What's up Little Haiti

Solar eclipse in Haiti on August 21st, 2017

On Friday the Civil Protection held a press conference at the Prime Minister’s residence regarding the solar eclipse announced for Monday, August 21st, 2017.

"At the level of the Government, measures were taken to help the population," asserted Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant. He specified "The forbidden is attractive.  Never allow yourself to be tempted to look at the sun. Sunglasses cannot protect your eyes against the intensity of the infrared and ultraviolet rays during the eclipse." He added that Monday, August 21st, 2017 was not a day off, but caution was necessary and that it was better to follow it on TNH which has assured the broadcast of the eclipse.

The Direction of Civil Protection announced that its staff will go door to door to sensitize the population and local governments will also mobilize their teams.

The National Aerospace Agency of the United States (NASA) specified that this solar eclipse can be seen by approximately 300 million people. The continents of North and South America according to their geographical positions, should be able to see the total or partial eclipse, which will last between 2 and 3 o'clock p.m. The total eclipse will last about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

In Haiti the eclipse will not be total, but at 75 %. It will begin at 1:59 am p.m. and will reach its peak at 3:25 p.m. to end at 4:40 am p.m.


Construction will soon begin on Jérémie's International Airport

Last Thursday at the Toussaint Louverture International Airpot, Colonel Irving Méhu, Managing director of the National Airport Authority (ANN), announced the future reconstruction of the building that will house the fire department currenty in deplorable condition, and the renovation of the Diplomatic Lounge. In addition, the beginning of the building for Jérémie's International Airport is also slated to begin soon.

In order to solve the parking problem at Jeremie’s airport, especially during holidays, Irving Méhu confirmed having received instructions from Head of State to proceed with the enlargement of the parking. He indicated that legal and administrative initiatives must be undertaken to purchase the ground in front of the airport, to make this project a reality.

DISASTERS: Haiti: 6 women drowned and 18 other survived in a shipwreck at the Island of La Tortue.

The dead bodies of six women were found by local government workers confirmed the local mayor Josemane Lubin.

The accident was recorded when there were violent blows of wind, associated with a thunderstorm, which surprised the sailors of several vessels for about fifteen minutes.

The rescue by some people from the island, as well as by some other sailboats allowed 18 people to be saved. However, several others are still reported missing.

Some of the shipwrecked people were immediately transported to the hospital. The rescue operations continue, with the aim of finding other bodies or survivors, said Lubin.

The La Tortue City Hall has been unable to supply information on the exact number of people who were aboard this sailboat that was on its way to Port-de-Paix.

Interviewed by AlterPresse, Gabriel Santiague, who lives on the Island of La Tortue lamented over the poor conditions of sea transport, through which people in the area travel. Which could be on the basis of these repeated wrecks.

The Maritime and Navigation Service of Haiti (Semanah) cannot really manage the country’s ports, meanwhile boat trips don’t always take place in good weather conditions.

"No life jackets for the passengers. Boat captains do not consult weather reports, to inquire about weather conditions, let’s not forget the overloading of sailboats that serve the population in the area."


A Reception Party held in the Peace Garden Museum to Welcome Ballet Bacoulou of Haiti

Li Ruohong, President of China World Peace Foundation exchanges gifts with Ralph LATORTUE, Permanent Representative of Commercial Development Bureau of Haiti to P.R China

On August 14, a reception party was held in the Peace Garden for Ballet Bacoulou of Haiti in order to promote the friendly relationship between China and Haiti. The event was co-organized by Commercial Development Bureau of Haiti to P.R China and China World Peace Foundation, and was supported by Belt and Road official website of china.com.cn, Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation and Beijing Peace Garden Museum.

Among those who participated in the reception were: Mr. Wang Xiangyang, Permanent Representative of P.R China to Haiti, Mr. Zhao Huimin, Director of Foreign Office of Beijing Municipality, Mr. Li Ruohong, President of China World Peace Foundation and Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation, Mr. Lu Qingsheng, Chairman of China-Africa Development Fund, Mr. Liu Fenghai, Director of Liaoning liaison office in Beijing, Mr. Zheng Jianping, Director of Shanghai liaison office in Beijing, Ms. Xie Yuhua, Secretary-General of Gansu Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Li Wusheng, Chairman of Orient Landscape, Mrs. Yvrose Green, Artistic Director and Director of Cultural Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, Mr. Ralph LATORTUE, Permanent Representative of Commercial Development Bureau of Haiti to P.R China, Mr. Jean JEAN-PIERRE, Music Director of the Traditional Orchestra of Haiti and Mr. Peniel Guerrier, choreographer of Ballet Bacoulou of Haiti. 

Li Ruohong said although Haiti has yet established diplomatic ties with P.R China, the hearts of two peoples are getting closer as the exchange of culture, economy and trade deepens between the two sides, and the gifts exchanged serve as a catalyst of our enhanced amity. During his speech, Li said the Belt and Road Initiative does not only apply to the 65 countries and regions along the route, it is also applicable for the whole world. Not long ago, China World Peace Foundation and UNESCO jointly carried out a cultural project entitled an interactive cultural atlas along the Silk Roads, and released Peace Garden Declaration in recognition of this endeavor. The program encompasses nine sectors, namely, Science, Technology and Know-how, Pharmacology and Medicine, Costumes and Clothing, Religion and Spirituality, Mythology and Fantasy, Languages and Literature, Arts and Music, Rituals and Celebrations, Food and Gastronomy etc. It is believed that the project will deliver a pragmatic cooperation to promote people-to-people connectivity. 

Peniel Guerrier told journalists that it is hoped that the authentic dancing and singing performance brought for Chinese audience will elevate bilateral relationship and bring the hearts of two peoples ever closer.

Guests had an even deeper feeling of the charisma of Haiti and the red-hot hospitality from Ispaniola Island by dancing together with the troupe at the end of the show. 

Wu Peihe, Director of Public Affairs Department of China World Peace Foundation told reporters that he was deeply impressed by the instrument and melody from Ballet Bacoulou. He hoped that more musical exchanges can be seen between the two sides and that more outstanding masterpieces featured by both cultures can be created, so that a bridge of music can be built to connect China with Haiti. 

As an international NGO, China World Peace Foundation integrates resources from governments, businesses, academics and finances in an effort to boost friendly exchanges with governmental and non-governmental bodies. Committed in promoting reciprocal cooperation in international talents, technologies, information, capital and resources, China World Peace Foundation plays a major role in connecting people’s heart through various cultural events. 

Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation
所有 © 2017 bj-ipcf.org


Fearing Trump deportation, Haitians head to Canada and risk dividing their families

Jacqueline Charles

The Miami Herald


Beads of sweat trickled down her forehead as Carole Wembert dragged one bulky black-and-red suitcase and toted two other bags, the load weighing heavy on both her mind and body as she approached the border crossing.

After 15 years in the United States, the Haitian immigrant had quit her job at Walmart in Fort Lauderdale. She packed up her four children, flew 1,200 miles to New York City, took a bus for seven hours and then a taxi before finally reaching the heavily forested spot on the U.S.-Canada border that has become a word-of-mouth entry point to a new life for immigrants.

The future in Canada was uncertain, but she was pretty sure what faced her in the U.S.: deportation.

“The president doesn’t want the immigrants to stay,” Wembert said.

He was repeating the widely-held belief among some immigrant groups that President Donald Trump is closing the door to immigrants. Haitians in particular are worried because nearly 60,000 — including Wembert — have been living in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the special humanitarian relief given to Haiti since its devastating 2010 earthquake left more than 300,000 dead.

The Trump administration has been increasingly signaling that it may end the status for Haitians in January. That’s fueling an unprecedented exodus of mostly Haitian migrants from the United States across a dirt and gravel-covered ditch in upstate New York to Canada.

As the illegal flow of Haitian migrants continues into Canada’s French-speaking Quebec province, many families like Wembert’s — with U.S.-born children — could face a painful dilemma, say immigration experts: What to do with their children if they are deported to Haiti.

To win an asylum claim in Canada, migrants will have to convince an independent immigration and refugee board that they would be at risk of persecution or even death if they returned to their homeland. Failure to prove it means deportation.

Despite being allowed to enter Canada, many Haitian immigrants aren’t granted asylum. “The success rate for last year, 2016, was 50 percent so you’re facing a very real risk of being refused,” said Richard Goldman, an immigration attorney with the Committee to Aid Refugees in Montreal. “It’s not an easy case to make especially if you’ve been living in the States for many years.”


Dany Laferrière, appointed Officer of the Order of Montreal

Dany Laferrière, the illustrious French-speaking writer, heavyweight of Haitian literature and academician, received a badge of the Order of Montreal from its major last week, before the celebration of the city’s 375 year anniversary.

 Denis Coderre took advantage of the celebration to honor seventeen individuals with the Order of Montreal, formerly called Academy of Great Montrealers, created in 1988 by the Montreal Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

"I received honors in past but never during a historic such as today," declared the Haitian author.

The medal of the Order of Montreal pays tribute to people who have "contributed in a remarkable way to the development and to the brilliance of the metropolis." Along with Dany Laferrière (native of Petit-Goâve, Haiti), two other symbolic personalities were also honored at the medal ceremony. They were Yannick Nézet-Séguin who leads an orchestra and of visual artist Françoise Sullivan.