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Why Fly A Haitian Kite? For one thing, flying a kite is fun. In addition to having fun, it's a way to remember and honor the 250,000 plus Haiti earthquake victims; to create immediate jobs for artists; to bring the Haitian Diaspora and Friends of Haiti together as one; and to raise needed funds for Kylti's cultural and arts projects meant to help Haiti rebuild. Learn more

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Recent Haiti Trips

March 2010

I was in Haiti last month in March for a week. Before that, it was six or seven years ago. While I wanted to go back to Haiti for some time, the January 12th earthquake and the start of Kylti created an urgency to witness and assess the situation on the ground.


What I observed in the short week I was there was shocking to say the least. At first it was comforting to see all sorts of people with good intentions arriving in Haiti to help. After leaving the airport, however, things got depressing quickly.


Driving from the airport to arrive at my destination in Pétionville, Haiti, I was stunned by the unimaginable view of destruction from all sides of the roads. The number of homes and buildings that were destroyed was unbelievable and hard to grasp. People were carrying on with their lives as best they could, patient for now it seems as they wait for change to come.


I am worried, troubled, frustrated, angered, and screaming inside by what is currently happening, by the direction the country is heading, and the way things are being managed. What I observed and experienced were the following:

  • Petionville, which was once the sprawling city of the elite, is now reduced to another “free for all” area with street merchants, makeshift tents, garbage, and traffic. All this mixed within the beautiful and expensive restaurants, hotels, casinos, and nightclubs that service the large number of “visitors” now in the country.
  • Who is in charge? I sensed a lack of governance with no one appearing to be in charge and everyone doing their own things. You see more 4x4 vehicles than regular cars.
  • Where is the aid? That was the question I asked as I drove passed tent cities in Port-au-Prince and Pétionville. The sentiments were shared by personal accounts of Haitian-American nurses that were in Haiti working at the General Hospital. It just did not seem to be getting to the people that needed it most. Again, these are my observations. I hope they are wrong.
  • Everything in Haiti is overly expensive: food, housing, car rental, gas. I truly do not know how the majority of the people survive, but almost everyone (I’m exaggerating) is carrying a cell phone.
  • The language issue must be dealt with and made an important part of this renewal process. Haiti will not progress beyond a “facelift” change without accepting the Kreyol language as an integral part of the society, which is Haiti’s own and what identifies its culture.
  •  The Public Art in Haiti needs a drastic change. The only word to describe what I saw is, “ugly.” As an artist, I could not help noticing the gigantic “ugly” structure near the National Palace. Public Art is an area that must be given a lot of attention.
  • The people are what make Haiti, Haiti. And that is why we must do our part to change this non-working system, in collaboration and partnership with those who want to change Haiti with respect to its culture and history.

I and other Kylti team members will be returning to Haiti soon to begin work on our projects and to document Haiti’s evolution.


Visit again soon to learn about Kylti’s development. Join our mailing list.


You can view photos taken during the trip here.