Haiti Program Student Interns Present at 2020 Human Development Conference

The Haiti research abstracts from two Sewanee students, Crystal Ngo and Bernice Leveque have been accepted for the 2020 Human Development Conference at the University of Notre Dame. Their research consists of calculating the carbon sequestration from the tree farms in Bois Jolis, Haiti and determining the amount of carbon offset payments that originate from the… more →

Zanmi Kafe’ staff Dr. Deborah McGrath and S. Dixon Myers Present Haiti Program in Greenville, South Carolina

Biology Professor Deborah McGrath and S. Dixon Myers in the Office of Civic Engagement will be presenters at the 20th Anniversary of Partners in Agriculture (Zanmi Agrikol) in Greenville, S.C. February 21-22. 2020. Zanmi Agrikol has been an important partner in the development of Sewanee’s Zanmi Kafe’ program in Bois Jolis, Haiti. Zanmi Agrikol is… more →

Zanmi Kafe’ Continues Its Work Despite Political instability

Haiti’s political turmoil has created logistical problems for the international community’s efforts in engaging with relief and development organizations in this Caribbean nation. That has not disconnected the long-term relationship the resident farmers of Bois Jolis, Haiti and the University of the South have shared. “In the face of political instability, Zanmi Kafe’ (Friends in… more →

Responsive means Flexibility

Responding to change is often difficult but necessary in all aspects of our personal and work lives. Changing social and economic patterns in Haiti require us to constantly be aware of the micro and macro levels in which we operate and respond in this country’s environment. Communicating with our community partners and associates and maintaining… more →

Coffee in the Caribbean

This spring was difficult, our scheduled trip to Haiti on March 14th through the 25th of 2019 was canceled due to political violence. The student participants had prepared to spend time with Zanmi Kafe’ (Friends in Coffee) farmers in the Central Plateau of Haiti measuring plants and recording growth data. There was a scheduled visit… more →


Haiti interns Chris Hornsby and Cal Oakley with their donors, Rick and Willie Sommer. Photo by Stephen Priest. 

A few weeks ago I was given the honor of speaking at the Fairbanks Brunch, an annual event that gives summer scholarship recipients an opportunity to meet and thank their donors.

I am frequently amazed by the multi-faceted effects that philanthropy can have. Through the generous donations entrusted to the Haiti Institute in Sewanee, the program has gathered five years of data on the effects of carbon payments on tree survival, had its first coffee harvest, began a partnership with Singing Rooster, and touched the lives of many individuals and communities, mine included. After three years of work with this program, there is not much else I can say to touch on how profound and inspiring my experiences in Haiti have been.

Thank you to all who support us, whether it be through time, money, or encouraging thoughts.

Below, the speeches given by myself, another undergraduate student, and two students in the School of Theology.

Fairbanks Brunch 2018 – Student Speakers from University of the South on Vimeo.