Forte Liberte Solar Project



On April 5, Andy Whipple, an amazing, generous and fearless man who happens to be a part owner of Atlasta Solar in Grand Junction, Colorado came to Forte Liberte to install a solar pump which he donated. Andy was joined by Colin Geery, a technician from Atlasta Solar and Colin Weller (another Colin) who  is an optician from Flagstaff Arizona. Jean Paradis joined the group with Pam Gores from Plainwell Michigan.

The well had been dug the week before and was waiting for the pump. The water will be used to irrigate the land for a community garden and also to water the goats who are sharing the garden space. The goats are given in pairs to families and after a year, the families return two goats and so it goes....self sustaining food! Goats usually have two deliveries a year and ususally two kids at a time.

Andy and Colin G installed the pump in two days! They had some help from neighboring children, especially when Andy had his lollipops.

Meanwhi;e, Colin W was doing eye screening with Pam and Jean as his assistants. In two and a half days almost two hundred people were seen. People had to be turned away due to time constraints. Colin brought readers and they were greatfully accepted. A woman brought her Bible so she could check the strength of her new glasses. Over 20% of the people had cataracts....we even saw a woman 100 years old! Many people had irritated eyes from the dust and the sun. We ran out of sunglasses on the first day. There is a need for an ophthalmologist or two to visit.

After working, we would walk to the Caribbean Sea and have a swim.....the water was like bath water, but felt wonderful. The walk was only about 5 blocks to the sea. It was a wonderful experience for everyone....full of laughter, hard work and fun.

Thank you to all our donors who made this possible.


January 13, 2017 Sewing School

Kristi Smith, Corky Terry and Jean arrived in Cap Haititan January 13 and were met by Father Leonex who is a Holy Cross priest. Father is the principal of Sainte Eugene de Mazenrod School in Forte Liberte. Corky and I had met him when we were visiting in September. Cork was able to send 30 tablet computers for his school which were donated by Denver Tech for All. Father Leonex picked us up as Father Adrien was in the Domincan Republic on a mission.

Kristi was impressed with our hotel and its close proximity to the school. Early that evening we met with Denex and his brother Edy who assessed our school and measured for shelving and the three tables for the sewing machines. The next day, the technician,Edam who makes the shelves and table tops arrived and measured again. We walked with Edam to the hardware store to buy was a little over a mile and sunny and WARM! Edam completed the shelves the next day and the day after that the table top was completed...all with varnish finishes.

Our original teacher moved to Chile to be with her husband so Ms. Lede was recommended. She was interviewed and we decided she'd be great. She has her own sewing business and is very experienced and skilled at sewing. The classes will be in the afternoon three days a week, to accomodate Ms.  Lede's schedule. Ms. Lede was able to meet with Kristi to go over lessonplans and the working of the new Janome machines. The electricity in Forte Liberte is not reliable and strong enojgh for the school, consequently we have to use a generator. The problem with the generator is the cost of fuel and the noise, but the sewing machines is a trade off. It owuld be wonderful to put solar in...on our wish list.

Five students started on Monday January 23,2017. The first day they learned how to thread the machine and sewing in straight lines. Kristi had small projects for the women to practice their skills and they seemed to enjoy the experience. Most of the fabric the students sewed on came from the Linen Kist in Avon Colorado and from Brenn Luff of Grand Junction Colorado and it is most appreciated!

We had a goat dinner to celebrate the school that evening. Everyone is happy with the project! 

Sewing Video

Forte Liberte Visit

September 2016 Visit



On September 4, 2016 Corky Terry and Jean flew to Cap Haitian. The airport was much different than Port Au Prince......calmer and nobody clammering to carry our luggage. We were met by Father Adrien Pierre. The drive from Cap Haitian to Forte Liberte took about forty minutes. The roads were hard surfaced and good. The area is agricultural, we passed many mango groves and sweet potato fields. The people on this part of Haiti appear taller and healthier. We did not notice the rust colored hair in children which indicates malnutrition.

We stayed at the Palace Hotel which was about 6 blocks from the beach! We would walk there in the evening and the water was so warm. There were a few families swimming.  The Palace Hotel was brand new, The third floor was being completed while we were there. We stayed on the second floor and had a room, with bath ,fan and screens on the windows. In the mornings, we would have breakfast and be on our way with Father Adrien as our guide.

We determined a sewing school would be a good project. With Father Adrien's help we found a a space that has 2 rooms plus a bathroom and electricity. The space has about 6 windows, so lots of light. The rent will be $800.00 a year. We met a woman whose name is Metellus Ange-Guitie who will be our sewing instructor. Currently she makes school uniforms for primary and secondary school and nursing unforms for student nurses. She  has an electric sewing machine at her house, a Kenmore. We were able to see her work. She wants to be the instructor. She reads French; all of the patterns have French instructions.

We met Edy and Denex Etienne who are brothers and engineers. They want to volunteer with Father Adrien to help out in a solar pump at a piece of land where crops can be grown and goats are pastured. Andy Whipple of Atlasta Solar in Grand Junction Colorado plans to donate and install the pump in the spring of 2017. Denex can be a big help for Andy as much of the equipment can now be purchased in Haiti, saving lots of money on shipping. 

One day we went to the border of the Dominican Republic and was chaos! 

Father helps many families with tuition for school, it costs $200.00 a year to go to school in Haiti plus uniforms are required. We met some of the families. It was wonderful to see these appreciative people. Father gives a family 2 goats and at the end of the year the family returns 2 offspring goats to Father and so it continues feeding the poor in a sustainable way.

We puchased 5 Janome electric sewing machines and have been given lots of fabric and sewing accessories and are ready to go. Kristi Smith will be teaching the classes as she did in the first sewing school we started. Kristi is an amazing teacher and skilled sewer with a tremendous amount of patience. We are going on Friday January 13, 2017 and hopefully Corky can join us. We will be there for 10 days......prayers and donations appreciated!

God's Mapquest


January 2015



Jean was planning her return trip to the sewing school (Lekol Koutur) and needed to have the business plan for the school translated into Creole. At the time Jean and Tom were in southwest Florida and Jean knew of a parish in Naples, St. Peter the Apostle Church which has an outreach for Haitians. Jean went to the parish office to ask about a Creole speaker and she was introduced to Father Adrien Pierre, a Haitian priest!

Father at that time was an associate Pastor at the church and performed Masses in Creole on Sunday afternoons in addition to Masses in English at other times. Father, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest ( was ordained in 1998. Father’s current mission is to the prison population of southwest Florida. He is fluent in Spanish, Creole, French and English. How wonderful for Help Haiti to have this talent translating! Father also has a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from Fordham University.

Visiting with Father, we learned that he was born in Fort Liberte Haiti which is in the northeast near Cap Haitian. He has 2 sisters and 2 brothers. His mother lives in Montreal. His father is deceased.

The poor of Haiti are in Father’s heart. He is supporting twenty orphan children in Fort Liberte who are currently in foster homes. Father has started Fondation de la Maison de la Lumiere (Lighthouse Foundation for Youth of Fort Liberte).

His goal is to build an orphanage to house the children and establish a vocational/technical school. He has purchased land and a wall around the land is under construction.

Father has many friends in the US who are willing to donate to his project, but would like to have the tax advantages that can come with donating to a charity. Help Haiti is able to set up a separate banking account for Father using Help Haiti’s 501©3. We consulted with our CPA and have become registered in Florida. Help Haiti’s address in Florida is: 3690 Seagrape Avenue

                                                                              Naples, FL 34104

We look forward to working with Father and hope to see his project. There are direct flights to Cap Haitian from Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale which can be easy, not having to go through Port Au Prince and all its chaos (still happening). Pictures will be added soon.