Watch video from Jacmel, the Artistic City in Haiti.

Jacmel, the Artistic City in Haiti

In 2012, ChildsPlay International undertook a project in Jacmel, Haiti, a coastal city known for its extravagant celebration of Carnival. CPI teamed up with Didier Civil, a celebrated Haitian painter and papier-mâché artist.

Beyond competence, Didier had access to a constituency that we wanted to reach: children eager to learn. Through Didier, we hoped to help these kids recover a sense of normalcy after twin crises (a massive 2010 earthquake and subsequent hurricane) had upended their lives. In Haiti, mask-making is normal. For children, it’s a sort of rite de passage and a prominent feature of the culture at large.

Didier Civil was eager to pass on his skills and CPI provided him means to help preserve Haitian culture. During the CPI Jacmel project, we focused on mask-making styles, techniques and assignments for the upcoming annual Carnival. Dance, song, role playing and traditional games were an important part of the venture.

In Jacmel, like everywhere in Haiti, people struggle with extreme poverty compounded by repeated hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. But the people are remarkably resilient!

Children of 6-14 arrived unaccompanied. They listened and learned; painted masks; and displayed a joyous creativity. We provided materials, and also involved the children in sports and games.

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Image Gallery Haiti

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