Haiti Is Not What You Think

Le Flambeau Foundation , Inc. – April 3, 2024

We’re thrilled to have launched a new series that amplifies the voices of our Le Flambeau Foundation Board of Directors! Each member brings unique perspectives and unwavering dedication to our mission. They share a deep commitment to empowering Haitian youth through education, recognizing the transformative power of opportunity.  Dive into the series with our second article, authored by founding Board Director Joseph Puchner. His insights are sure to inspire you. Take a read…

Haiti is not what you think.  by Joseph Puchner.

Haiti is not what you think.  There is poverty, yes – but also great charm and beauty. And above all, surprises.

In my case, it all started with the great surprise of being assigned to Port-au-Prince as a junior Foreign Service officer in the early 1990s.  I had pretty much packed my bags for newly liberated Eastern Europe – or possibly, as a fallback, to any of a number of sunny South American capitals. Well I never made it that far east or south, thanks to the State Department’s assignment board apparently getting my file mixed up with someone else’s.

It turned out great! Port-au-Prince was actually an excellent assignment for a young diplomat – fulfilling the adage that you want to be posted where the weather is hot, the geopolitics are hot and the beer is cold. Haiti rung up a perfect 3-for-3! Every day brought something new – sometimes heart-rending, often inspirational. In either case, very often with a smile.

There are any number of clichés about people who “do a lot with a little”. It couldn’t be more true than in Haiti. That is why the educational efforts of Le Flambeau Foundation are so important.  Education is highly valued and respected in Haiti – it just isn’t very accessible. We used to “joke” that Haitian kids would give their right arm to go to the worst-performing public school in America – and that was probably true.

It is the mission of the Le Flambeau Foundation to provide educational opportunities in Haiti – so the next generation can succeed, with both arms!




### How to Get Involved

There are a number of ways to get involved with the  Le Flambeau Foundation  . As a supporter, you can donate to the foundation, volunteer your time, or become a mentor to a young person in Haiti.  Feel free to contact us by clicking here.