Who We Are
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 recognize the immediate needs of the Haitian people go beyond housing; the need for clean water, fresh nutritious food, education, and a means to sustain themselves into the future must be addressed. Our systemic approach is designed to meet these needs through the empowerment of the Haitian people.
May our work, like the calabash tree, serve the recipients of our efforts in a multitude of ways: one that will continue to evolve long after we have said “Orevwa”, or good-bye in the beautiful Haitian Creole language.
Beverly Beach (left) and Kate Tirion (right) - with UN Special Representative to Haiti, Leslie Voltaire (center) - March 2011
When the devasting earthquake of 2010 rocked Haiti, we felt compelled to do something meaningful for its people. It was the worst natural disaster its people had known in over two centuries. We believed that with our collective knowledge and experience, we had something to offer.
We started collaborating and decided to travel to Haiti in March 2011 to present a housing proposal at an expo of more than a hundred developers, architects and others who wanted to be part of Haiti’s rebuilding efforts.
We were one of two groups invited back to Haiti to present our vision to the UN’s special representative to Haiti, Leslie Voltaire, and other decision-makers.
Our project was chosen as a finalist in the Building Back Better Communities (BBBC) contest, which was sponsored by the Government of Haiti, and aimed at discovering viable ways to help get displaced families back into homes.
Our proposal not only met the environmental specifications they laid out, but fundamentally addressed the issue that led to the unraveling of the fabric of Haiti: the loss her forests, upon which Haitian people had historically depended. Andy Meira, the BBBC organizer, was the one who had requested our attendance at the BBBC Conference.
We had hoped to travel to Haiti at the end of that month for a conference on restoration efforts and to build some sample homes. We wanted to build an exemplar community in Haiti later that year.
However, our plans were not chosen and we returned home, still feeling compelled to take action. We had seen an extraordinary excitement be ignited at the time of our presentation that day. It inspired us.
We knew that what we were proposing wasn't just sustainability, but regenerativity. A completely different concept. A step beyond sustainability. Regenerativity means the land, the local Industries and the resources are not just sustained and maintained; they flourish. Leaders loved the concept!
To Build A Village was born from that beginning desire to make a regenerative difference in Haiti, and what we're doing today is a result of many collaborative efforts.
We hope you'll join us in making a difference.