Haiti

Where: Jacmel is a coastal city [population], known for its artful celebration of Carnival.

Why we went there: Everywhere in Haiti is struggling with poverty and often natural destruction. We chose Jacmel because our association with Didier Civil, a renowned mask-maker who lives there and is committed to teaching children all that he knows.

What we did: The focus was mask-making in paper mache, because Didier Civil is a master teacher. We also conducted workshops in dance, performance/drama about the natural disaster in Haiti, also sports.

Outcomes: to be determined.

Surprises: Approximately 140 children from ages 6 to 14 arrived by foot, unaccompanied by parents or siblings and attended a mask-making workshop, with minimal materials: cement blocks and wood as a working table, clay, papier mache. The children were effectively taught by a master (Didier Civil) with the assistance of about 6 of Didier’s assistants. The children carefully listened, learned, painted masks, and they needed minimal guidance to their joyful creativity.