Etzer Dépestre of ADATH killed
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Etzer Dépestre. Etzer , our dearest colleague was laid to rest May 13 at the Parc du Souvenir cemetery in Port-au-Prince, following a funeral service at the Methodist Church of Frères, Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.
We are moving right along, thanks to your contributions. Professors Anthony Davis, Jeremy Pinto and the University of Idaho have Graciously donated their time, their expertise and all the materials necessary to make this project a success.
ETZER DEPESTRE has been absolutely fantastic at coordinating and arraging the work on the ground. We are well on our way to having a fully functioning nursery because of him.
Sabine Deristin has served as our in country expert and has provided direction, instructions and guidance.
We will begin the seeding process in June of 2015. This location, using the latest techniques provided to us by the University of Idaho will serve as the template we will duplicate all over the country (on an even greater scale).
Think about it. Your donations not only serve to put trees on the ground, they also employ the locals and provide local landowners the opportunity to produce and income.
Our nursery in Bethel
In spite of several setbacks, work continues on the ground. Racks were set up to accommodate the materials graciously donated to us by the University of Idaho and Professor Anthony Davis.
The next step will be to assemble our materials and to begin the seeding process.
Seeding will begin on May 20th for a planting session in October.
Having taken the survey of the land and signed the lease for our nursery, the next step was to clear and fence the land, build the nursery and begin the seeding process. Unfortunately, the trip to Haiti with Professor Anthony Davis to set up the nursery in Cabaret couldn't take place due to the political unrest taking place in the country at the time.
Not to lose the opportunity to move forward with the project, Professor Davis arranged to have two key members from Haiti travel to the Dominican Republic for training. Meanwhile, our team was to clear and fence the land for the nursery. On January 28, Our founder Ray Joseph went to Haiti to attend to that. Despite disruptions from demonstrators, the task was accomplished.
We made a big saving by doing the fencing work ourselves with hired hands from the community. We bought the materials and had it delivered. Instead of relying on the company from which we bought the equipment, we did the work ourselves.
A full-fledged operation, we found out, would have cost between $7,000 and $10,000. We got it done for a little over $2,000.
We now await the materials with whcich to build the nursery, but unfortunately shipping issues continue to delay that process.
We have been unabke to receive our materials.
The window to begin the seeding process (if we wish to have the seedlings ready to be planted in May of 2015) is small.
Unfortunately, the delay is seriously jeopordizing that window. But we remain positive and continue to move ahead.
January 01, 2020
A DOLLAR A TREE FOR HAITI: The month of March was full of activities: A visit to Haiti for land survey and notarization; a visit to Florida to receive a major donation; participation in New Orleans at the conference of the National Haitian Students Association (NHSA).On March 6-16, I was in Haiti, especially to undertake the survey of the 30 acres of land put at the disposal of A Dollar A Tree For Haiti at “Habitation Bethel”, in the “commune” (county) of Cabaret, about 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince. The task was completed and the papers have been properly notarized. The land, as dozens of photos attest, is like a lunar landscape. Stone ramparts are already being erected in gullies to firm up the land. With the advent of trees, the land will again become whole. After transformation by the greening process, the project at “Habitation Bethel” will stand as a model to be replicated elsewhere. To carry out this controlled pilot project of reforestation, a nursery is the first step. We were able to enter into contract with the owner of a property of about two acres for five years, renewable. That is where the nursery will be set up. That property, adjacent to an active water canal, is a stone throw from where the 30 acres begin.For the project to succeed, water will be pumped to artificial ponds, even small lakes, in higher ground to water the plants. Not to interfere with water usage by surrounding communities, the pumping of water will be done during evening hours. Moreover, the artificial ponds and lakes will also benefit from rain water.The “Habitation Bethel” project is enthusiastically welcomed by the community whose members will be employed in various capacities. In other words, the locals have ownership of the project.On the weekend of March 21, I was in Boca Raton, Florida, to meet with a benefactor, who prefers to remain anonymous for the moment. He wrote a $10,000 check to help with the “Habitation Bethel” project. It is estimated that the establishment of the nursery will cost about $20,000.We are not botanists. Thus, we defer to the experts who have knowledge and experience in the field. Frantz Kénol, our co-founder and treasurer, has entered into discussion with Professor Anthony S. Davis, Ph.D., of the University of Idaho. Professor Davis has volunteered to help. He is an expert botanist whose specialty includes the set-up of nurseries. He is already involved in a reforestation project in Haiti. During my visit there in March, I met with Dr. Davis and some of his associates. He proposed that we collaborate not only for the “Habitation Bethel” project, but in others already in the works in the Kenscoff area. It’s worth noting, that it was in the mountains beyond Kenscoff that A Dollar A Tree For Haiti began planting trees in May 2013, in collaboration with Député (Congressman) André Gustave Louis, who represents that district. More than 20,000 saplings were planted in a two-week period. AN UPDATE,The weekend of March 28, Frantz Kénol and I were in New Orleans. We were invited to make presentations about A Dollar A Tree at the annual convention of the National Haitian Students Association (NHSA). I was asked to make a historical presentation of Haiti, tying it to the contribution of the country to the greatness of the Western Hemisphere. This was thought important, because the majority of the students (college and university) are either born in the United States or came to this country at an early age.In conclusion I challenged the students to help change perception about Haiti, the first independent Black nation in the Hemisphere (1804) and the second independent – second only to the United States (1776). Considering that Haiti is fast becoming a desert, the students, I suggested, should embrace the reforestation project as a priority in the campaign to get Haiti to its original place in the Hemisphere, that of “The Pearl of the Antilles.”In a brief presentation, Mr. Kénol dwelt on the practical aspects of what the students could do. They were challenged to become “ambassadors of reforestation” for the land of their parents and ancestors on their individual campuses. They can set up groups to discuss ways of coming to the support of the campaign. They can hold fund raisers where we could be invited as speakers. One student suggested that placards be placed at food markets and other businesses inviting people to donate for Haiti’s reforestation. In the near future we will draft a document to be acknowledged by both our organization and the students’ associations on methods and legality of the related activities.To complete the March activities, on April 5, I was invited to address the annual fund raiser of the BUILD HAITI Foundation in Columbia, MD. Jean-Robert Anantua, the founder, has reforestation as a component of the foundation’s work, and he wants to collaborate with A Dollar A Tree For Haiti as we work for the greening of the land.I am calling on all to pull together for the success of the “Habitation Bethel” project and the eventual greening of all Haiti. “Let no one despise the time of small beginnings.” (Prophet Zechariah)April 18, 2014