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jeudi 26 février 2015

Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel Opens in Haiti

 • February, 25 2015
The new Marriott Port-au-Prince Haiti Marriott Hotel today checked in its first guests. Among the 200 new Haitian hotel workers who welcomed them were young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Haitian-Americans who want to share their hospitality skills to help boost Haiti’s tourism economy. The new Marriott Port-au-Prince Haiti Marriott Hotel today checked in its first guests.
Among the 200 new Haitian hotel workers who welcomed them were young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Haitian-Americans who want to share their hospitality skills to help boost Haiti’s tourism economy.
The stories of these new associates include Luccardo, who was recruited to work at the hotel’s front desk from the Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs orphanage, and Hermine, who was part of the hotel’s intern program and will be an entry-level supervisor. In addition to members of a Haitian-American executive team, the Haiti Marriott is led by a veteran Marriott general manager who was previously at the Marriott Champs Elysees in Paris.
 Joined today by Haiti President Michel Martelly and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a celebration ceremony, Digicel Group Chairman and Founder Denis O'Brien and Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) President - Caribbean; Latin America Region Craig S. Smith thanked the Kier Construction Company workers, sub-contractors and skilled Haitian construction workers who built the hotel and the Marriott associates who will host its guests.
The hotel officially opens March 1st. A formal grand opening event is planned for June.
The journey to build the Marriott Port-au-Prince began four years ago when Marriott International reached out to the Clinton Foundation to propose a new hotel to help Haiti rebuild its tourism industry after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
The company found an eager partner in Digicel Group, which has invested US$45 million to build the 175-room hotel. “The opening of the Marriott Port-au-Prince is an important milestone as the people of Haiti work to revitalize and diversify their economy,” said President Bill Clinton.
 "I am grateful to Marriott and Digicel for their commitment to this project, and hope that its success will inspire further investment and opportunity in Haiti.”
 The Clinton Foundation worked closely with Marriott and Digicel Group to develop the hotel project.
The Foundation visited proposed construction sites with the parties, facilitated introductions to the Haitian government and the Haitian Tourism Association, and encouraged all parties to use the hotel as an opportunity to create an economic anchor for the community.
In addition to creating good, sustainable jobs for Haitians, the hotel incorporates Haitian art and artisan products into the hotel’s design and integrates green technologies such as solar to reduce the hotel’s environmental footprint.
The Clinton Foundation also worked closely with Marriott and Digicel Group to identify and contract with Haitian entrepreneurs, small businesses and agricultural cooperatives that could provide goods and services to the hotel.
This local procurement component has been an important aspect of the hotel’s development for all parties. Digicel Group and its Chairman, Mr. O’Brien, are committed to attracting foreign direct investment to Haiti and to helping the country rebuild in the wake of the earthquake.
 Mr. O’Brien is Founder and Patron of the Digicel Foundation, which to date has constructed 150 schools in Haiti, and rebuilt the iconic Iron Market in Port-au-Prince.
He is also the Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Action Network and has been instrumental in driving the activity of 80 support organizations in Haiti to deliver on their commitments.
 “All along, we’ve said that we were committed to Haiti’s recovery and to delivering on its potential as a great place to invest, and as such, we are thrilled to be opening the doors of the Marriott Port-au-Prince here today,” said Mr. O’Brien.
 “We hope that the opening of the hotel will signal that Haiti is truly open for business and is ready to welcome investors and travelers alike.”
TDSA, the development company established by Digicel, managed the design/build contract and chose Marriott International’s flagship Marriott Hotels brand as its operating partner under a long-term management agreement.
The hotel created more than 1,100 jobs throughout the construction stage. Marriott’s interest in investing in Haiti was inspired in part by its associates, including thousands of Haitian-Americans who, after the earthquake, urged the company to help Haiti rebuild by planting the Marriott flag.
Said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International President and CEO, “We believe we can make a difference in Haiti by promoting tourism, and developing local talent that can help lift this country, over time, back to being one of the top travel destinations in the Caribbean.” Through this project, Marriott is demonstrating how a hotel can be a model for social innovation and community investment. Working with Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, Marriott selected 8 Haitian youth to train in hospitality operations at the new JW Marriott® Hotel Santo Domingo.
The youth recently returned to Haiti after their 12-week internship in Santo Domingo and have been hired as entry-level supervisors at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel.
 Marriott is also collaborating with Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism and World Central Kitchen to build the skills and training of Haiti’s hospitality workforce through newly designed hospitality curriculum for local culinary students.
 Marriott has provided funding to help support the innovative new program, which is currently being delivered to its first culinary class of nearly 40 students in a school located near the Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince.
 The program will be expanded when a new Ecole Hotelier, currently under construction, is completed in 2015.
 In addition to the 200 new hotel jobs and hospitality training, the hotel is sourcing goods, food and amenities from local small businesses, social enterprises, farms and Haitian artisans.
The unique craftsmanship of more than a dozen Haitian-based artisans, including the hotel’s art curator, Philippe Dodard, is showcased throughout the hotel’s guest rooms, corridors, great room, conference areas, restaurant and courtyard.
From signature metalworks, paper mache masks and voodoo flags, to contemporary photography and stone and wood sculptures using natural and recycled materials, the deep, vibrant art culture of Haiti is on display.
The hotel will also feature weekly art markets where guests can purchase art from local artists on the hotel grounds.
TOMS is a key supplier to the Marriott Port-au-Prince, with the company providing custom-designed shoes made in Haiti for each of the hotel’s staff. Additionally, TOMS is producing shoes in Haiti as part of its commitment to help establish and support a responsible shoe industry in the country. As a locally staffed and operated facility, TOMS and its manufacturing partner, LXJ Golden Pacific, economically empower individuals while giving international businesses an opportunity to invest in Haiti’s future.
Marriott Port-au-Prince is sourcing 100 percent of its coffee from Haitian company, Rebo Coffee, which employs several hundred women who carefully select the beans for quality. Rebo is a socially responsible business that is investing in agricultural and financial training for small and independent farmers.
 Marriott Port-au-Prince is pleased to be the first hotel in Haiti to source produce from Afe Neg Combite, a Kenscoff-based co-op made up of 5,500 farmers employing a total of 8,000 people. Marriott’s procurement team has been working with the farmers for more than a year to help them produce, package and transport fruits and vegetables in ways that meet the quality, yield and lower waste standards of the hospitality industry. The hotel is sourcing sustainable, fair-trade soaps and amenities from local producer Ayiti Natives.
 The products are made by Haitians using local Haitian herbs, nuts and fruits. Ayiti Natives was founded by Caroline Sada, a Haitian American social entrepreneur who left a job with a well-known U.S. cosmetics company after the Haiti earthquake struck – she wanted to give back to the local community. All of her employees are women, and most come from the most destitute villages in Haiti.
The Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince was sustainably designed and constructed, providing stand-alone utility services while applying energy efficient building technologies.
Its features include:
 • A densely insulated building envelope, with low solar gain glazing complemented with additional direct sun screens;
 • A high-efficient energy plant producing 6 megawatts of electricity from 6 x 1100kw diesel generators. The plant is connected to a 1 megawatt solar farm located near the site;
 • On-site water storage and treatment systems to provide for a five-day water supply; 60 percent of the hotel’s hot water supply is provided through thermal solar panels installed on the roof;
 • A 60,000 gallon waste water treatment plant; and
 • A state-of-the -art space cooling plant with all building services controlled by a central building management system.
 “Merci, merci,” said Haiti Minister of Tourism Stéphanie Villedrouin.
 “Marriott International and Digicel Group’s dedication to completing this project is to be commended. The opening of this hotel is a huge vote of confidence in the future economic viability of Haiti.
The Marriott Port-au-Prince, which will be located in the Haut Turgeau area of the city, will offer 170 rooms including 5 suites with Marriott’s signature amenities and features, including premium bedding, high-speed Internet (LAN and wireless) and flat-screen televisions.
 Dining options will include La Sirene Restaurant, a casual restaurant and La Sirene Bar, a lobby bar and lounge and 24-hour room service.
 The hotel will include about 604 square meters (6,501 square feet) of flexible meeting space, a 150-square-meter (1,614-square-foot) fitness center, swimming pool, and sundries shop/marketplace. About Digicel Group: Digicel Group is a total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After almost 14 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide.
The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions.
 Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the presenting partner of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.
Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programs. Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners. http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article82326.html

lundi 23 février 2015

Bahamas Told to Improve Conditions at Center Housing Haitian Immigrants

An international human rights commission has told the Bahamas that it must take measures to protect people housed at the country’s detention center for immigrants, where a “serious and urgent situation” places migrants’ “lives and physical integrity at risk.”
Human rights groups have accused the government of housing mostly Haitian immigrants in inhumane conditions at the Carmichael Road Detention Center in Nassau, the capital.
Migrants incarcerated there were not given fresh clothing, women lacked feminine hygiene products, and there is a single functioning toilet for all the men, according to a complaint filed in December by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in Washington and the Caribbean Institute for Human Rights in Puerto Rico.
The critical remarks, part of a resolution by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States, follow the introduction of new immigration policies in the Bahamas that have been criticized internationally.
According to a strict new immigration policy, schoolchildren like these two friends of Haitian descent who were born in the Bahamas will be required to have a student residency permit to attend school next fall.Immigration Rules in Bahamas Sweep Up HaitiansJAN. 30, 2015
In an effort to suppress illegal immigration, in November the Bahamas enacted new rules requiring noncitizens, including those born in the Bahamas, to obtain passports from their parents’ country of origin. Hundreds of people, including some born on the islands, have been detained in sweeps targeting Haitian neighborhoods.
One Haitian woman gave birth on the detention room floor after the authorities at the center gave her injections to delay her contractions, the human rights groups said.
On Friday, the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said in a statement that it was reviewing the commission’s findings but it reiterated the government’s rejection of the accusations. “We believe that many of the concerns are overstated and inaccurate,” the ministry said, describing them as “based on untested tendentious anecdotal material.”
In a previous statement, the ministry said that activists had staged events to unfairly present some people as victims.
“Victimhood is often a practiced art,” the government statement said in response to a report on the new immigration approach published last month by The New York Times.
“Often the stories told are exaggerated, outright false and many times self-serving,” the statement said. “It is not the policy of the government to violate the rights of any individual and at all material times this country will act in a manner consonant with its international obligations toward children and the stateless. We make no apology, however, for enforcing the laws and protecting its borders in the national interest and in the interests of the Bahamian people.”
The commission said it had asked the government to provide hygienic conditions and adequate medical treatment to detainees. The commission also asked for measures to address overcrowding and the special needs of unaccompanied children.
The O.A.S. also scheduled a hearing next month to discuss the Bahamas’ new immigration policies.
“It is not very common for the commission to grant these kinds of precautionary measures. It is very serious,” said Santiago A. Canton, executive director of RFK Partners for Human Rights, a program of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Ninety-nine percent of the people at that center are Haitians, and this is also important because it is related to the situation of vulnerability of the Haitian people everywhere.”
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/world/americas/bahamas-told-to-improve-conditions-at-center-housing-haitian-immigrants.html?_r=0

Digicel targets US company with lawsuit and enlists Haitian police

O’Brien-owned telecoms firm enlists Haitian police to investigate alleged fraud
Mark Paul
Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 01:15
First published:Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 01:15
Digicel, the Caribbean mobile phone company owned by Denis O’Brien, has stepped up its war on internet telephony firms it accuses of profiting from a “free ride” on its networks by not paying fees to connect with its customers.
Digicel has launched a lawsuit in the United States alleging that an internet telecoms company has been engaged in a multimillion-dollar organised crime racket designed to defraud its unit in Haiti, one of the largest and most most profitable parts of Digicel’s empire.
According to recent court filings, Mr O’Brien’s company enlisted the help of the Haitian police to help it investigate the alleged “bypass fraud”. It says this is being carried out by UPM Telecom, an Oregon internet telephony group that has yet to respond to the allegations.
Haitian police have arrested people in Haiti that Digicel described in the court documents as “co-conspirators” of UPM.
Evidence
The police investigation, Digicel told the court, had also turned up evidence of wire transfers between UPM executives and the “co-conspirators” in Haiti, as well as copies of shipping documents that it claims prove the US company has targeted it for bypass fraud.
Mr O’Brien’s company has also hired private investigators Shields Crime and Security Consultants to help it investigate the fraud allegations.
Normally, when one telecoms company connects a call to a customer of another network, the receiving network is paid a “termination fee”. Digicel has long harboured a grievance against companies which offer cheap or even free calls over the web without paying it termination fees.
Lobbying The government in Jamaica, for example, where Digicel has its headquarters, recently said it would regulate the activities of internet telephony companies following lobbying by Digicel and others.
In Haiti, termination fees are at 23 cents per minute – 18 cents for receiving networks like Digicel and a five cent levy towards a state education fund.
Digicel has accused UPM of bypassing its Haitian systems to terminate international calls on its network for free using a sophisticated technique.
It has submitted to the US court what it claims is evidence UPM sent its Haitian alleged “co-conspirators” equipment to engage in bypass fraud. It has also submitted documents it says show Digicel Sim cards were shipped to it from Haiti.
It is now suing UPM for punitive damages in Oregon and has also invoked claims under Rico racketeering laws, which were originally enacted in the fight against organised crime. UPM could be not reached for comment.
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/digicel-targets-us-company-with-lawsuit-and-enlists-haitian-police-1.2113070

mercredi 18 février 2015

HUMANISONS-NOUS

Les anciens du Centre d’Etudes Secondaires, plus particulièrement ceux qui ont connu le triptyque légendaire qui a constitué pendant longtemps la direction de cet établissement scolaire se rappelleront les rengaines de Monsieur Claude, Jean Claude qui nous invitait sans cesse à nous « humaniser ».
A l’époque, il nous invectivait quand il nous surprenait entrain de nous exprimer en créole sur la cour de l’école. Son faciès grimaçant loin d’être effrayant provoquait de l’hilarité surtout quand il nous conseillait de nous exprimer en « langue humaine ». Il faisait référence simplement à la langue française.
Tous les élèves de l’école étaient au courant de l’amour que Monsieur Claude professait à Jacmel, à Paris et à la langue française. Chaque fois qu’il m’est venu à l’idée d’écrire une réflexion autour d’un fait, d’une action, d’un accident ou d’un incident au sein de la famille haïtienne, cette rengaine me vint à l’esprit.
Souvent je me sens habité par cette sensation désagréable qui me pousse à penser que nous autres les haïtiens, en dépit des apparences, nous avons du mal à valoriser les éléments fondamentaux et corolaires qui vont de pair avec notre appartenance à l’espèce humaine.
L’absence de ces éléments constitue de vrais obstacles à des aboutissements qui trouvent leurs bases théoriques dans des termes comme avancement, progrès, développement.
Tous les comportements jugés aberrants et illogiques semblent tenir leur genèse dans ce constat.
Dernièrement, une très bonne amie avait écarquillé les yeux pour trouver le rapport entre un appel à l’humanisation que j’avais lancé comme commentaire à je ne sais plus quel comportement par elle dénoncé.
Aujourd’hui je reviens avec une invitation similaire après avoir appris la nouvelle de la tragédie survenue lors du défilé du deuxième jour du carnaval haïtien dans sa cuvée 2015.
Entre dix-huit et vingt personnes ont été tuées par électrocution et par des mouvements de la foule prise de panique.
De séquences vidéo montrent comment le chanteur d’un groupe monté sur un char construit en hauteur se transforme en vraie torche humaine quand son corps heurta un câble de haute tension tendu sur le parcours du carnaval. Puis, il s’en suivrait des cas d’électrocution à la chaine et des piétinements par le mouvement de la foule. Le tout pour un macabre solde de vingt morts et des blessés y compris des brûlés graves.
Beaucoup parleront d’accident.
Moi j’ai envie de parler d’incident. Un incident regrettable. Criminel et évitable.
Les accidents mortels durant le défilé carnavalesque sont très fréquents. Pour un pays comme le Brésil ou se déroulent probablement les festivités carnavalesques les plus prisées du monde, le nombre de morts pouvait servir de facteur pour jauger le succès de l’évènement.
Le Carnaval haïtien compte souvent des morts et des blessés. Mais pas dans des circonstances aussi évitables.
Dans les pays ou la vie humaine revêt de l’importance, une étude minutieuse du parcours carnavalesque aurait été faite pour établir la liste des dangers potentiels et pour prendre les mesures adéquates pour les éviter.
La vérification de la hauteur à laquelle sont placés les câbles électriques devait servir pour établir des normes pour la construction des chars.
Une mesure simple et logique que la mairie de Port-au-Prince, le comité carnavalesque, et les propres groupes musicaux ont négligé. Dans l’organisation du Carnaval quelqu’un a-t-il jamais évoqué le concept « assurance » dans l’optique des risques concomitants à un évènement populaire de cette nature ?
Hier soir une amie croyante, rendait grâce à Dieu en disant qu’Haïti était un pays béni !
Son argument tenait sur le fait qu’il y ait eu que 20 morts après cet incident qui s’est produit sur le parcours du Carnaval, un évènement aussi concouru. Sans vouloir froisser sa conviction je lui ai simplement dit « à César ce qui est à César et à Dieu ce qui est à Dieu »
Après avoir pleuré leurs morts, les familles des victimes devront demander des comptes. Il y a des responsabilités à établir. Demander des comptes s’inscrit dans cette démarche sur cette route que nous n’empruntons pas assez souvent. Celle de dire que la vie de tout homme est précieuse. La société se doit de la valoriser et de la protéger.
Quand nous serons « rentrés dans l’humanité » nous trouverons anormales certaines réalités et nous exigerons un traitement digne et en accord avec notre statut que nous semblons négliger.
En ceci consiste l’essentiel de ce processus d’humanisation que tous les haïtiens doivent exiger à cor et à cri. Cette humanisation nous inculquera l’indignation active au lieu de la résignation morbide. Elle nous dictera l’action courageuse et concertée contre la résilience plate, atone et arrangeante.
Elle nous placera au-dessus des animaux inférieurs pour exiger et travailler en faveur de conditions de vie compatibles avec cette réalité.
Dr Jonas JOLIVERT 18/02/2015

lundi 9 février 2015

Sigue vivo en Camagüey el folclore haitiano

Camagüey.- Con la inauguración de la Fiesta del Folclore Haitiano, celebrada como parte de las festividades por la Semana de la Cultura de Camagüey, los alrededores de la Casa de la Cultura “Joaquín de Agüero” fueron escenario del evento más representativo de la cultura haitiana en la localidad.
El lugar se llenó de sabor cuando desde el Museo Provincial y los repartos Florat y Cándido González, llegaron bailando los grupos músico-danzarios Bonito Patuá, Caidije, Raíces Creoles, Renacer Haitiano y Desandann.
Desandann dio por iniciada la fiesta con el ritmo de tambores de los descendientes cuyas raíces están muy enterradas en las creencias de la hermana república. Con su efusividad y energía regalaron un homenaje digno del acervo cultural de la ciudad.
Le siguieron los niños de Raíces Creoles, un proyecto socio-cultural que surge como derivación de Bonito Patuá con el objetivo de continuar su legado y para inculcar en los más pequeños el respeto y la pasión por las costumbres. Mirando cómo sus compañeros amenizaban la ocasión, empatía fue lo que sobró en el público más joven que desde las escuelas primarias cercanas disfrutó del momento.
Luego del reconocimiento entregado por la institución cultural a estos portadores de tradiciones, la agrupación que actualmente conmemora su aniversario 55 de fundada y comparte la dedicación de esta jornada camagüeyana, brindó uno de sus danzas típicas, la cinta.
Así, junto al “bombanché”, la unión de todos los presentes en un mismo baile, terminó el evento, pero no los festejos, pues las creencias de esta ciudad no mueren en los corazones de sus lugareños.
http://www.adelante.cu/index.php/es/cultura/semana-de-la-cultura/2891-sigue-vivo-en-camagueey-el-folclore-haitiano

Les étudiants étrangers rapportent 9,7 millions de dollars par mois en République dominicaine

Le Nouvelliste | Publié le : 06 février 2015
Les étudiants étrangers rapportent à la République dominicaine un total de 9,7 millions de dollars par mois. Un montant quasiment similaire à celui fourni en 2012 (9,8 millions) selon la dernière enquête sur les dépenses des étudiants étrangers en république voisine, lit-on dans un article paru dans le journal dominicain El Nacional.
Environ 75,6 % des étudiants sont de nationalité haïtienne, ce qui équivaut à une augmentation de 2,1 points de pourcentage par rapport à la proportion qui a résulté de l'enquête 2012, indique le journal dominicain.
Sur cette liste, Haïti est suivie par les États-Unis (15,5 %) qui montrent une baisse de 2,1 points de pourcentage; l'Europe de 2,9 %, Colombie 1,4 % , l’Amérique centrale et les Caraïbes avec 1,2 %, le Venezuela et autres pays d'Amérique du Sud 0,8 % chacun; Mexique 0,5 % et 0,3 % en Asie. L'enquête a été menée par la Direction internationale de la banque centrale afin de quantifier l'entrée de devises étrangères en raison des dépenses réalisées par les étudiants universitaires étrangers dans le pays.
L’étude révèle en outre que la branche visée par la majorité des étudiants est la médecine ave (46,2%), soit 0,9 point de pourcentage de moins que le chiffre obtenu dans l'enquête précédente.
Toujours selon l'échantillon choisi pour l’enquête.
En ce qui a trait aux revenus et aux dépenses des étudiants, les résultats de l’enquête ont montré que ces dernières sont principalement fournies par leurs familles.
A remarquer que la participation de la famille comme principale source de financement pour les étudiants étrangers en République dominicaine a augmenté par rapport à l'enquête précédente, passant de 83,1% à 93%.
Tandis que la participation des gouvernements a montré une diminution de 9,6 points de pourcentage, passant de 13,9 % à 4,3% par rapport à l'enquête précédente. Aussi, environ 35,1 % de ses dépenses vont aux frais de scolarité, et environ 64,9 % aux frais universitaires.
Les données pour l'analyse ont été recueillies du 19 mars au 4 avril 2014, en collaboration avec des représentants de 27 universités à travers le pays.
http://lenouvelliste.com/lenouvelliste/article/141303/Les-etudiants-etrangers-rapportent-97-millions-de-dollars-par-mois-en-Republique-dominicaine#.VNYV8XvmLnk.facebook