St. Thomas University/Port-De-Paix, Haiti Global Solidarity Partnership
The St. Thomas University/Port-de-Paix, Haiti Global Solidarity Partnership (STU GSP) is a project of St. Thomas University in collaboration with Amor en Acción and Catholic Relief Services. The aim of the group is to deepen a relationship of mutuality with our sister-diocese of Port-de-Paix, Haiti, by working together on long-term, sustainable, social, economic, and environmental development projects in the region. The diocese of Port-de-Paix is roughly equivalent to the North West Department of Haiti, the poorest and most isolated region of the country. For a video overview of the STU-GSP Haiti Project, click here.
Currently the STU GSP is focused on three projects with our partners in Port-de-Paix:
- Cafe COCANO Fair-Trade Coffee Project: In collaboration with the Cafeiere et Cacouyere du Nord’Ouest Coffee Cooperative (COCANO) and Pascucci Torrefazione (a leading Italian specialty coffee roaster) the STU GSP is supporting the efforts of the Northwest’s coffee farmers by importing, marketing, and selling high-grade specialty coffee from Port-de-Paix to the United States. Distinguishing this project from most other coffee import models is the fact that the coffee is sold directly to roasters by the farmer-cooperative itself – thus eliminating the numerous middle-men in the coffee import business and ensuring that profit remains in the hands of those who need it most. See: www.cafecocano.com.
- Atelier Thevenet Haitian Artisan Initiative: Based in Jean Rabel, and in collaboration with a number of parish-based women's artisan groups throughout Haiti’s Northwest, the STU GSP is working to connect these women with fair-trade artisan importers in the United States - thus developing their market and fostering this empowering work for some of Haiti's most vulnerable and isolated workers. For more information see www.haitiartisancrafts.com.
- STU/PdP Solar Energy Initiative: In the diocese of Port-de-Paix - one of the most remote, deforested regions of the country – the STU GSP is collaborating with local parish and women's religious community leaders to provide sustainable solar energy solutions that will reduce the area’s dependence on charcoal, give hope for the reforestation of the land, and provide much needed income to the participants involved.
Related St. Thomas University Initiatives:
- Blooming Hope: "Blooming Hope: Harvesting Smiles in Port-de-Paix” is a full length documentary film that portrays how the fair-trade coffee cooperative, fair-trade women artisan initiative and solar energy project are planting seeds of transformation in the poorest region of Haiti. The project is coordinated by Prof. Marcela Moyano and students of the St. Thomas University Institute for Communications, Media and Entertainment. See: www.bloominghope.org
- BUS 457C/MAN 786 - "Social Entrepreneurship": Offered in collaboration with the St. Thomas University Schools of Business, Theology and Ministry, and Leadership, BUS 457C is an introduction to Social Entrepreneurship - A business management and development model that includes a "double bottom line" of both profit and social-responsibility. Students in the course participate in one of three economic development projects STU is engaging in our sister-diocese of Port-de-Paix, Haiti, as well as have the opportunity to take part in a heavily subsidized immersion experience in Port-de-Paix.