Haiti earthquake has left many families divided

In South Florida, the children share cramped mattresses with their cousins, siblings, and mothers. In Port-au-Prince, their fathers lie on the unforgiving ground under crinkly plastic sheets, next to homes mutilated by the trembling earth.

They know they are the lucky ones, these families split by the quake. They survived, blessed with savings, fortuitous U.S. citizenship or tourist visas, and uncles and aunts willing to take in the children while their parents stay behind in Port-au-Prince to work.

It's hard to say how many families divided by the Jan. 12 earthquake are in South Florida. But as of Friday, 990 Haitian children have enrolled in Broward schools and 938 in Miami-Dade after the quake. Many of them have at least one parent in Haiti.

Their new lives are far from easy.

This is a story of lonely children and life-changing text messages, of crowded houses in America and crumbling remains in Haiti that bring both hope and fear.

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