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28755: Nekita (Comments) on post about college students and Haiti's tourism (fwd)
It has been a while since I read the comments or article about targeting
Haitian college students for Haitiâs tourist ventures. I donât recall exactly,
but I believe it was from Jacqui around the time of Haitiâs Tourist & Economy
Summit that occurred in Florida last June.
I was very glad that someone wrote about college students. However, before we
think of this population as contributors to tourism in Haiti, Haitians need
to provide outreach programs for college students in the United States,
Canada, or Europe. Education, Youth and particularly Haitian college students are
my frames of discourse in my monthly Boston Haitian Reporter(BHR) columns that
I have shared in Corbettâs line.
Last March , in an open letter format I reiterated in my BHR column
suggestions on tourism, Haiti's infrastructure, young people that I have been
addressing for more than a decade. I assume these columns posted here are in Bobâs
website, if not they could be found somewhere in < haitiforever.com, formerly
<windowsonhaiti.com>. I donât know if BostonHaitian.com , The Boston Haitian
Reporterâs website has an archive.
I have also suggested in other Haitian list serves that Haitian businesses,
the community and Haitians with disposable income could start investing in
programs that would do outreach and support young people and learning. I did not
get any feedback. I have tried asking in two Haitian list serves and
individuals in my address book to sponsor some Haitian youth to attend a National
Haitian Student conference last spring. No one responded. As an active person who
shares a lot of what I learn to the Haitian community, I asked both in the
radio and in some yahoogroups for the community and those who read my posts and
my columns to sponsor me to several institutes and conferences this summer. No
one replied either.
My point is Haitians may need to start investing in their human beings, in
their children, in young people, in the college population,in adult learning in
order to have the systemic change that we dream of.
In regards to bringing college students to Haiti, we Haitians need to provide
the structure, to develop a collective rapport with college campuses, and
learn the college student culture. We can do it because a significant number of
us from the first generation had gone to college and have a sense of what
college life entails though the times may be different. The Haitian community
would have to dispose and raise money to travel with college students. As a first
generation parent of two college students, I can attest after tuition is paid
that many parents and the students can not afford tourism. Bringing young
people to help in Haitiâs future and tourism would have to be a collective effort
that begins, grows, and nurtured right within the Haitian diasporic community.
An idea that came to mind and had written a prominent Haitian artist about it
is that the musicians and promoters who profit from bals ( a Creoglish
cognate) and concerts dispose a portion of their profits for youth endeavors in the
community. This is a money that is made from the Haitian community and is
given back to the youth of the community who go to those dances and purchase
CDâs, DVDâs, and videos.
In regards to writers, artists, painters who donât have a lot of money
either, I have suggested that business owners continue reinvesting their capitals in
the community to support creative people. For instance, besides Educa we need
more Haitian printing companies in the diaspora. A prominent Haitian business
person I wrote about investing in a printing company in the diaspora that
writers would run had not yet responded. Artists from all domains, writers, and
learners are a group of people that should not live in close to poverty and
that money should not be a barrier in their production and creativity.
Based on my life long experience growing up in the Haitian community while a
college student, âtargetingâ college students as a tourists in Haiti
requires giving back to the community, investing in learning, in human beings which
are areas that Haitians need to improve also in order to start seeing long
term structural changes in Haiti and active participation of this younger
generation in Haitiâs affairs.