Our teams work together with a growing network of teachers, educators, and community volunteers. This page is a Who’s-Who in our MIIS-Haiti Community.
Where is Hinche?
Hinche is on the southern edge of the Central Plateau, a long valley between the Massif du Nord, to the north, and the Montagne Noire, to the south.The city is on the right side of the River Guayamouc, a tributary of the River Artibonite. Hinche was founded in 1704 with families that came from the Canary Islands; it took the Taíno name of the region: Hincha. The French people changed the name to Hinche but in Spanish it is still Hincha. At that time, the region was part of the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic). After the Haitian Revolution, in the early 19th century, this region became part of the new Republic of Haiti but the Dominican Republic accepted the transfer of the region to Haiti only in 1929. (Wikipedia)
St. André’s School
Assistance to St. André’s began in the 1970s with its partner church, St. Dunstan’s of Carmel Valley. In 1994 the church reinvigorated this ministry; at that time, there were 37 students in grades 1, 2 and 3 studying in “classrooms” without walls under a sheet metal roof. St. André’s now educates more than 900 students, from nursery school through 13th grade, in a modern building financed by Hinche Haiti Partners for Education of St. Dunstan’s.Over the years, St. Dunstan’s has invested well over $1 million to fund its accomplishments:
- Daily hot meal provided to students and staff, assisted by Stop Hunger Now
- Monthly allowance to supplement with locally grown meat and vegetables
- However, most of that money is used for supporting cooks and teachers.
- Construction of modern, reinforced concrete buildings
- Installation of solar and diesel electric generating systems
- Drilling of water wells
- Computers and computer lab with Internet access
- Purchase of considerable amounts of land and other capital assets
- Recent graduates studying medicine and intending to return to Hinche; others in or headed for engineering school, the priesthood, and government service.
- In 2012, the Haiti Ministry of Education reported that more than 90% of the students in grades 6, 10 and 13 passed the national exams.
- Design and installation of an appropriate sanitation system including a large, 25,000-gallon concrete septic tank and new toilets with separate facilities for boys and girls.
In spring of 2013, a meeting between Karen Noé of Stop Hunger Now, Lisa Donohoe Luscombe of MIIS and some of the Hinche Haiti Partners from St. Dunstan’s met to discuss how MIIS could be involved. The conversation quickly turned to the need for enhanced English language instruction at the school. Since that time, two teams of students have traveled to St. André’s to work with students and teachers at the school and in the community.
Pére Noé, Priest-in-Charge
Reverend Noé Bernier is the priest-in-charge at St. André’s. Since his arrival in August of 2013, Pére Noé has reconstructed the church, built new classrooms to replace old, lean-to constructions, began constructing a computer lab, and re-organized the lunch program and academic programs, among many other achievements. Pére Noé is in charge of 10 schools in the region, and travels to all of them on a regular basis, heading up construction projects and doing other things to improve education in the Central Plateau.
This is Noe and his wife, Sherly, when they visited Monterey and Carmel in spring 2014.
St. André’s enrolls more than 1200 students, from pre-school to 13th grade. Classes are large, ranging from 30 to 80 kids in a classroom. The students receive a meal everyday at school. The school is considered one of the best in the Central Plateau.
Evens Israel, English Teacher, St. André’s
Evens teaches English to grades 7-13 at St. André’s. He also teaches at the Catholic School in Hinche, and he has his own school down the street from St. André’s where he teaches adults in the community. Everyone in town knows Evens, and they were likely one of his students at one time or another.
Linda, English Teacher, St. André’s
Linda is a new English teacher at St. Andre’s, hired to teach the lower grades, 1-6. She recently had a baby, and is on schedule to begin teaching in January of 2015.
Teachers in the Community
English teachers in the community are shown here meeting with Lisa in October 2014. From left: Marc Arthur Esperance, Supréme, Shester Severe, Neilson, Evens Israel. There are other teachers who take part in our teacher workshops. We need more pictures in order to show everyone!
After teacher training workshop with J-term 2014.
Zamen and Antoinette
Zamen (L) is the housekeeper in the rectory at St. André’s, and Antoinette (R) is the cook extraordinaire. They are both beautiful and warm women who take care of all the travelers and visitors who come to St. André’s. When the water pump was broken, Zamen brought us buckets of water in the morning for bathing.
Etienne and Yolette
Etienne is an administrator at St. André’s and Yolette runs the beverages store adjacent to the school. They have three daughters who attend St. André’s, and they are very hospitable to our teams when they travel there.