jean monestime-romel joseph_web.jpgDuring the May 17, Miami-Dade County Commission meeting, Commissioner Jean Monestime celebrated Haitian Cultural Heritage Month by honoring Romel Joseph, a musician and survivor of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010.

Joseph, who was born in Haiti, is a violinist and recipient of a Fulbright scholarship who graduated with a Master of Art from Juilliard. The artist, who had been partially blind since birth, was trapped in rubble after the Jan. 12 earthquake for 18 hours before he was rescued. He said he owes his survival to prayers and concertos, both of which he recited while pinned down by the rubble and not knowing if he would live. He was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital and is now doing what he knows best, changing lives and making a difference through music. “Today, by paying tribute to this outstanding human being, we are honoring his strength, his spirit and his love for the children of Haiti,”  said Monestime, who presented Joseph with a proclamation.