Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and its largest city, is full of concrete buildings and structures, hardly any green areas but there is the Martissant Park, an urban green oasis and a natural national reserve.
With the help of the local community, FOKAL has transformed what used to be a wild forest ruled by gangs into an oasis in the middle of Port-au-Prince. Martissant Park is a unique green contrast to the surrounding densely populated and built-up neighbourhood, one of the poorest in the city. Locals and tourist alike can enjoy the peace and beauty of nature while paying tribute to the victims of the 2010 earthquake in the memorial garden. In addition, the park offers numerous community programs and attractions, including medicinal garden of traditional Haitian plants, nursery and urban agriculture, library and community center, as well as playgrounds for children.
The park is a work in progress that is constantly evolving and establishing new programs and activities. While the core support is provided by the Haitian government and FOKAL, more funds are needed to turn this unique space into a world-class urban park and nature reserve.
For the past 75 years, Le Centre d’Art of Port-au-Prince has nurtured many renowned Haitian artists from Hector Hyppolite to Edouard Duval Carrié and put the Haitian art on international maps. An educational center, a gallery and a promoter of the arts, Le Centre d’Art has become the cradle of Haitian arts for many generations of artists and art lovers. Le Centre d’Art believes that everyone — especially young people — should have access to the arts, so it provides accessible courses, conferences, exhibitions, publications, and cultural outreach workshops.
In 2014, four years after the earthquake damaged its premises, Le Centre d’Art reopened its doors in a temporary location and re-started working on enhancing the Center’s art collections and archives while designing a new future for the organization. The plans are ambitious: to restore a historical gingerbread house that will house the collections and serve as the hub for the artists, to catalogue and restore the invaluable collections and to create a space, physical and virtual, to promote the Haitian art.
Le Centre d’Art continues its original mission while adapting it to the new challenges of the arts community focusing on three areas of activities:
(1) Attract talent, educate, mentor and support Haitian artists
(2) Document and preserve Haiti’s significant visual arts heritage
(3) Provide access to arts for the public to reinforce social bonds and democratize the arts.
Join us on our journey to bring Le Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince to a new era to promote Haitian art, support Haitian artists and make the art a part of Haitian communities.
There are over 350+ gingerbread structures remaining in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti and many of them fall into disrepair. The gingerbread style has been nominated to the 2010 World Monuments Watch. However, many of them may not survive if they are not repaired and restored to their original condition. FOKAL Haiti has successfully piloted restoration of two houses and has developed a methodology for rescuing the houses from disrepair. A group of artisans have been trained in new and traditional restoration techniques. The restoration process is well documented and can be applied to other structures. The project is ready to take it to a larger scale.
Even if there are not many interesting and future-oriented jobs in Haiti, such jobs and income opportunities exist elsewhere in the world and can be accessed through modern technology solutions. There is great interest on the part of the youth to seriously engage on a professional level in the new world of technology and seek global opportunities.
Ayiti Demen is working in partnership with Ayiti Analytics a data-intensive lab committed to increasing analytical capacity in Haiti through three core pillars: data science education, consulting and research.
Cacao incubator While not aspiring to become a large volume supplier, Haiti has a mostly unexplored opportunity to provide high quality unique brands cacao for niche markets for high value chocolate products in the US and Europe. At this point, Haiti’s cacao plantations have been spared diseases and show excellent growth potential that, with appropriate technical and marketing support, can boost the national production, create new jobs and open new opportunities for local entrepreneurs (“cacaopreneurs”) to create new cacao-based products.