Summer in Haiti is dominated by the “Fèt Champèt,” an annual town festival centered around a patron saint. The Fèt Champèt for each town means a celebration for their patron saint with multiple days of music, dancing, games, great food and bustling markets, accompanied often by vodou festivities on the perimeters. Since this occurs during summer vacation, thousands of Haitians are able to attend the Fèt Champèts each year.
This year, SOIL is celebrating Fèt Champèts by unveiling our new mobile toilets. These converted Port-o-Potties use ecological sanitation (EcoSan) technology and provide festival-goers with a safe and hygienic place to use the loo. We are particularly thrilled that Haitian artist “Pouchon,” Hansley Brutus from Citè Lescot, agreed to graffiti-paint our toilets, making them the prettiest potties we’ve ever seen – check out the photos below!
For a few of the Fèt Champèts, we are working in conjunction with the Scouts d’Haiti, the national scouting organization, to provide sanitation services. In addition to the traditional scouting programs, the Scouts d’Haiti are involved in development projects including environmental protection, AIDS prevention, and civil service. Over the past year, along with the usual sanitation programs, SOIL has also worked closely with the Scouts to implement reforestation projects in northern Haiti.
So far, SOIL has been busy with the Fèt Champèts in the towns of Caracol and Limonade, with Cap Haïtien coming up. Between the first two festivals we set up 17 mobile toilets over a total of five days and collected 40 five-gallon buckets of poop. That means a lot of happy party-goers and a lot compost!