I surround myself with people who are just as passionate about spreading the great news about Haiti as I am. When I agreed to be a media partner for Taste of Haiti, an event on May 11, 2013 to showcase Haitian food, the culture and topnotch chefs, I didn’t realize how much I’d learn from it.
Yes, I love food…who doesn’t? And especially Haitian food…it’s inevitable. As I arrived to the MOCA plaza in Miami, I saw the vendor tents and masses of people. I was excited to see the turn out, but I was so focused on getting food because I was starving! I saw one of my favorite members of the Haitian Culinary Alliance (HCA), Chef David Destinoble, cooking at his tent. I ordered conch fritters and papita. I never order fish anywhere I go, or fried food, but it looked so good and I was so deliriously hungry that I said, “I’ll take the conch fritters!” I’m so glad I did…it was SO GOOD, despite my guilt when 2 people asked me, aren’t you on a diet? (I am not, I eat super healthy regularly and talk about it way too much about it on Facebook, apparently). Not to mention it was only $5. My husband got fried red snapper and papita, which was also only $5. Good quality food and only $10 for lunch at an outdoor event is a super amazing price!
The next best thing was the chef cook off sponsored by Madame Gougousse. With a front row view as a photographer, I could hear, see and feel the pressure of the chefs as they created dishes in 45 minutes. The mystery ingredients were: cassava, yellow tail, chayote, corn meal (big grains) and pumpkin. Each dish looked amazing and I am sure tasted just as great! Every chef was absolutely a winner in my opinion, but the best dish went to Jovens Jean, an executive chef in Miami.
Super awesome bonuses:
- Chef Alain Lemaire has been a great inspiration for his leadership and motivating skills. I developed a great working relationship with him via the HCA and he has promoted this website so much, which I am forever grateful for!
- I saw one of my favorite people, Frere Joel…a big supporter of The Real Haiti. He was a judge for the competition.
- I got to meet Stevy Mahy and take a picture with her! I am a huge fan and she was a pleasure to meet.
Taste of Haiti was more than just Haitian food. It was the most organized Haitian event I’ve been to, ever. Everything ran smoothly, people were having fun and happy. There was even entertainment for kids to keep them busy! I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us. Thank you to every single person involved in this in every way from the sponsors, vendors and to each person who came to the event!
On a twisty-turny bumpy ride down to Jacmel, I anticipated a visit to a place that I always heard about. Every time I’d mention Haiti to people when speaking of my blog, I was asked, “Have you been to Jacmel?!” How could I promote the most beautiful places in Haiti but still had yet to see this desirable place? That finally changed when we entered Jacmel on a dark Tuesday night. That night, Vlad and Georges met us at the Cap Lamandou hotel from the Art Creation Foundation for Children. ACFFC is an organization that I’ve had a South Florida connection with for a few years after meeting Judy Hoffman, the founder of ACFFC, who was selling papier mache art pieces that the children made at center. Vlad and Georges met us to welcome us to Jacmel and to go over the plans for us to visit the children at ACFFC.Papouche, a local Jacmelian and member of ACFFC met us at the hotel to show us where the center was. We arrived at the 2 story freestanding building, beautifully decorated in mosaics on the front, including the choublack (hibiscus flower) with inspiration from Haiti’s new logo. We entered the little shop where the art is for sale to visitors with so much to look at…papier mache masks, ornaments, wall hanging, bowls and glass mosaic bottles. We were given a tour downstairs and upstairs where we saw the computer room, the pharmacy and the library. Art made by these children is everywhere…it’s absolutely beautiful. Aside from its aesthetic beauty, the beautiful children were sitting quietly waiting for their professor to come. We chatted with them and hung out for a little bit while we enjoyed the view of the city of Jacmel.There are around 104 children that benefit from this amazing program. They are sent to school and go to ACFFC after school where they make art, are fed dinner and then go back home to their families. This system of encouragement, not enabling, makes so much sense for Haiti.The city of Jacmel is covered in beautiful mosaic walls done by the children of ACFFC throughout the years. We got to drive around and see all of the different designs and creativity! I am always approached by non-profits; mostly orphanages that want me to promote their org. I usually willing to help, but it wasn’t until I learned about ACFFC and what they were about that I started second guessing many other orgs. ACFFC didn’t say anything to me directly about this topic, but seeing the operation for myself and visiting the building opened my eyes. These kids might have been considers “orphans” by Americans because their parents don’t have money, however, instead of tearing those ones away and institutionalizing them as “orphans,” they are taught art skills, life skills and confidence. Se La Pou’w La (You must see it for your self!!!!) and education is key!
This was translated into English via Google translator. The newsletter is put out by the Minister of Tourism in French. I am reposting for your information. I offer access to any and all information that I learn of. Enjoy...
We hung a single objective: to propel the destination Haiti in front of the international tourism scene. Progress is visible at this level, and international supermodel, Petra Nemcova, says: "Whenever I come to Haiti, I see the progress they build roads, ... new hotels. ...".
The major international hotels chains settled there actually, we try to create, at the same time, the events capable of attracting good spotlight on us, as this activity skating we support.
Put Haiti on the map of tourist destinations in the world requires the implementation of a whole apparatus. So do not let go of us, none of the focuses of our tourism policy with this program classification of tourist facilities that we have just launched. The Ministry of Tourism is committed to fulfill its role as an accompanist and as a regulator of the tourism industry in Haiti.
We have entered in the prestigious ranking of the World Economic Forum competitiveness index in the tourism sector. And we will henceforth work according to the criteria of this report, so as to get the best seats in the next rankings. The destination Haiti is recognized, it remains only to leave you to conquer ...
Ayiti, in the Pouw La! Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin
Minister of Tourism of HaitiMon 22 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
projection - Cycle Haiti in the image Boulpik Arnold Antonin, politics, cinema and reality by director MathieuPainvier Mar. 23 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
CINE Tuesday - Round dance Angelin Preljocaj's Snow White Thu 25 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
Jedi Mizik 2 Rasin Mon 29 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
projection - International Dance Day Seeds star Françoise Marie (Part 1) Mar. 30 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
CINE Tuesday - Round dance Seeds star Françoise Marie (Part 2)
More on www.institutfrancaishaiti. org
OTHER EVENTS April 25 -. 6-10 h PM Jazz Night
/ Sax Night @ The Reserve April 27 -. 9-11 h PM Full Moon Party
@ Rustik April 27 -. 9-11:59 PM Gabel / KZino @
The Cosmpolitain April 28 -. 11 am-10 pm AM PMFestival of Young Talents
@ Sugar Cane May 10 -. 9-11:59 PM Tribute to Bob Marley @
Karibe April 30 -. 9-11:59 PM Ignotum
@ The Irish Embassy More on www.manmanpemba. comHAITI WELCOMES FIRST SHOW OF SKATING Haiti has the Best Western Premier
"The most amazing thing is certainly to see this magnificent hotel stand in the middle of the town center, as if there was talk that the reality of our country is immune to its ... More
. Tourist Police:operational by June 2013
A tourist police will be affected as early as June in priority tourist sites in the country such as the Champ-de-Mars, Airport, Cote-des ... More
.Quality label 'HIBISCUS'
In order to offer a quality tourism product the Ministry of Tourism (DOT) launched its classification of tourist establishments this April 2, 2013 in the town of Les Cayes ... More
. Canadian journalists are testing the package Transat
A group of Canadian journalists arrived on April 10 in Port-au-Prince, where they began a mission to assess the Haitian tourism products to promote the package ... More. Haiti receives the fifth summit of the AEC
Haiti is home to the 5th Summit of states of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), from 23 to 26 April. During three days, the delegations of thirty members or associated states will be present in the country ...More
. Haiti, world tourist destination
"Already it's a good news Haiti is listed and that we recognize the country as a tourist destination," it is by these words that the Minister of Tourism, has introduced e conf ence ... More info
.The destination Jacmel is about to be reborn
After presenting the Tourist Island Project-a-Vache, the Minister of Tourism, Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin, unveiled the development plan ... More
. The CTC table on the tourist tax
A new working session of the Consultative Council of Tourism (CCT) was held Monday, April 8, 2013 the Ministry of Tourism (MDT). The issue of tourism taxation ... More
.Fifty American tourists come to party in Haiti
A delegation of 50 American tourists arrived in the country this Thursday, April 11, 2013 to take part in the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the couple Harriet and Yves Michel .... More
. Petra Nemcova invited to discover the beauty of Haiti
The world famous supermodel, Petra Nemcova, said he saw progress on several fronts in Haiti. She urged the people of the world to discover the magic she feels ... More
Anyone interested in the tourism industry in Haiti, please join us this Thursday, April 25th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time by calling 605-477-2100 access code 467858#.We have a great group already committed to being on the call from last time and we hope you can join us, too!
QUESTIONS OR AGENDA ITEMS:
Marketing and Communication
100k Jobs Haiti
TYRONE BRYANT LIBRARY
Art exhibition between May 1-31, Haitian Heritage Month
Visit the Tyrone Bryant Library in Ft. Lauderdale to see an exhibition of Haiti from us! There are lots of artifacts that we have collected from Haiti over the years. There's a mini photography exhibition (bigger one at African American Research Library and Cultural Center - scroll down for more info). There are some of my favorites pieces from the Art Creation Foundation for children; jewelry by MORO BARUK, vintage stamps and more!
| |Please check it out if you're nearby! Thank you!!!
2230 N.W. 21 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Click here to get directions from Google Maps.
Monday: 12 noon to 8 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday: 12 noon to 8 p.m.
Friday, Sunday: Closed
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
AFRICAN AMERICAN RESEARCH LIBRARY & CULTURAL CENTER
Art exhibition between May 1-31, Haitian Heritage Month
UPDATE 5/14: Thank you everyone who came to meet us at the Haitian Heritage Month celebration where our photos are displayed! It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a blast! We appreciate all of the love!!!!!
Please join us 5/11/13
Diana's photography exhibition is now traveling to Broward County, Florida! The 10 piece photographic exhibition will be displayed at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Ft. Lauderdale for Haitian Heritage Month (May 1-31). *Opening reception with a "Meet the Artist" panel on 5/11/13 from 12-2pm!*
*All framed photos will be for sale for various prices. If not sold at the exhibit, they will be for sale in my shop!
"MEET THE ARTIST" EVENT: MAY 11, 12-2 pm
EXHIBITION DATES: MAY 1-31 (Haitian Heritage Month)
Monday, Wednesday: 12 noon to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311Click here to get directions from Google Maps.Telephone:
The Best Western Premier is in the middle of Petionville. It's Haiti's first American brand hotel in a long time. With a spa and beautiful balcony views, it will cost you about $249/night just for the room. We did not stay here, just went to see it and take pictures. We weren't able to get into the rooms because the manager wasn't there, but we were greeted very nicely and given a tour of the property. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE! It has an upscale feel, with Haitian art and pictures from around the country! This makes it stand out to me more than the Oasis. This hotel feels like you're in Haiti. I love it!!!!
Tip: This is in a busy downtown area so if you're looking for a quiet getaway, I don't recommend this hotel. Stay here if you want to be in the middle of the action, interact with local or in Haiti on business. We were told the biggest clientele is business people. There's a $50 US/person shuttle available to and from the airport.
Partners Worldwide Haiti
will have a conference call with individuals who are involved in or are interested in tourism in Haiti, Thursday March 28 at 11 a.m.
Callers will network by introducing themselves and sharing what they do in the tourism industry.
- Thursday, March 28th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time
- Call 605-477-2100 and enter access code 467858#
If calling a U.S. number from Haiti is a problem for you, Skype calling is another option. If you plan to Skype, please send an email to Michele Edwards at <firstname.lastname@example.org> with your Skype name.
Building a network of professionals working in tourism in Haiti! L'Union Fair La Force
On my last trip to Haiti in January, I was able to meet up with a fellow Haiti-lover Dina Simon, from My Haiti Travels
. We both were in Haiti during the time of her organized trip for what she calls "Impact Week," which included a large, diverse group of tourists experiencing Haiti for 5 days. The group volunteered, attended parties, cultural events, excursions and beautiful beaches. Here's my experience with My Haiti Travels...
Dina and I had planned to meet up with her group at Magdoo's (a Lebanese restaurant) in PV the Friday that I arrived to Haiti. I asked Frere Joel and his wife Yvonne from La Bonne Nouvelle
meet us and luckily they were able to make it. The group was so happy to have them there!
Dinner was absolutely wonderful. We were greeted with open and loving arms from the group...kind of like celebrities! Everyone mingled, ate and got along so well. What was most impressive was seeing Dina in action. Her ability to coordinate everything to make it run smoothly was super! She kept checking on everyone and making sure that we were all ok. Her genuine care and love for this type of work was obvious!
I was in Haiti on this trip for business, checking out a guest house to do some marketing for a company. Unfortunately, the house was not ready and didn't have basic necessities that were promised to us. When I told Dina about our dilemma, she immediately started giving me phone numbers and names of people to contact to get a hotel room. She let us know that the group would be at Wahoo Bay the next day and helped arrange for us to stay there, too. We could have gone to a family members house, but we had so much fun with the group that we decided to take her up on the offer of an extra room she had booked at Wahoo Bay (it was sold out!).
All of the coordination, patience and communication with Dina was very professional. I am so happy that we were able to meet in person and in Haiti! I would recommend using My Haiti Travels for your next trip to Haiti!
A special volunTOURISM opportunity is coming up this March 23-29. All of the details are on the PDF (right).
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Haiti and art are two of my most favorite things! If you love art and inspiring others, please consider going! It's affordable and you will have memories to last you a lifetime! You will love Haiti, I promise :)
Here's some background on the trip from their website
In 2010, after the earthquake, Laurel True, mosaic artist, found her way to ACFFC to join up with our ACFFC youth and work began on the first mosaic installation, Tree of Life, memorializing those lives lost and celebration of hope for the future. Our children/youth were enthralled, as we were and so Mosaique Jacmel began. Since then, and with the support in the U.S. of Seva off the Mat, RandomAct, The Village Experience, Yogaventures, D&B Tile, Lindbar Products & Design, Ventura Limited and in Port Au Prince Haiti of Gardere Mosaique, Magic Sewing, Lucotex Manufacturing as well as many others, the project has continued. Mosaiced walls and benches are sprouting up all over Jacmel. And there is more to come. In 2012, ACFFC was selected as one of 11 recipient organizations for funding with Development Funds from the E.U. and the Ministere of Culture and Communication of the Government of Haiti, as part of a grant program, Arcades, designed for encouragement of initiatives which engender economic and social impact via art and culture. We are honored and appreciative of the support of Arcades.
The Royal Oasis Hotel is in the middle of Petionville. It's Haiti's first 5 star hotel. With a rooftop pool and fancy shops, it will cost you about $276/night and that is just for the room. We did not stay here, just went to see it and have some drinks with friends at the upstairs lobby bar. It's an upscale feel, not a traditional Haitian feel.
Tip: This is in a busy downtown area so if you're looking for a quiet getaway, I don't recommend this hotel. Stay here if you want to be in the middle of the action, interact with local or in Haiti on business.