Quixote Center’s work in Haiti prioritizes systemic change. Our theory of change has three aspects:
- Economic development initiatives that lead to meaningful and sustainable jobs and income for families and communities;
- Reforestation to preserve Haiti’s environment and protect the soil and watershed;
- Advocacy to promote US policies that support Haitian democracy and Haitian-led solutions to poverty, violence, and migration.
Quixote Center initially launched Haiti Reborn in 1991 during a period of renewal in Haiti, following the election of Aristide and the rise of Lavalas, a popular movement for democratic reform. The coup that ousted Aristide later that year led us to focus our efforts on speaking out against United States intervention in Haiti. US foreign policy as well as development aid still has enormous influence over Haiti and its future. US NGOs and churches also funnel significant funds into Haiti, leading many Haitians to dub their country “the republic of NGOs.”
The Quixote Center partners with Haitian organizations to support smallholder farmers to build sustainable livelihoods from agriculture and reforestation. The Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center located in Grepen, Haiti, is our primary partner in the north.
The Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center houses a tree nursery, a model instructional garden and multiple classrooms. These resources help farmers increase the yields of their farms, find new markets for their products, and gain access to the seeds and technology they need to succeed. The agronomy team from the JMV Center travel throughout the Arrondissement of Gros Morne to deliver workshops organized with a network of small farm associations, the Catholic Church’s Caritas network, and local schools. With our support, the JMV Center also maintains the Tet Mon model forest, a reforestation project that is the only one of its kind in the region. The JMV team holds formation sessions on reforestation and tree maintenance for local leaders, schoolchildren, and agronomy students.
Read the FY2023 report on the work of the Grepen Center HERE.
The Quixote Center also partners with US-based organizations to promote policy change in the United States. Take action to support a sustainable future for Haiti HERE.
Law school clinics at Harvard, Yale and NYU call on Biden to denounce controversial constitutional referendum
The Moise government in Haiti has once again postponed a controversial constitutional referendum. The chair of the electoral counsel announced on Monday, June 7 that the referendum, re-scheduled for June 27, would be indefinitely postponed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in Haiti..
Haiti is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections, and it is quickly emerging as possibly the worst one. Infections were initially concentrated in the north and in Port-au-Prince, but are quickly emerging everywhere. Near our program site in Gros Morne, there are cases at the local hospital, though for now, still manageable. A long overdue shipment of masks from Germany arrived - just as infections were increasing. However, in Port-au-Prince resources are strained. For example, at St.
Reports are beginning to emerge of a new wave of COVID-19 infections in Haiti, as hospitals scramble to find scarce supplies. Haiti, like many other impoverished countries, has no clear vaccination program in place. The government suffers from a lack of legitimacy on many fronts, and it is unlikely it could mobilize people on a wide scale to get vaccinated.
ACTION: The Biden Administration must re-designate TPS for Haiti
A long-standing aspect of the training done through our partners at the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center in Haiti is work with families, typically women, to develop yard gardens or patio gardens. These are small-scale projects, where family members learn to grow a surprisingly wide variety of vegetables in small spaces.
The current iteration of the yard garden project enrolled 375 new families during the first quarter of the year, with support from the seed bank and training from the agronomy team. Some highlights below:
On Sunday, April 11, 5 priests, two nuns and family members of a priest from Galette Chambon were kidnapped. As of this writing, they have not been released. The group was ambushed and taken on route to the installation of Father Jean Anel Joseph as parish warden of Galette Chambon. Those taken:
Throughout February, as Haiti was facing an ongoing political crisis that has kept much of the country on edge, work continued. For the agronomy team from the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center this meant visiting community organizations, presenting workshops, checking in with people and their livestock with the mobile clinic, and talking to farmers about the quality of the recent sweet potato harvest. I capture some of these activities below, with updates from the team.
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As many of you know, Jovenel Moise refused to step-down from Haiti’s presidency on Sunday, February 7, 2021. Moise is arguing that a delay in his inauguration (he did not take office until 2017) means he should serve until February 7, 2022. The United States government and Luis Almagro, OAS General Secretary are standing by Moise. Meanwhile, most of Haiti is not.
Haiti’s president, Jovenal Moise, and his electoral council have proposed a timeline for elections that include a referendum on a new constitution. At the same time, there is disagreement about Moise’s tenure in office, with opposition leaders and some legal scholars saying Moise should step down on February 7 this year. Moise, disagrees. The timeline his electoral council has submitted assumes he stays in office another year.