Here’s what’s happening: The Haitian government declared victory over the Coronavirus and reopened factories. This will be a disaster. COVID-19 has yet to hit with full force in the Caribbean, and it is expected to intensify in the next few weeks. This is not the time to let up on lockdowns and strict social distancing measures. Market ladies and merchants from La Gonave are still traveling back and forth to bring in goods from Port-Au-Prince, where the mode of transportation
Zaza and her youngest son Kwa enjoying soup joumou in Matènwa. For Haitians in Haiti and abroad, January 1st is about more than ringing in the New Year. It's a celebration of their country's independence, and a squash-based soup called soup joumou is a symbol of that freedom. January 1, 1804, marked the culmination of this a successful, decade-long slave rebellion against French colonial rule, establishing Haiti as the world's first black republic. Two-hundred-and-fifteen yea
This week, I attended the Haitian Ladies Network “Summer Meetup” at the Doña Habana restaurant in Boston. HLN is a community organization founded by Nadine Duplessy Kearns and is headquartered in Washington D.C. The purpose of the event was to connect women of Haitian descent who live around the Boston area to build community, share inspiration and celebrate culture. As soon as I walked in, someone handed me a name tag and pen. Nadine was very kind and introduced me to the re
School is almost over, but the Matènwa Community Learning Center is gearing up for its 9th annual summer camp. We have planned a range of activities for 300 participants of all ages— students from preschool through high school, MCLC teachers, and even adults from surrounding communities. A typical day will be filled with: Morning professional development workshops for teachers. This year includes trainings on entrepreneurship and leadership and will include 11th and 12th grad
It is no secret that one of MCLC's most popular classes is gardening. The students love all of their other special classes as well: woodworking, music, gym, and computer science. Even though these specials are part of the national curriculum, they are not typically taught at other schools on Lagonav, so the students at MCLC view them as a privilege. MCLC recognizes that in order to receive a well-rounded education, students must be exposed to a variety of subjects and skills.