Penn said in a brief phone call to The Associated Press that he had invited Madonna, with whom he has "maintained a great friendship over the years," to visit several times and that she had come with her son Rocco. He said they arrived a "couple of days" ago, and he wasn't sure when she would leave.
"She's here, she's seeing, she's made the effort to come here, and I'm thrilled by that," Penn said, adding that he hoped Haiti might inspire her to seek out a cause in the country. "She has a unique platform, and wherever she chooses to bring that to, it's very well."
Madonna's been busy posting photos on Instagram. One shows her posing with others at a new hospital built by public health pioneer Dr. Paul Farmer in the central part of the country. The caption: "Revolution of Love in Haiti." Another picture shows a view of the mountains at dusk. The caption: "Sunset in Haiti. This is Heaven!"
Penn has served as an ambassador-at-large for Haiti since early 2012. He received the recognition for his work as head of a humanitarian group he co-founded in the aftermath of the earthquake, the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The group has focused on housing and relocating thousands of people from a golf course that was among hundreds of impromptu settlements that sprang up after the quake.
His group recently sponsored five Haitian runners to participate in the New York marathon.