Ms. Chrystel Cancel, 1975 - 2010
(International Tourism Consultant on assignment with the United States Agency for International Development, France)
Chrystel Cancel, a national of France, was an international contractor with ongoing World Bank projects in Bolivia and Panama. She arrived in Haiti only a few days before the earthquake on assignment with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and died in the collapse of the Hotel Montana.
Born in Toulouse, France, Chrystel obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration in her hometown. In Paris, she received a Master’s in Political Science in 1999, specializing in the economies of developing countries. In 2006, she obtained a third Master’s degree in Tourism Administration from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
She spent the majority of her career as an independent tourism consultant working on a variety of development projects with USAID, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, among others.
During her career, she had assignments in Brazil, Jordan, Lesotho and parts of Asia. For the several months she spent in Lesotho, she helped to create and deliver course material to educate business owners. She also met the King and Queen of Lesotho during one event.
Chrystel had traveled to Haiti under a USAID project assessing tourism product development opportunities, and was working concurrently for the World Bank in Panama, where she was living. She was also part of the World Bank team monitoring the Bolivian Lake Titicaca Sustainable Development Project. Chrystel had also worked recently for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector finance arm of the World Bank group.
Friends and colleagues remember her “zest for life” fondly and said she was “someone who loved to dance, travel and laugh.” She also was “a kind spirited, funloving person.”
Another colleague described Chrystel as “dedicated, stubborn, giving, complicated and real,” when it came to her humanitarian work.
One friend said Chrystel, “continues to exist in every place she lived and worked in. She left so much wonderful work behind for people to remember her by and it is a fitting tribute to her energy, dedication and passion.”
Her fiancée Eric proposed to Chrystel three days before she left for Haiti and, upon news of the earthquake, traveled to Port-au-Prince where he was able to accompany her remains back to her hometown of Ecosse, northern France. On 13 February, she was buried there in Pamiers Cemetery.
Chrystel is survived by her fiancé Eric Nyman, her parents Danièle and Francis, and her brother Lilian.