Rebuilding Haiti attracts Florida firms

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Wearing dark glasses and a baseball hat, Adam Finnieston hovered outside a field hospital in the Haitian capital with a prosthetic leg tucked beneath his arm. As groups of doctors rushed by, he handed out business cards and chatted with visitors about how the technology developed by his Miami company could help Haiti's amputees.

A few yards away, a representative of a Hialeah firm that makes high-tech, prefabricated shelters was handing out informational DVDs to reporters as she waited for a chance to talk to Haitian First Lady Elisabeth Préval.

As post-earthquake Haiti makes the transition from recovery to rebuilding, South Florida companies are heading to the frontline to offer their services. Some have been involved with Haiti for decades. Others are making their first foray into the country, drawn by the nation's massive needs and the allure of international contracts.

The Jan. 12 earthquake leveled much of the capital, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving an estimated 1 million homeless. The financial toll on Haiti was also massive.

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