Thursday, April 26, 2012

Haiti-Leogane, 150 women for the sewing training!.

Hello again from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

As you maybe aware, it has been raining non stop for  two (2) days and more rain is on the way. I am very sad because a few people have lost their lives and also I am thinking about those living under the tents with no option whatsoever.
I have not been able to focus because I only have them in mind. I feel so powerless! I just wish things were different and I can just have a big place for all of them when the raining season is around. What to do?  What to do? Please help me to help them!

While in NY I was put in contact with an organization  here in Haiti but they are based in Leogane, a town located on Rte. National #2 going towards the South of the country. Early on Saturday morning I hit the road with my younger brother and the driver so I can get there at 10:00 am which was the time of my appointment with the ladies.
The president/founder of the organization is a Haitian woman who was living in the states for over 30 years, now back to her home town way before the earthquake to help those in need. She formed a Non profit organization called NEGES Foundation ( and a community Mon Petit Village (My little Town) where you can find almost practically everything. Please visit the site to learn more.
For the past few years the founder, Mrs Yolaine Gateau Esposito was able to build schools, herbs garden, restaurant, providing work for the families so they can help and support themselves, she is still doing so much and I am so proud to have been in contact with her.

The reason of my meeting with her: she have a group of 150 women interested in learning on how to sew and be able to make school uniforms and start on recycling to create items. Those women have no basic skills whatsoever, so I will need to start for the ground up and I am so ready. This is a great project and I am so looking forward to it.

Sharing a few pictures with you.
In the road to Leogane

Arriving at Mon Petit Village, Leogane

View of the Guest house and part of the area.

The building of the Restaurant

The schools

Part of the land, awaiting for some work.

The building of the Holistic house and treatment center.

The cultural house with the Haitian VEVE in the wall

Inside of the cultural house, a VEVE wall

From left to right: Deena Kolbert from Manhattan, Lisel Burns from Brooklyn and the lady herself Mrs. Yolaine Gateau Esposito

With the ladies.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Umbrella vs. NewsPaper Totes

Looking at the amount of old magazines and newspaper I have on top of all the junk mail I received weekly in my mail box, I wanted to try something new.
With my Junk mail I have been making buttons for my jackets and for my bags since October 2011. The process is very easy and a little bit challenging. To test the stability of the buttons I had to let them sit in water for 2 days just to see if something will happen. Nothing, Yes, so it was a go. I was thinking that I just need another way to make them look all fine and better.

These past few weeks I started making my Totes with all those News Paper, combine with the umbrellas and I can tell you that the results are stunning. I was so pleased. I took the bag with me a couple of times and the amount of interest I have is super remarkable. Of course I will let you judge by yourself and feel free to leave any comments. Thank you.

A combination of Recycled newspaper, cover with resin and discarded umbrellas. 
Fully lined with organic cotton with inside pockets.

Haiti-Tent City visit, Workshop

Since my arrival to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, I have been pretty busy not as much when I am in the States at my studio, but still busy. I guess I am just going to have to learn to relax, and get use to the slow process of things in the Island, my home town. It is not some form of complain, not at all, as a matter of fact I really do like the slow pace for a change.

I have not get back into sewing as yet but getting things ready, because I have been recycling quite a lot. What? Everything, anything I can get my hands on. There is so much here, you wont believe it, just wait and see when I post the pictures of my news items.

Well, let's not talk about my designs now, let's talk about my visits/meetings and what the next few months are going to be like for me.
First meeting with the director of coordination  from JPHRO ( This tent city as I have been told had an estimate of 50,000 people after the Earthquake and today still shelter close to 20,000 and those are the ones waiting to be relocated. They have a school, a clinic, lot of small businesses held by the people living there, a workshop and more. My meeting was to meet with the director, visit the workshop, meet  a few of the women working there, going over of what exactly this group of men and women have been doing and what kind of training and new ideas I can implement with the main focus, recycling.
A view of the school

Life in Tent city

The clinic

Life in Tent city
Life in tent city

 Right now the only thing they are doing and did receive a couple weeks of training for was to make paper beads jewelry.  The group consist of 40 women and 7 men and they all are making the recycling paper  beads jewelry. I can tell you they are pretty good but of course they want to learn to do other things and with the right equipment and materials on hand, yes it possible. With all the women and men still living in the tents we can and going to do much more than just paper beads.
Next month  the workshop will be moving from tent city to a new location in Petion-Ville and the ladies told me they just cannot wait and neither do I.
The workshop studio
The necklaces made from recycled paper

The bracelets and earrings made from recycled paper

Nathaniel, the young man supervising the work of the group and my next assistant.

That's it for now, more later.
Next my trip to Leogane (South)
Bye now from Port-au-Prince, Haiti sending you a lot of love!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My trip back home to Haiti Day 1 and 2

After a lot of stress of moving and shipping things for the past two weeks I made it  to my beautiful Caribbean Island home, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

After 3 hours flight from JFK to PAP, crazy tired I made a stop by one of the tents city on my way home to chat and took a couple of pictures. Most of the people have been relocated to a temporary/permanent home but we still have a few left and of course a ton of garbage, plastics and all left behind. The reason of my trip down there, to conduct training on how to recycle and creating jobs for the women and the support to open a school for the disadvantaged children in Kafou Chada!

 As you will notice the pile of plastics, tarp tents left behind and we know that plastics are not biodegradable, they can be sitting here for ages, causing more problem than before.

 Those 2 pictures above are the area call Petion-Ville. Driving by to go home.

 The road to Kenscoff, La Boule, Thomassin and more.

 Could not resist, look at them, those baby goats, so beautiful as you can see the mother is not too far away. Love nature!
Almost home, only 2 mns away.

Sunday afternoon 4:30 pm, we went for a little drive and made a stop at Pizza Garden since I have not been there for the past 18 years. Here with my niece wearing my glasses and  driving me crazy. Oh so good to be home.

Woke up this morning and decided to take a picture from my bedroom window.

Relaxing a bit as I have a load of work ahead for the next few days.

That's all for now, more later.
If you need to support and help the women and the kids in Haiti please visit my campaign at and make a donation. Need your help dearly and we running out of time. The raining season has started as you may know and it already caused a lot of damages. Together let's try to help and support those in need. We still need your help and support. Thank you.