Consistency is a luxury Haiti was never blessed with. What has persisted is the instinctual, innate ability of Haitian people to turn something seemingly ugly, into an incredible work of art. One could imagine that paint actually flows through the bloodlines of the Haitian people. Their colorful aesthetic pumping from some reservoir deep within the surrounding mountains spilling out into the streets, masking the broken houses and wildly painted taxis, or TapTaps as they’re called in Creole.
A few months ago, the Everywhere team organized a trip to Haiti for a first-hand look at the inner-workings of our client, Heart of Haiti, a line of home décor products made by artisans in Haiti and sold exclusively through Macy’s. A portion of the proceeds from the sales go back to the artists whose passion and creative expression go into each and every hand-made piece, allowing artisans to work in safe conditions while providing their families with food, shelter and education.
In November, we extended an invitation to our network of blogger friends and Heart of Haiti supporters to join us on a trip to Haiti to see how these artists live, work and heal post earthquake. Armed with inoculations, bug spray and reeking of anti-bacterial gel our group of five bloggers, two Everywhere staff members and one woman who functioned solely as our comic relief dubbed ourselves “Bloggers4Haiti”. Last week we ventured out with the belief and hope that through our reporting, we could make a difference.
“Bloggers4Haiti” represents a cast of characters from diverse backgrounds and countries bound together by a common thread of fierce independence and need to help others less fortunate. Together we encountered reflections of ourselves in Haiti: mothers, daughters, sisters and savvy business women. The strength of Haitian women inspired us, as they endure obstacles and tragedy that we could never imagine. They fight desperately to better their lives through talent and work ethic. A feat they face with an infectious spirit of hope and resilience.
While we continue to process and document the specifics of our journey, the “Bloggers4Haiti” begin to weave the tale that brought Haiti into our Hearts. You can read about our bloggers and their stories below:
Elena Soninno/Ciao Mom:
Elena began writing Ciao Mom in October 2009 to reflect on what it really means to be a cancer survivor, have a child, go through a divorce, fight the running/non running roller coaster, and find herself in love and getting remarried. Recently, she launched Just.Be.Enough.com in the hope of inspiring women, parents, and children to believe in themselves.
Jeannette is an award-winning bilingual and bicultural journalist parenting author and cofounder of Todobebé, Inc. Where she oversees all Todobebé parenting content and websites. She also co-hosts the Spanish-language network TV show “¡Viva la Familia! de Todobebé”
Leticia Barr/Tech Savvy Mama:
Leticia Barr writes a weekly column about technology and education for The LeapFrog Community and was one of the 30 original City Editors for Being Savvy Washington DC. She contributes to DC Metro Moms, a Silicon Valley Moms Blog site, and writes for The Washington Times. She uses her background in technology and education as the Community Manager for PBS Teachers, where she manages an online learning community of over 58,000 teachers.
Nadia Jones/Justice Jonesie:
A veteran blogger and social media enthusiast, Jonesie has blogged for more than five years at her group blog, Mamalaw.com, an award-winning parenting and lifestyle blog. Jonesie and her partners created MamaLaw Media Group and founded the largest social media conference devoted to celebrating diversity in social media Blogalicious Weekend , the MyBlogalicious Community, and The b-Link Marketing Network.A veteran blogger and social media enthusiast, Jone
Ana Flores/Spanglish Baby:
Ana co-founded SpanglishBaby, the online community for parents raising bilingual and bicultural kids, which was recently chosen as a Must Read Mom’s Blog by Parenting Magazine and featured on CNN en Español, PBS Parents, and BabyCenter, among others. Latina Bloggers Connect, her new venture has garnered clients such as Sprint, Kellogg´s, Clorox, Pine-Sol, WGBH, JOHNSON´s, Neutrogena, Maseca, Mary Kay and McDonald´s.
Jennifer James/Mom Bloggers For Social Good: