To Build A Village (in Haiti) is a collaboration of highly-skilled team members, all pioneers in the green building industry and regenerative land development fields. We design, implement, teach, and oversee sustainable developments in a variety of environments, including wet and dry tropical climates, from Indonesia and Africa to the Peruvian Amazon, Mexico, and the Middle East. Each member is a committed and skilled educator in his or her field. We believe in the adage, “Give a person a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”
For this reason, a central element of our methodology is a process of building these skills into the Haitian communities we work with and enabling them to become agents of their own stability.
Our team develops programs that provide Haitian communities with an understanding of how to live regeneratively as a community and be independent, yet connected regeneratively to the rest of the region. We allow for future innovation and growth, but keep a balance between man and nature. We further address everyday issues that allow Haitian communities to build their lives from the ground up.
Because only two percent of Haiti’s forest remains, her tree canopy and forest floor must be restored. Without this systemic approach, the environmental cycles of destruction that have plagued Haiti for so long will continue.
| CLICK to learn about our three-step approach
What Are Resilient Watersheds?
A watershed is an entire river system—an area drained by a river and all its tributaries. It is sometimes called a drainage basin. It captures, stores, and releases surface water. Haiti has 30 watersheds. | CLICK to see one of Haiti's watersheds
A resilient watershed has the ability to recover promptly from natural disasters and to even be renewed by them. | CLICK to see one of our century old regenerative projects
When we build resilient watersheds, we implement regenerative land practices that bring degraded soils back to life. The result is a healthy soil that produces high-quality, nutrient-dense food while simultaneously improving the land. It leads to productive farms, healthy communities, strong local economies, and ultimately leads communities through their final stage of disaster recovery.
Regenerative practices also promote food security and helps farmlands to absorb and maintain water levels, which makes crops less vulnerable to droughts and floods. Farmers experience year-on-year yield increases, which strengthens livelihoods and local markets.
When we provide communities with a regenerative plan to restore their watershed, we provide clear steps for their entire region to move forward as a resilient system rather than a patchwork of disconnected pieces.
Why Build Self-Reliant Communities?
Part of having a vibrant community means returning power to the people. No one wants a handout when a hands-up opportunity is there. When we restore a land's watershed in a regenerative and vibrant way, we restore a community's ability to make a living off the land. We restore their ability to contribute in local markets and meet local needs. We restore their ability to circulate money within their communities. We restore their ability to create numerous family-owned industries. We restore their ability to establish political stability and to contribute as member of Caricom.
We restore their dignity and self-esteem. We restore their health. We restore their ability to be innovative and creative and to teach, lead, and strengthen social relationships.
Healthy watersheds and ecosystems lead to self-sustaining communities that thrive. They restore responsible power to the people and region.
In 2010, a powerful earthquake brought Haiti to her knees. It was the worst earthquake since 1770.
- Concrete had to be disposed of
- Houses were replaced by tents
- Clean water was needed
- Food by airplane arrived
- Medical care was in short supply
- Families were torn apart
- Haiti's infrastructure was devasted | CLICK to see live footage
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. More than half of its population lives under the poverty line, and many people rely on subsistence farming to feed their families. The country is heavily dependent on external revenue.
In recent years, natural disasters, disease, political instability, mismanagement of humanitarian relief, and a depreciation of Haiti’s currency, has strained her economy. Tourism, once a vibrant sector, has also declined. Further upheaval, including a protest movement, the assassination of their president, back-to-back natural disasters, and rampant gang violence, has placed further stress on Haiti's economic situation.
To make it worse, humanitarian organizations have brought in their own people to carry out projects after disasters, thus denying Haitian workers and their communities of the economic benefit. Organizations, like NGOs and private contractors, have received the money from secured contracts, instead of letting that money stay and circulate in Haitian communities. As a result, communities today are still dependent on outside help. | CLICK to read more
What Does Haiti Need?
Resilient Watersheds and Self-Sustaining Communities
We have met with community leaders in three locations. They are eager for our return. We are looking to build relationships with like-minded individuals, organizations, businesses, and corporations to join us in making a difference.
| CLICK to read about Haiti's geographic vulnerability and why we map
What Do We Need?
We need your help.
1 | To understand the ecological restoration process and how it brings new life to a community and region. | CLICK to watch documentaries
2 | To know that you can make a difference.
3 | To be generous in your giving so we can help communities with a variety of programs, services, and tools.
Current Fundraising Campaign ($18,964)
Our first project is complete, in terms of delivery. It was getting a shipping container full of medical equipment and supplies to an area with no access to medical care. One-fourth of it was filled with toys, clothes, shoes, and other things for a nearby orphanage in need. The project was a temporary detour from our mission to regenerate Haiti's watersheds, but one we couldn't decline given the circumstances. We need your help to finish fundraising the remaining balance.
| CLICK to see our project fundraising thermometer
| CLICK to read background story and all blog posts related to project
clinic location (Dec 2022)
Haiti's Geographic Vulnerability
Haiti’s geographic location in the path of Atlantic hurricanes, combined with the steep topography of its western region from which all major river systems flow to the coast, make this country particularly vulnerable to hydrometeorological disasters, especially between June and December. Mudslides are common along river valleys where years of deforestation have left the upper reaches of the western basins bare. Cyclones, floods, and droughts are common. | CLICK to read more
| CLICK to view source
Follow us in social media. Watch for photos, stories, and mementos from our Haitian communities. Share their journey and invite others to join our growing community. Together, we can make a difference!
Haitian communities need to regenerate their larger ecosystems, be provided clean water systems, and offered opportunities to restore a resilient local economy amongst themselves. Years of government instability and natural disasters have taken a toll on their ability to rebuild and fully recover on their own.
We are calling you to be a part of our efforts to restore resiliency to their soils, landscapes and watersheds.