|The marching band "Fanfa" followed by a long |
line of HTRIP project participants marching down
the National Route 1 towards Le Palace.
May must be the most exciting month of the year for HTRIP. The rains bring a verdant vibrancy to the Artibonite Valley, tree plantings are beginning, and all 1,225 program participants rejoiced in one of two large graduation ceremonies. May 1st is a Haitian national holiday that recognizes agricultural work, so it seems fitting that HTRIP hosts its first celebration this day each year. We have grown too large for just one ceremony to host all our communities, so the 32 communities closest to the valley were invited to Le Palace in Desarmes to participate in the first ceremony May 1st, while the following Sunday’s ceremony at the HAS dispensary in Bastien hosted the remaining 14 mountain communities.
|The festivities continue the following Sunday, May 6th. HTRIP's mountain |
communities follow the marching band and parade into the Bastien Dispensary.
Can you spot HTRIP co-founder Starry Sprenkle?
April is the final round of monthly education sessions that started the preceding year in July. If HTRIP participants attend seven or more of the ten education sessions, they will graduate our program. Although we invite all program participants to the graduation ceremonies, it is only those who will graduate who receive a certificate with their name on it in addition to a germinated coconut tree ready to be planted. The certificates are prized by many program participants who might not have had the opportunity to receive something similar in school.
|Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Managing Director, |
Ian Rawson addresses the crowd to congratulate
them on their dedicated work.
The weather could not have been better and there was no shortage of food or drink at either ceremony. Planning the events poses quite the logistical challenge and was started a month in advance. Luckily for the HTRIP Program Manager, HTRIP technician Marielle Pharelus has several years of experience purchasing food for such events and HTRIP coordinator Antione Frantz handled the transportation superbly. Additionally, the entire HTRIP staff worked together seamlessly to allow the events to run smoothly during each ceremony.
|HTRIP graduates make music for the singing |
and dancing that marks the end of the ceremony.
As always, the HTRIP staff appreciates and is grateful for the support of our donors, we only wish that next year we will see some of your faces at our graduation ceremonies.
The HTRIP Staff,
including Starry Sprenkle, Ross Bernet, Jack Devine, and Uma Bhandara