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The First Lady's Surprise Visit to Haiti

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Michelle Obama headed out today for her first solo trip abroad as First Lady. She was expected to go straight to Mexico City, for three days of events around a recurring theme for Mrs. Obama: youth empowerment and self-determination. Her agenda includes visiting students at a low-income public elementary school, and high school and college students at a university, to encourage them to set goals for their futures and be active in their communities. On her way to Mexico, however, Mrs. Obama, along with Dr. Jill Biden, made an unannounced stop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Millions of people in the capital are homeless, living beneath tents and tarps, in the aftermath of a major earthquake that struck the country in January. The Obama administration released this statement about the Haiti visit, just after the women landed. "First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are visiting Haiti to underscore to the Haitian people and the Haitian government the enduring U.S. commitment to help Haiti recover and rebuild, especially as we enter the rainy and hurricane seasons, and to thank the women and men across the whole of the U.S. government for their extraordinary efforts in Haiti during the past three months. They will also reach out to the UN and international relief communities in recognition of the truly global effort underway to help Haiti." In January, the First Lady lent her support to the post-earthquake Haitian relief effort by appearing in a PSA urging people to donate to the American Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999, or visiting the humanitarian organization's website. As for other announced events on her Mexico City schedule, Mrs. Obama will also tour the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology) and have dinner at the presidential residence with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and First Lady Margarita Zavala. The two First Ladies, who both happen to be lawyers with young children, have shared agendas around health and obesity in their countries, and will discuss that issue in particular. For more of Cynthia Gordy's Obama Watch stories, click here.  Read More:
Filed Under: First Lady Diary
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