My favorite excursion in Haiti is EATING, lol. Everything is fresh and made to order. It is part of the experience that we are all talking about. Haitian hospitality combined with home made food will keep you going back for more!
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Alain Lemaire, executive chef/food service consultant for the Haitian Culinary Alliance, a group looking to build a strong and united network of food service, hospitality and culinary professionals of Haitian descent while providing educational and networking opportunities.
Please check out their website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
JUST FOR FUN: Below are some of my own pictures that I've taken of food in Haiti!
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
A journey of the heart leads to the real Haiti
Marci Shatzman firstname.lastname@example.org
10:17 AM EST, December 26, 2012
When Diana Pierre-Louis entered a contest to rebrand her husband's native country of Haiti, she didn't know she would win, let alone be a guest of the president. Twice.
Now this Fort Lauderdale native turned West Boca media guru is helping the tourism ministry pro bono. She wants the world to know that most of Haiti is open for visitors and business, after the January 2010 earthquake left only those images. "Actually, most of the island was unaffected," she said.
That's her slogan Experience It! in the new logo with the red hibiscus. "The logo designer is Xavier Delatour [who] lives in Haiti. I was the slogan winner and they combined his logo with my slogan," she said in an email, after a visit to the couple's home off U.S. Highway 441.
There's even a billboard with the new logo on Interstate 95 at 79th Street in Miami, Pierre-Louis said, showing an image on her iPad. She started TheRealHaiti.Com, a website that grew out of her blog, and has her own line of island jewelry. "Every piece tells a story," she said.
Pierre-Louis was surprised to have found herself on the front row at the business forum on the Haitian dispora at the North Miami Beach Library. She received the invitation from Haiti's vice consul in Miami, Guy Francois, she said. Her husband, Endy, was allowed to come later for President Michel Martelly's State of the Country address from the nearby Gwen Margolis Amphitheater on Dec. 10. The first lady knew her name, she said.
Now both 29, Endy is a registered nurse in the ER at Delray Medical Center. She has degrees from Florida Atlantic and Lynn universities, and is the digital media specialist for Palm Beach State College. She works on the Boca Raton campus once a week.
Diana met Endy through a fix up, and they were a couple for years before they married a year and a half ago. He has been in the U.S. since 1998, a native of Petit-Goaves, a coastal town. His nickname is the Haitian Sensation, he said laughing.
It took her immediate family awhile to come around. The T-shirt she's wearing on her business cards says: "What do you mean I don't look Haitian?"
But their differences were more than skin deep. "It took a while for me to understand the cultural differences," she said.
"The hardest part for her was, we're more laid back," he said.
But it wasn't until her a visit to Labadee, a private resort, aboard a cruise ship in 2008, and a 10-day trip with Endy's relatives that included the ruins of the mountaintop fortress La Citadelle that she became all things Haitian. She loves to show off photos of the stunning views. "It couldn't believe my eyes," she said.
So in March, she entered the contest she saw on the ministry's Facebook page, and in May discovered she had won via a website. "I saw my name and I freaked out," she said. In June she and Endy flew to Haiti to meet Martelly, receive her plaque and hand-beaded flag emblem, and in August they used the hotel package she won.
"This can't be the end. I want to continue promoting the country," she remembers thinking. Then in October, "they made me an official partner…"
The couple knows they're on a journey and they're excited at where this could take them. Endy is proud of his wife's commitment to his country and the Haitian people. "When you stay at a hotel, you feel like you're at someone's home," she said. "By the end of the trip, you're friends."
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
I apologize that it's hard to read! There was no online copy, so I scanned it in.
On Dec. 10, I drove down to the North Miami Beach Library to attend the Haitian Diaspora Integration Forum where President Michel Martelly was in attendance. The day was full of great information on the progress of Haiti since the earthquake including construction, education, tourism and more.
"We think it's very important to change the image," said President Martelly. A great reminder of why my hard work is important and I will continue this as long as it's possible!
The best part...I introduced myself to the first lady and before I finished, she said..."I know who you are!"
In the evening, Martelly delivered his State of the Country address where he covered a lot of the same information, but excited the crowd with his personality, humor and down-to-earth presence.
I could go on and on, but the administration did such a great job of documenting the information that I have included the links below. Enjoy!
SUMMARY of work:
ARCHIVE of the forum:
Pictures from the forum: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.460624613973482.100640.153371961365417&Pictures from the State of the Country Address: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.461395330563077.100749.153371961365417&type=1
News coverage on speech: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21009287645415/president-of-haiti-speaks-in-south-florida/
5 Day All-Inclusive Stay In Haiti
Imagine visiting Haiti after 30 years, being a 12-year-old who only knows Haiti from the news or a Haitian American who has never visited their homeland. These are only a few examples of people who will be visiting Haiti for Impact Week Haiti, Jan. 17 - 21, 2013! The group will experience this 5-day French-Caribbean voyage filled with volunteerism, leisure activities, networking and touristic exploration of Haiti.
The event is hosted by My Haiti Travels (MHT), a boutique concierge firm that coordinates high-quality travel services to Haiti for leisure and business purposes. Their representatives liaise with hotel/resort establishments, restaurants, and professional tour guides to provide unique experiences tailored to each client’s specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Their clients receive customized travel packages, and exemplary services, all facilitated by reliable professionals right in Haiti. All vendors and associates have been fully vetted and evaluated. Their goal is for all friends of Haiti to truly experience and enjoy Ayiti and all its glory.
Prices range from $949 - $1049...a VERY AFFORDABLE and VALUABLE price in my humble opinion :)
Each Package Includes:
Transportation in Haiti
Hotel & Beach Resort Stays
* Does not include r/t airfare
For more information, please visit:
*SPONSORED POST FOR KREYOL ESSENCE*
The Real Haiti jewelry line
Dec. 7, 2012 | A couple of pieces from my jewelry line were displayed on the runway!
Artistically fashioned Haiti was a fundraiser for Peace Love International to help 117 orphans in Haiti. The Fashion Show by HAITIBOUTIQUE.com, launched its website and was hosted by Miss Haiti Universe 2011 and Miss Haiti International 2012: Anedie Azael.
ARTISTically Fashioned HAITI Art Basel Edition
Jewelry pieces for sale: www.TheRealHaiti.com/shop
GENJI JACQUES: CEO OF GODZ SUN PRODUCTIONS/PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF WOMAN ON THE MOVE MICRO-STAGE PLAY
Who is Genji Jacques?
Genji Edgard Jacques was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he resides today. He’s was the Head Director for his church, The Faith Center Drama Ministry formerly known as Sunrise Musical Theatre. Genji Jacques had the opportunity to play a second leading role in the feature independent film, “Wind of Desire,” which is the first Haitian film to be seen on the big screen in America. He then played the leading roles in the independent films “Hard Times” and “Mary Jane.” Genji with his God given talent played an awesome role, which was a favorite to most moviegoers the success of these films has opened more doors for Genji to experience and adventure other avenues in television, film and theatre. Currently, he continues his passion in film and theatre and is the CEO of his new production company, “Godz Sun Productions Inc where Your Life is a Ministry on Stage.
What does acting mean to you?
Acting to me is a way to escape but is more as a ministry to me. In life everybody is a character in their own world of turmoil that people don’t know, but when it’s exposed to the masses someone will have hope and be delivered from their turmoil that transforms into victory. My motto for my production company is Your Life is a Ministry on Stage. When I write plays, I don’t write only to bring amusement and laughter, but I also write to bring an inspirational message that will not only touch the hearts of people but will definitely have them leaving the theater with a positive message that will change their lives.
What inspired you to write?
Real life issues that people endure inspire me to write whether its family separation, drug/sexual abuse, or any general struggles in life that people experience. When writing, I always incorporate a “God message” filled with symbolism that will touch the hearts of the people.
What do you hope others will gain from the Godz Sun Production Organization?
I want people to know that there is a company that cares about them when it comes to their talent. I also want them to be encouraged and motivated to learn to portray a character on stage to not only entertain with their gift but to use it to minister to others. Furthermore, I want my actors to know that they are connecting with people of integrity and with an organization that operates with a spirit of excellence.
What’s the Mission and Vision of Godz Sun Productions?
Mission Statement: To motivate and present up and coming talented individuals in the entertainment field who have a passion to use their God-given talents to effectively portray a character on stage for a live audience.
Vision Statement: The vision of Godz Sun Productions is to provide a building to create and produce quality, inspirational entertainment and events giving actors a venue to showcase their talent
Tell us about the success of your first major stage play Hoztage?
The Hoztage Stage Play was a success! I am so happy to write a spontaneous, thought provoking, unconventional play that opened the minds of the people. At this event there was about 500 people who attended and loved the action and the powerful message that was addressed. Moreover, there was never a dull moment while watching the play every theater goer were at the edge of their seats anticipating what will happen next in between the scenes. This powerful play was so successful the Godz Sun Productions organization was able to show Hoztage at two other venues: The Aventure Culture Center in Miami Florida and at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach Center.
How did the Hoztage Stage Play Production open doors for your actors and Godz Sun Productions?
The Hoztage play gave our actors the opportunity to explore a different play genre that challenged and improved their acting skills. By exposing their talent it opened the door for writers, producers and directors to observe and discover them to play in other major productions in film and theater. This definitely opened doors for the Godz Sun Productions organization to make a mark to bring fresh new plays that will bring strong interest to the viewer’s eyes and fill their ears with a positive message. Also this gives GZP the opportunity to connect with successful producers and directors to put on powerful film and theater productions in entertainment industry.
What is your involvement with the upcoming poetry book Woman on the Move by Jasira Monique
I met Jasira Monique at my Godz Sun Productions fundraiser event last year in the early stages of her creating her book. I am very impressed of her thought provoking poetry and wanting to send a positive message to encourage and motivate not only people but especially women. In sharing her dream with me I was moved by her faith on making them come true. As we got more acquainted we have built a wonderful business relationship and collaborated to produce and direct her first micro-stage play for her Woman on the Move book signing. I was greatly honored to direct her play and believe that it will be a great success.
What are GZP’s upcoming events?
The GZP Organization is currently developing and planning to bring more future stage plays productions. In 2013, GZP will be presenting its first annual acting workshop giving people the opportunity to develop their acting skills and achieve success in the entertainment field.
For more information on Godz Sun Productions please visit https://www.facebook.com/GZP7Inc and follow us on Twitter via @GZP7Inc. To purchase tickets for the Woman on the Move Book Launch & Micro-Stage Play presented by Godz Sun Productions & Jasira Monique held on January 12, 2013 from 7-9pm at Mos’Art Theatre please visit www.womanonthemovepoetry.eventbrite.com
Jason Fleurant (JaFleu): The Haitian artist behind the Woman on the Move poetry book cover
Who is Jason Fleurant & JaFleu?
My name is Jason Fleurant and I’m a young black Haitian American male from West Palm Beach, Florida. However the artist, JaFleu is who I am. JaFleu was born January 12, 2010 after witnessing the devastation in my homeland of Haiti after the earthquake something was triggered in me. Inspired and hurt by the images flooding the TV screen, feeling powerless to help, I did something I hadn't done since my freshman year of high school. I started drawing. With no formal training or schooling in art, I just paint to express the emotions I feel or the things I see. I am Jason Fleurant, but I also am JaFleu...a artist who is just dreaming out loud.
What does art mean to you?
Art to me means a way to escape. It means being able to as I once heard from a woman name Anita 'express the inexpressible'. It means that I have a way to become Neo in my own matrix and bend reality. Art also to me means a weapon that I could use to speak up and out about issues with no restrictions and really have an impact. I've always heard that 'Words have the power of life and death' and that 'pictures are worth a thousand words', so imagine the power of creating a painting.
What has inspired your art?
Inspired by a simple smile, song lyric or whatever. It started off as me just sketching the daily images I saw on copy paper while at work. Then it moved to me getting art pencils, to cheap water color, to cheap paint. I tend to use a lot of colors because that's how I see the world. After being told by my friend Yanatha to try my hand at putting the work on Canvas, I never looked back. Art began to take a life of it's own, and began to be my therapy. Every brush stroke revealing and relieving any and every emotion I had locked up for years. I became my art and my art became me.
Tell us about your involvement with the upcoming poetry book Woman on the Move by Jasira Monique.
I met Jasira Monique in the early stages of her creating the book. I was very inspired by her poetry and desire to chase her dreams that I felt a need to lend my hand in any way shape or form. That’s when I offered to do the cover. She could of easily turned me down because I was a nobody but she saw something in my work. So it's pretty much been on ever since. She's someone I truly admire and knows that I'll always be in her corner. It was an honor to be able to give a face to such powerful words, a beautiful movement.
Why do you think books & events like Woman on the Move are needed?
It all comes down to our culture as Black people as a whole. We're so downtrodden that we need those beacons of light to guide and uplift us. Things like Woman on the Move show there is more to us, more to grasp for. It shows our worth, lets us see we can do unimaginable things. We need these events, these books to continue to inspire and push us forward.
What do you hope others will gain from your art?
What I hope my artwork always reflects is the idea that rules do not matter in art. That you don't have to be confined to the idea that you can only paint this way or do this thing. I've never been formally trained. Everything I've learned has been by trial and error. I hope my artwork always reminds people out of tragedy and darkness beauty can shine, kind of like the rose that grew from the concrete. I hope it shines as a beacon to others my age and younger. I hope it shines for those from the forgotten, abandon street corners, blocks where I'm from that there is more to life and that art isn't a joke as we were unfortunately trained by society to believe, but a way to reach pass where you currently are.
What do you hope to achieve from your art?
I'm a artist. I believe in the power of art, and the right of every man, woman and child to create. I believe God gives us all talents and puts us on the path to make something out of it, and we have the option to decide rather to follow or not. I've found my path, and I hope to create art that will be thought provoking, inspiring, beautiful as well as therapeutic to my own soul. Yet when it is all said and done my main hope is to leave a 'Beach Chair', a legacy for my unborn children, nieces and nephews. I want to leave them something they can be proud of and hopefully it will make life easier for them.
What else should we know about JaFleu and how can we support your work?
I am an artist, but I also am co-founder of ArtOfficiallyDope a urban art showcase. In which I curate works of local talents for shows to get them more exposure. I also helped curated the 1st Annual Whitney Art Walk for Bruce Helander and Paul Fisher as well as help with The Kenneth Plasket Gallery opening exhibit 'Hippies To Hip Hop'. I used to rap and still write poetry, that’s why you see the merge and poetic themes in my art. The best way to support me is to help me create more art and that’s by owning your own JaFleu art. My work that’s available for purchase can be found in many mediums such as greeting cards or canvas at http://jason-fleurant.fineartamerica.com You can also stay in touch with me via my Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/jafleutheartist
For more information on Jason Fleurant’s ‘Woman on the Move’ art exhibit please call Mos’Art Theatre at 561-337-6763 after January 1, 2013 to find out the month long exhibit dates. To purchase tickets for the Woman on the Move Book Launch & Micro-Stage Play presented by Godz Sun Productions & Jasira Monique held on January 12, 2013 from 7-9pm at Mos’Art Theatre please visit www.womanonthemovepoetry.eventbrite.com
The winner of the picture is...
I had a great time at the 1st Annual Charity Event - NWEL NAN PEYI'M. JWET POU TIMOUN YO - at Hollywood Live! Guests left their email with me to subscribe to my blog, for email updates and important info regarding The Real Haiti. Also, it entered them into a contest to win a framed picture of Sans-Sousi Palace, the royal residence of Henri Christophe in Cap-Haitien. The winner of my photograph is:
RACHELLE WILME! I numbered the list based on the order that you wrote your
email and then used random.org to choose the number. Rachelle, please email
me so we can arrange shipment or pickup of your framed photo from The Real
You can view pictures from the event here.
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