haiti to die. We‘re grateful that he passed by here in Santo before passing away for good. He certainly left something immortal behind with us.

We see him laughing.

José (bottom row, second from right) participated joyfully in all kinds of events and gatherings. On Monday, 16 May, he played in an international soccer match at the SOS Children‘s Village.


  1. So sad for his family and for everyone at SOS Children's Village Santo. Rest in peace.

  2. My deepest condolences on the passing of Jose.