Category: Haiti

Love & Haiti – Amy Wilentz

This essay was written by Amy Wilentz for Conde’ Nast Traveler.  It’s a flattering meditation by Wilentz on an island that she and many other tourists have come to love.  She cites Danny Glover, Jonathan Demme and The Clintons among contemporary Haiti enthusiasts, while also not neglecting to mention iconic figures such as Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston and Katherine Dunham who also had passionate relationships with the island. 

Read Wilentz’s essay here

The Post-Slavery Futbol Helix: Notes of a "Confused Haitian"

I made the error of telling them that Haitians are strong supporters of Brazil and many have adopted Brazil’s team as their own—an admission that led to my friend’s dad declaring “Haitians are CONFUSED.” Ghana-mania was now in full effect as the Ghanaians not only had a victory to celebrate, but a new whipping boy, the “CONFUSED” Haitians of the world.

The above line is from a post from my original blog, The Nightshift Chronicles.  This post was a meditation on futbol and the post-slavery legacies of Africa’s diaspora.  I have been thinking about this entry a lot over the last few months because the friend who’s father was teasing me during Ghana’s World Cup match against the United States in 2006 was recently re-diagnosed with cancer.  Since his diagnosis the few days spent in their California home during my first visit to Los Angeles in 2006 has taken on greater meaning.  Fond memories of coming downstairs every morning for about a week and finding him in front of his tv watching CNN or a similar news program before going to work. 

While in the midst of that trip, I thought that a lunch at Malibu’s famed Moon Shadow restaurant or my first trek along the Santa Monica pier would prove to be my most cherished memories of this first visit to LA, but with each passing day, it’s the brief early morning conversations about the day’s news events and this legendary USA – Ghana matchup that prove most memorable. 

Three years later, I’m sure my friend’s dad is still watching the news every morning as he recovers from this latest round of chemotherapy–and I bet that he’s not short on words for the shenanigans taking place during this health care debate. 

Written by Comments Off on The Post-Slavery Futbol Helix: Notes of a "Confused Haitian" Posted in Haiti

Paul Farmer Named UN Deputy to Haiti


(AP) — UNITED NATIONS – Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who is now the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, announced the appointment Tuesday of Harvard professor Paul Farmer, a pioneer in community health treatment for the world’s poor, as his deputy. Read More

Haiti Soleil

Earlier this year I was honored to be invited to serve on the board for Haiti Soleil, an education and youth development organization in Haiti.  

As I gear up for some fall events to help raise awareness about Haiti Soleil and its mission, I wanted to take a moment to invite you all to take a look at the organization’s website.  

If you’re in the New York area and are interested in learning more about the work that Haiti Soleil does and would like to support or collaborate in any capacity, please feel free to drop me a line and I’d be more than happy to answer your questions and to see what we can work out.


Thanks in advance,

Cameron Sinclair: Four Days in Haiti

Cite Solei, Haiti

Last week I traveled with Yele Haiti down to Haiti to see if my organization could provide professional design and building services for a couple of projects on the ground. What I found was a country very different from what was reported in the media or gleaned from You Tube. However, it is still a world away from the three and a half hour plane ride from New York City. Read More

Haitian Diaspora Congress

This weekend, Miami plays host to the 2nd Haitian Diaspora Congress.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, but if you manage to make it out, it would be great to hear your feedback on how the event went, and projects emerging from this gathering that others should be aware of. 

Country City Country Network Updates

I just finished updating the Country, City, Country network blog roll.  If there are any sites that are missing from this list that you think should be here please send me a link and I’ll add them as soon as I can.

Here are some of the sites that I added this morning

Info Real

The Haitian

The Haitian Blogger,

New Orleans Ladder

Info Real and The Haitian Blogger are self explanatory.  I’m adding the New Orleans Ladder because they wrote in and asked to be a part of the network, and since part of my evolving thoughts about Haiti have been deeply influenced by Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, I thought it fair to add them to the network.  Finally, the Haitian, is run by a good friend with whom I have been fortunate to revive conversations and ideas regarding Haiti and its diaspora that we began a decade ago as college students. 

Finally, this video clip was lifted from info real’s site:

Need Your Help With A Little Net Activism


I recently posted the note pasted below on the website for Clean The World, an organization working in Haiti, that has a good heart, but unfortunately is trafficking in some very disturbing media tropes about Haiti. I have already gotten the attention of their communications director, with this post last week.

Now, I’d like to ratchet things up a bit further by letting them know that I’m not the only person who would like to see them be more mindful of how they represent Haiti in order to fulfill their organizations mission.

I do not want them to stop doing their work, but just be more mindful of how they’re doing it.

If you could take a moment to view the following clip and leave a note on their site letting them know how you feel about it. It doesn’t have to be as long as mine, it could merely be saying “this video is whack, please drop it.”

Here’s the link to their site

Drawing their attention to the negative aspects of their video may push them to rethink their video promotions, and maybe we can use this as a platform to get other emerging non-profits to reconsider how they market black suffering.

Thank you in advance for doing this and please encourage your friends to do the same.

All the best,


I wouldn’t be so quick to take pride in this video, because while it did a good job of outlining your mission, it was a very poor representation of the people of Haiti. This video, even down to the score used trite colonial era tropes in its depictions of Haiti. Take this line for an example of what I am referring to: “We flew along with Clean The World on its very first mission t the island mired in chronic danger. Dirty. Violent. And depressed.” Indeed, the narration in this video could have easily been dubbed from a scene in the novel King Solomon’s Mines, or the film Apocalypse Now.

As a Haitian American, I encourage your staff to be as mindful about cleaning the world of such negative paradigms for discussing Haitians and other people of color around the globe, as you are to delivering soap.

Thank you in advance for your future attention paid to this issue.


Ferentz Lafargue

Haiti's Road To Hope

Yesterday, I highlighted a video that I thought was an example of a poor approach to philanthropic promotion. As I suggested yesterday, Clean The World’s Clean Haiti Project amplified poverty and despair in Haiti to the point where even the narrator broke down crying. The tears may be good for bringing in more support for Clean The World, but does very little for presenting a more balanced or even affirmative vision of Haiti and its people.

Having shared an example of a video where a good idea was presented badly, I thought it only write to share today an example of a video where good idea and good presentation are aligned. While far from perfect, James Harvey’s video of a January 2009 10k organized in Cap Haitien by hosted by Hamilton running boutique The Runners Den and the Hamilton chapter of OMS Canada far outshines the entry by Clean the World. In fact, if you look at the two videos you’d be hardpressed to believe that they’re depicting the same city, when in fact they are.

The desciption of Harvey’s video has some shades of the melodrama found in Lowry’s narration of Clean The World’s video, e.g.  

“The people in Haiti are so graceful. When you go there and see that they have absolutely nothing, they’re starving, there is no opportunity at all but at the same time they’re so happy and so proud. I don’t understand that and that’s why I embrace them. Their way of life is so hard but they cherish every morsel of life they have. They deserve so much more.

But, when you watch the video, it’s impossible to miss how much cleaner Cap Haitien’s streets are compared to the Clean The World video.  The Canadians reference on a number of occasions how this race provided a unique opportunity for them to work in concert with residents of Cap Haitien, and that it was an opportunity for them to cheer on local heroes.

I am especially partial to the 10k idea because it gives Haitiens a chance to compete.  Moreover, as one of the commenters said in the video this project works on behalf of Haitians on many fronts, it boosts tourism which helps the local economy, which in turn creates jobs, and as we can see with the stretch of paved roads, sets a precedent for maintaining these roads and paving others so that more of the city can benefit economically. 

These are my two cents, what say you?