Constitutional Amendments Give Haitians Abroad More Rights

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.


As a result of Constitutional amendments published Tuesday, Haitians abroad now have the right to own land and run for lower levels of offices.  Another amendment specifies that 30% of all government workers should be women.  A new electoral council is also to be created.  The hard work now comes in implementing these changes.  An Associated Press article by Evens Sanon concerning the amendments follows below. Read more »

A New Push for Tourism in Haiti Against the Obstacles

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, June 11, 2012.

Below is an LA Times article about the difficulty and potential of promoting tourism in Haiti.  Every country in the Caribbean benefits from tourism to some extent.  Haiti's tourism industry could also grow (modestly) over time - with stability, more hotels, and hospitality training programs. Linkages to tourism agencies in the Dominican Republic could also open up cross-border tourism.  Thoughts on promoting tourism in Haiti?  Post your ideas below.  Read more »

Quietly Finding Haiti’s Audacious Beauty

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Below is a New York Times Photo-Blog (Lens) about photographer Maggie Steber.  Steber has been involved with Haiti since 1986, and her photographs capture both turmoil and beauty.  Her photos, along with commentary about them, can be found on her website "The Audacity of Beauty".  Steber knows Haiti intimately and has never given up on it.  Her photos and experiences can help others better understand Haiti as well.  

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U.S. State Department Releases 2011 Human Rights Report for Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, May 24, 2012.

The U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) is mandated to release annual country-specific human rights reports that address individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The 2011 Haiti Human Rights Report is copied below.  Haiti's development depends in large part upon the extent to which human rights are protected, especially for the vulnerable.  That takes the engagement of civil society and a government with the capacity and political will to do so.  As the report makes clear, much remains to be done before we get there.   Read more »

Guest Blog: In the Eye of the Spiral (Raynald Leconte)

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Below is a guest blog by Raynald Leconte, Chairman of the Haitian Cultural Foundation (HCF).  HCF has produced a documentary about Haitian art entitled "In The Eye of the Spiral" with commentary by some of Haiti’s most important living artists.  Haitian art is so expansive that it can be difficult to describe adequately.  To paraphrase the artists: “Chaos is the reality of life…there are few places in the world with as much chaos and artistic devotion as Haiti… creativity is our wealth”.  Check out the documentary and HCF as well.  Thanks! Read more »

Cultural Diplomacy: Haitian/Dominican Friendship Concert

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, May 17, 2012.

To say the Dominican Republic and Haiti have a difficult history is an under-statement.  Despite historical (and largely artificial) divisions, there is much the two countries share.  This includes a love of music, dance, rum and a good fet/fiesta.  The Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Center and the Haitian and Dominican Embassies teamed up yesterday to hold a concert celebrating friendship among two peoples who share an island and a future.  Enriquillo Tejada y Los Clarinetes Magicos and Tabou Combo represented their countries well. Read more »

In Haiti, a New Stadium Will Rise

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

Haitians may yet have a stadium to match their passion for soccer. Below is a New York Times blog about a stadium scheduled for construction in Cite Soleil.  The majority of the $5 million dollar project will be financed by Delos LLC as part of the Clinton Global Initiative.  The stadium will seat 12,000 but could be expanded to 20,000 over time.  Best of all, it will be built with local materials and by local workers, maximizing the economic impact.  Read more »

Haitian Government Drafting Mining Laws

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, May 16, 2012.
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There have been a number of articles recently about Haiti's emerging mining industry.  However, mining legislation has not been revised since 1976.  The Associated Press article below notes that the Haitian government is presently drafting new laws concerning foreign investment in mining.  Haiti could certainly use the jobs - but also needs protection against labor abuses and environmental degradation.  I'll be watching this with interest and will post any updates in the comments section.     Read more »

IDB Grants $27 Million for Haiti Rural Land Tenure Program

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced a $27 million grant for a pilot program to improve land tenure security in northern and southern Haiti.  This grant could benefit up to 40,000 farmers and cut the costs of slow and inefficient land administration services.  More importantly, it could potentially be replicated and expanded elsewhere.  Land tenure reform may not be particularly sexy, but it is especially important for Haiti's long term development.  The full announcement follows. Read more »

From the Slums to the Soccer Field – FONDAPS Seeks Volunteers

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

Below is a guest blog from Esther Smitheram, who visited Port au Prince to work with FONDAPS, a charity founded by CNN hero Patrice Millet.  She describes her trip, the FONDAPS mission, and passes on a request by Patrice for volunteers with backgrounds in administation and/or project management.  An appreciation for soccer is a plus!  Please share with good candiates you may know.

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