Fish Farming in Haiti

As you know, CREOLE, Inc. supports a variety of agricultural projects in Haiti including terracing, large scale gardening, and coffee production. Now you can add tilapia to the mix. We'll let Daniel Lister, one of our partners, fill you in on this project. 

 Daniel Lister (left) with his father in law Ron Barnes (2nd from right) with Junior (2nd from left) and their aquaculture team in Haiti. 

Daniel Lister (left) with his father in law Ron Barnes (2nd from right) with Junior (2nd from left) and their aquaculture team in Haiti. 

In January of 2015 my wife, Jesse, and I, along with her parents Ron and Dawn Barnes, made a trip down to Northern Haiti to research the viability of starting an aquaculture project with CREOLE, Inc. Ron owns and operates a fish hatchery in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and has consulted with other organizations regarding aquaculture before. We couldn’t wait to get him to Haiti. 

Our main goal on this trip was to listen to any ideas and/or needs that arose from conversations with people from a few different communities, observe the status of some current fish farming projects, and to identify some locations where we could do a potential start up. As the trip came to a close, we concluded that by sharing our gifts and talents with our friends in Haiti, we could maybe help out in a few different ways.

Our plan had three major benefits: 1) produce food for local communities, 2) provide employment and a source of income, and 3) help to restore reefs and offshore fisheries by relieving some of the fishing pressures placed on the environment.   

It was on that same trip we met Junior, an Agricultural Technician with a desire to pursue aquaculture in northern Haiti. He gathered some other interested individuals, and eventually we had a team ready to start working.

In May of 2016, Ron and I returned to Haiti to further develop a plan with these guys. Junior arranged for us to use the ponds at Riviere Salee, and we researched what other equipment we would need to make this dream a reality.

Finally, after a few road bumps with our documentation, and some flight scheduling conflicts, we were able to bring a shipment of about 2,000 fingerling Tilapia into Haiti this past Tuesday, May 2nd. It is truly a miracle that after 48+ hours of travel, unpacking and re-oxygenating in Florida, and multiple flights, all the babies except ONE made it into the ponds alive and well.

In the weeks and months to come, we look forward to monitoring the growth of the fish, the first official harvest, and helping Junior and his team start their own hatchery.

Happy New Year!

We are so grateful for all of you who partner with CREOLE, Inc. and our friends in Northern Haiti. As you know 2016 was another rough year for Haiti.

On October 4th, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in the south, taking out entire villages and causing wide spread destruction. It also postponed national elections which were eventually held in November. Our friends and projects in the north were spared from the effects of Matthew, but in November heavy rains came to the Cap Haitien area, and the flooding there was terrible. 

Many people lost their homes, more lost their clothes and mattresses. We were talking to a woman after some of the heaviest rains who said the water started coming in her house about 10 PM, and by 11 PM it was above her waist. By 1 AM it was back down to her knees, and they went to a neighbor who's home was up higher to sleep. She said they did not leave their house sooner because outside the water was deeper. They lost a pig and a goat. Another woman told us her clothes and cooking pots all washed away. All of their beds were destroyed.

Following the floods, the paths were filled with sediment and muck. Dead animals were in the brush and the odor was awful. It has been a difficult year and yet. . .

Through your support we were able to provide food and funds for 70 people in two seperate communities (140 total). With the funds they were able to put gravel and sand on their paths, clean muck from their homes and bury decaying animals.  We also provide seeds for family gardens, continue to terrace, plant new coffee plants, and provide salaries for Haitian ag techs who counsel people as they produce food. 

In the areas CREOLE, Inc. has built terraces there was less flooding and washing out compared to the rest of the mountains in the Cap Haitien area. One lady who has lived in the LaFlo area for 17 years said "it is the first time with so much rain that we did not have earth slides and flooding".  The bottom line is that terracing protects people from the dangers of erosion during heavy rain and storms.

We processed another round of coffee at Toziar farm this fall. It has already been spoken for by roasters from Spokane, WA and Knoxville, TN. CREOLE, Inc. will have a booth at the U.S. Coffee Championships in Knoxville, January 21 &22 to highlight Haitian Agriculture and Coffee. 

We look forward to 2017 and opportunities in agriculture in Haiti. Thank you for your continued interest in CREOLE, Inc. 

Lapè, lanmou, ak lajwa pou ou nan nouvè ane sa a! 
(Peace, love, and joy to you in this New Year!)

Haiti Earthquake Remembered

Six years ago today a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Thousands died. Many thousands more were displaced. This impacted the entire country. Today we remember and grieve the people lost. At the same time we are amazed at the resiliency of the Haitian people. (The photo above is of school children returning home from school in Port-au-Prince, December 2010.) 

CREOLE, Inc. is committed to ongoing renewal of Haiti through job creation and land restoration.

Frist Coffee Samples Arrive

These coffee samples just arrived from Dondon, Haiti. They were processed by our ag tech partner, Jose, and his crew. For our first round of processing we chose 4 coffee varietals that are grown in this region of Haiti. They are all part of the Arabica family: Typica, Cattura, Bourbon, and Blue Mountain. 

Next they will be sample roasted by Bumper Crop Coffee in Spokane and Spero Coffee in Knoxville. We'll be tasting to see what varieties will be most beneficial as we replace aging plants with new vibrant stock. 

You can help us plant new plants that will benefit farmers in Haiti, and hopefully, some of the beans will make it to a cafe near you!  We can purchase and plant new plants for around a dollar each. Will you help us? 

Coffee Plants

Haiti's Agricultural Professionals

5 years ago in Northern Haiti  

 David working in new plantains. 

David working in new plantains. 

. . .we picked David up on the road when he was in need of a ride. As providence would have it, David is a Ag Tech. This means that he is highly trained and knows his stuff when it comes to farming.  We talked about our agricultural programs, and he applied to work in one of the garden projects that CREOLE, Inc. sponsors. He was persistent and eventually got the job. David was the first. 5 years later there are 12 professional ag techs that are employed year round. They are the key to everything we do.

Ag techs oversee terracing projects that provide jobs for hundreds of people. They assist family gardeners in growing food for consumption and market. They plant, grow and process coffee for export. These exceptional individuals are fantastic examples Haitians helping Haitians. 

Consider investing in our friends in Haiti. Your gift of $20 supports David, and agri-professionals, like him for a day. $100 will cover a salary for a week. Will you support us as we work to restore land, create jobs, and care for people in Northern Haiti?