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Another Haiti is Possible Trip Report

Tet Kole

Tet Kole Ti Peyizan (Small Farmer Heads Together) is a powerful peasant land rights movement with members across nearly all the provinces of Haiti.   

The Haitian social movement Tet Kole is on the move. An hour up mountain from the new Tet Kole training center being built in the municipality of Monwi, in Artibonite, there is a hamlet called Pyat. On March 12, 2017 the Tet Kole peasant organization of Pyat held a commemoration of a massacre that took the lives of 11 and burnt more than 300 homes of members of that organization, a fateful event that took place on March 12, 1990, an event provoked by a land grab by a well-heeled Haitian landlord. It was the 27th anniversary of that fateful day. I attended the commemoration as an invited guest, along with members of the Dessalines Brigade, a Via Campesina solidarity collective that has been supporting the peasant movements of Haiti. Tet Kole executive director Rosnel Jean-Baptiste opened a "political juncture" analysis for the benefit of all present and several peasants participated with diverse perspectives. After the debate, the entire community marched from the church where the debate took place across the hamlet to the cemetery. The energy of the march was contagious, and both celebratory and sobering, given the lack of justice for those who died or lost their homes 27 years ago. Encouraging signs abounded, not least of which was the high energy and happiness of the participants. We passed an extraordinary irrigation system in the middle of Pyat where watercress was being produced in a kind of natural hydroponic system. Tired and fatigued from the long hot march, some of us completed the commemoration with a ritual bath in the cold spring water fed by the watercress terraces. Talk about feeling fresh! 

Linguistic Political Exchange Program

As part of the Another Haiti is Possible program Other Worlds is organizing with Haitian rural and urban partners a linguistic and political exchange program. Youthful Haitian social movement leaders will learn Spanish and immerse in sister social movements as they function in organized communities. The multi-pronged program is due to be launched in the month of May with preliminary Spanish classes prior to the first international exchange being planned. The overarching goal is to bridge the historic isolation of many Haitian organizations from the rest of Latin America due to geographic and linguistic barriers. Stay tuned as this program is launched with a representative Haitian coordinating committee moving the process along.  

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