At 4:53 p.m. on January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti’s capital, shaking the ground and shattering lives. One year later, that exact moment was commemorated with moments of silence across Port-au-Prince. But one street corner was anything but silent. In the downtown area, a group of more than 200 church members — mostly women — sang, danced and chanted in the streets, marking the anniversary with a celebration of life and defiance towards the disaster.

“Haiti will not die. Haiti will not die,” they chanted joyfully, in a scene that looked more like a day of carnival than a national day of mourning. But after several minutes of song and dance, the gathering took on a more somber tone, as virtually everyone began to pray. Knees to the ground and arms to the sky, they mumbled their personal conversations with God in what came to sound like a collective buzz.

When the prayer was over the group sang and danced their way back into church. The moment had passed. But their message lingered. Haiti will not die. The nation’s spirit is strong and lives on in its people.

[NBCVIDEO source=”UNIWIDGET” video=”″ w=”400″ h=”400″]