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GHACC Career Development Day

On Saturday December 1st, 2012, the Greater Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Orlando (GHACC), will be providing a career development day at the Public Library. The event will take place from 11:00am – 2:00pm, at 4600 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32839.

The GHACC is here to serve the Haitian community of Orlando, and look forward to helping you get your dream job! For more information, please contact the GHACC via email at or phone at 407-308-5803.

Happy Thanksgiving from Haiti1Stop

Happy Thanksgiving from Haiti1Stop

CapraCare HuffPostLive Panel

Founder and Executive Director of CapraCare, nonprofit organization serving the residents of Fonfrede, Haiti was a panelist on the HuffPostLive on October 19, 2012. The topic of discussion was the response of medical volunteers following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Other panelists join in the conversation such as Amy Costello, Dr Henri R. Ford and Dr Ben Nwomeh. The panelists brought their insights based on their expertise and /or experiences they witnessed while responding to the needs of the victims of Haiti earthquake.

The video segment is worth to watch as it will enforce all organizations and NGO’s to take on responsibilities for the volunteers they bring in to Haiti. In addition, it can spark a new discussion among medical volunteers to assess their true skills prior joining a disaster relief cause and ask themselves if they are ready to work in a new environment.

Now, enjoy the video:

CapraCare is exemplary in their methods they use to implement a community health program in Fonfrede, Haiti. They are now recruiting medical volunteers for their upcoming trip to Haiti in February 2013. Do not hesitate to contact CapraCare at for further details.

Haiti1Stop Advice: Remember as CEOs, Founders, Entrepreneurs, we ought to lay down the right platform for the recruited volunteers so they can better serve those in need in Haiti. Education, knowledge and the right leadership are essential to avoid medical mistakes and do no harm to others.

Haitian Women Profile – 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Training Program

The 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Program is an initiative led by Goldman Sachs with the partnership of the U.S. Department of State and the Thunderbird School of Global Management to educate women from various countries including Haiti about business management. Those great leaders are positively impacting the lives of those underserved women by providing them knowledge on how to sustain a financially viable business that can in turn, create more job opportunities in their communities, and be part of their country’s economic growth. Acquiring business acumen is important for these women to identify their products and services, attract customers, expand their brand and overall improve their financial performance.

We were in awe of the 27 Haitian women that were selected to the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Training Program. After an extensive and rigorous interview process led by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti for the first round, the finalists were chosen by Thunderbird and Goldman Sachs.  The winners were offered a full scholarship including airfare, hotel, transportation, course materials, food and visa fees.  According to Amy Scerra, Program Manager of Thunderbird for Good, the 27 women started their first day of school on October 15, 2012 in Arizona at the Thunderbird School of Global Management for a two-week program.

Haiti1Stop congratulates again the 27 Haitian women selected in such prestigious program. It is an astonishing accomplishment on their part! We look forward to seeing more of them as they would become role models for other aspiring entrepreneurs in Haiti with better leadership skills.

Thanks to Amy Scerra, we have this great opportunity to share with our readers, the Diaspora and the local communities in Haiti, a profile of the 27 participants. So many of you wanted to know their backgrounds and the types of businesses they own. You will enjoy reading their bios as they all have impressive businesses from different cities of Haiti ranging from restaurant, hotel, construction, bakery, plant nursery, garment production, retail, engineering firm and much more.

Below is the Snapshot Bios of the 27 participants:

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Bruny Carmphtalie Laguerre
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Volailles de Mon Pays
Business Description: Producer and distributor of eggs and poultry.
Languages: French, Creole, some English

Ms. Carline Seraphin
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Description: A small construction and engineering firm. Seismic experiments, small construction jobs to reconstruct Haiti.
Languages: French, Creole, Spanish and English

Ms. Carole Louis
Hinche, Haiti
Business Name: Carole Pépinière
Business Description: Plant nursery specializing in forest, fruit and ornamental varieties. She also is involved in water conservation and reforestation projects throughout Haiti.
Languages: French and Creole

Ms. Davina Rachelle Celestin
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Davina Espace Artistique
Business Description: School of the Arts and Music. She teaches dance, drama, painting, singing. Her clients are typically between 14 and 22 years old. She wants to remind Haitians how to enjoy leisure after the earthquake.
Languages: French, Creole, and English

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Geraldine Montas
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: 18Cell & Accessories
Business Description: Retail store selling clothing, shoes, jewelry and technology accessories.
Languages: French, Creole, English

Ms. Jessica Victor Legerme
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Jess Creation. Wedding dress production and seamstress
Business Description: She also produces school uniforms, professional uniforms, custom couture, and religious ceremony outfits.
Languages: French, Creole, English, some Spanish

Ms. Johane John Paul
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Description: Janitorial services and trash collection for office buildings and large businesses.
Languages: French and Creole

Ms. Josette Florvil
La Tortue, Haiti
Business Name: Lot Nivo.
Business Description: Produces and sells bottled juice, freshly made from fruit on the island of La Tortue. She wants to contribute to the good nutrition of her people, and dependence on locally sourced materials.
Languages: French, Creole, some English

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Linda Jeune Joseph
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Mak Pa Nou Creation
Business Description: Her company makes shoes and custom sandals.
Languages: French, Creole, some Spanish

Ms. Marie Gilberte Salomon
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Institut Louis Pasteur
Business Description: Nursing, pharmacy, and EMT School.  They also have a laboratory and training in medical technology. They started with 15 students in 1988 and now have hundreds.
Languages: French, Creole, some English

Ms. Marie Heleine Lundy Clervil
Jeremie, Haiti
Business Name: Vertigo Village
Business Description: She owns a hotel and resort in a rural area of Haiti that she renovated from a night club and restaurant. They also provide rental space for all occasions, catering, and conference hosting.
Languages: French and Creole

Ms. Marie Michelle Sanon
Cayes, Haiti
Business Name: Gift of God
Business Description: Handicrafts and food products.
Languages: French, Creole, some Spanish

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Marie Natacha France
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Natou Restaurant
Business Description: Marie opened a restaurant in an area largely undamaged by the earthquake and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to many in the expat community and US Embassy customers.
Languages: French, Creole

Ms. Martine Comeau Chateigne
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Simplement Marcha
Business Description: Garment production, largely by employing women to knit high quality products such as tablecloths, placemats, baby clothing, bags, bracelets, sandals, and more.
Languages: French, Creole, some English

Ms. Murana Casimir
Mirebalais, Haiti
Business Name: Partner’s Transportation et Finesse du Centre
Business Description: She leases rental trucks, and this business is four years old. Four months ago, she took over Finesse du Center, a restaurant and bar.
Languages: French, Creole

Ms. Myrline Larochelle
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Imaj’Iné
Business Description: Graphic design and photography.
Languages: French and Creole

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Noberta Sainta
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Tatie’s Home Patisserie
Business Description: Bakery and pastry shop.
Languages: French and Creole

Paulna Etienne
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Himalaya Produits Naturels
Business Description: Natural plant-based foods and productsderived from the processing of fruit. Their main products are: jam (pineapple chutney, tomato-chutney, tamarind, guava, peach, grenadia), the soursop jelly, peanut butter, liquor (for tamarind, anisette, coffee and cocoa), tamarind wine, cocktail, the crémasse (mango, grenadia, rum-raisin, chocolate, coconut), nectar (mango, grenadia, tamarind, pineapple, guava).
Languages: French, Creole, some English

Ms. Sherley Philistin
Verrettes, Haiti
Business Name: Rapadou Service Traiteur
Business Description: Sherley caters both large and small events, weddings, and provides hospitality training to youth.
Languages: French, Creole, English, Spanish

Ms. Smide Petit-Homme
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Bel Travay
Business Description: The business cleans delicate ceramic coated items. They also offer woodworking, plumbing, painting, metal roof installment, and maintenance of landscape. They offer services to banks, hotels, institutions of the State and more.
Languages: French, Creole, English

10,000 Women Haitian Global Cohort – Participant Biographies

Ms. Wesmia Bruno
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Affiche-Toi!
Business Description: Creation of signage, marketing. They specialize in anything visual, and marketing “gadgets”.
Languages: French, Creole, English, some Spanish

Ms. Wislande Floreal Precil
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Business Name: Lover’s Store (retail clothing store), Cyber Café, and Boulangerie Wislandep (bakery).
Languages: French, Creole, some Spanish, some English

Ms. Yverose Vilmay Faustin
Petit Goave, Haiti
Business Name: Chocolat de la Montag CEFORS
Business Description: Locally grown and produced chocolate.
Languages: French, Creole, some English, some Spanish


Charitable Giving for a Haitian student

On October 11th, we ran a brief story in our Facebook page about the collaboration between the Haitian Connection Network (HCN), a non-profit organization based in Haiti and the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for giving a pro bono reconstructive facial surgery to one of HCN’s students so he can have a better life. The surgery was well deserving as the student named Daniel Smith was diagnosed to have a benign jaw tumor called ameloblastoma. You can read more of Daniel’s story in the Philly.Com News Article.

We just had another follow up with Kristen Hertzog, the Founder of the non-profit organization HCN to have an update of Daniel’s recovery from his surgery. He is doing well and by the end of November, he should return to Haiti and continue his online computer classes there. .

Daniel has one request; he needs a laptop to pursue his own independent study. We are asking you to help Daniel achieve his wish. If you would like to DONATE a good laptop in working condition to Daniel or the funds to acquire the equipment, please send us an email at and we will forward your responses to HCN. Feel free to visit HCN’s website. .

Charity goes a long way!

Free Shipping on ALL orders at! Offer Ends 12.18.

Spotlight on Designer Nora David

Haiti1Stop talks with Nora David

Spotlight on Designer Nora David


When I first heard of Nora David at the IHDA event (Independent Handbag Designer Awards), I was elated to know she was a Haitian Accessory Designer and I immediately tweeted about it. She was one of the finalists in the “Most Socially Responsible Handbag” category and that was a great achievement. Soon enough, we briefly commented and proudly congratulated her in our blog on June 15, 2012.

We, at Haiti1Stop wanted to know more about this great designer, her style, her brand, her philosophy and her business acumen that no one has already unveiled. That prompted us to immediately get in touch with her for a great conversation and for a request of an interview. I must say that I was pleasantly honored to have spoken with her. It seemed that I’ve known her for a very long time based on personality and design background. My first call to her revealed a savvy woman who is witty, warm, real, eloquent, inquisitive, pleasant, natural, down to earth, friendly, decisive, and of course fashionable. She certainly captured my attention and I was ecstatic when she agreed to be featured onto Haiti1Stop “Conversations” segment.

After arduous work and patience, we can finally deliver to our readers an insightful and inspirational interview with Nora David that truly captured her essence as no one has done before. She truly delivered in our interview as she talks about her childhood, her family life, her design concept, her journey as a businesswoman/factory owner and her upcoming nonprofit organization; and we are honored to have such great opportunity. Her profile and her journey to being the designer that she is today will unequivocally be a teaching tool and an eye opener to youngsters, upcoming designers, professionals and business women. You will get a sense of who she is along with her vision.

Committed to her Haitian roots while giving back to her community, we are proud to feature Nora David in a different limelight. We welcome you to take on this journey of discovery as we present you the different facets of Nora David: the individual, the designer, the brand, the entrepreneur, the business woman and the philanthropist. We want you to enjoy reading each phase at your own pace and share it with your family, friends, colleagues and social media followers.

We encourage all of you to visit her website at and support her efforts in keeping the locals employed in her community, and sending her employees’ kids to school.

Thank you for such great interview Nora!


The Woman. The Individual

Haiti1Stop: As women, we all are different creatures in the way we think, we create and deliver our passion to the world to make things happen. How do you define “YOU” as a woman? What are 5 adjectives that best describe you as a woman and as a designer?

Nora David: I think what defines me as a woman is the unconditional love I have for what I create. I would say that the best 5 adjectives that describe me as both woman and designer are: passionate, sensitive, patient, curious, simple.

Haiti1Stop: What is your motto in life?

Nora David: Don’t only go after what you need, go after what you want too. With only one life to live, you want to make the best out of it for yourself. There is nothing better than being proud of yourself (•‿•)

Haiti1Stop: How would you describe your childhood / upbringing in Haiti (give us a visionary picture in our minds)? Is there one thing that you are passionate about that you would like to share with us? Which subject did you enjoy the most while you were in school in Haiti?

Nora David: Today, I can say I had everything I needed when I was a child. The family ties are strong, went to one of the best schools, got a great education…When I look back, there is nothing that I would like to change…well maybe I would be more appreciative and stop complaining about everything hahahahaha

My favorite subjects were Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

Haiti1Stop: Do you have any siblings as talented as you are?

Family Picture

Nora David: Yes I believe we are all talented in our way. My younger sister enjoys drawing and she does it well; my younger brother is very naturally talented with graphic design and uses his talent to make some money while at university; and my older brother is my savior when it comes to change backgrounds, make websites and find any information related to Adobe software.

Haiti1Stop: You decided to settle in Haiti as a businesswoman, what is it about Haiti whether it is its arts, its culture, its scenic views, its lifestyle that inspires you the most as a child and as an adult? Can you say in one word what does Haiti represent to you?

Nora David: What inspire me about Haiti is the people; how they create with nothing. Yes Haiti has art, a beautiful culture; the views are out of this world, but everything lies in every single Haitian. To me, Haiti is Home.

Haiti1Stop: How early did your creativity surface? In which format did it surface whether in the form of drawing, painting, sewing or crafting? Was the passion innate in you to become an artist or designer?

Nora David: My creativity surfaced very early. It started with dressing up my dolls, then drawing and painting. Later my mother taught me how to sew. I remember in high school, I was designing outfits for my friends so they could look stunning and different to go to Heaven, a nightclub.

Haiti1Stop: Was attending design school, your first calling in life? If yes, did your parents inspire you into that path, especially having your mother as an accomplished businesswoman and designer and your father as an architect? If not, what was your first choice of study?

Nora David: Believe it or not, it wasn’t my first calling in life. Because I was good in Mathematics, I first thought of being an engineer. Then I was attracted to management. It’s only during my last year of school, that I decided the best thing for me would be to mix fashion and management! Best decision!

Haiti1Stop: At what age did you create your first artistic project? Do you still have it among your creative treasures? If yes, would you share with us what it was and submit a picture to us?

Nora David: My first artistic project was an abstract painting I made. I was 11 years old. I’d love to share it with you but unfortunately this painting is now in storage.

Haiti1Stop: Which factors influenced you to enroll in the Fashion Design School of Montreal located in Canada? And, why Canada and not the U.S. or France? How long have you lived in Haiti prior settling in Canada to pursue your studies?

Nora David: The reason why I chose Montreal was because it is one of the top fashion capitals. And it’s only 3 hours away from Haiti. The Fashion Design School of Montreal was also the only school offering exactly the program I was looking for, Fashion Management.

I’ve lived in Haiti for 19 years before going to Montreal…

Haiti1Stop: What inspired you in becoming a handbag designer and not a clothing designer first? Have you always had an affinity for handbags? How would you describe the similarities and differences in delivering a clothing line versus a handbag collection?

Nora David: It was a business decision. The investment was less to start with handbags than to do so with a clothing line. I do have an affinity for handbags, I can’t even count how many handbags I have! My creations are not limited to handbags though; I design clothes, jewelry and shoes too. I plan to have a full line.

Delivering a line, whether clothing or jewelry, has its challenge. I cannot create just for the fun of creating. I have to follow the “fashion rules”, the trends, the shapes, etc. The difference between clothing and handbag is that you get to play more with the handbag as you can add so many different accessories to it and mix the fabrics as you wish.

Haiti1Stop: What is the most valuable lesson you retained from your school age of design? How tedious was the program at the school? Did any professor influence you in a memorable way that captivated your love for design? Which elements of the handbag classes did you enjoy the most and / or help you shape your business?

Nora David: The most valuable lesson is the customer will or will not like your design. So you have to distance yourself from your creations and accept critics for the best.

I have to admit that if you are not made for this world, you won’t make it past the first year of school. It never never never ends, it’s never good enough. Inspiration is the key because you have to come up with something different in this saturated market..

The construction of garment and handbag is the key to your business. It’s how you put it together that makes a difference in visual and quality, thus different from the competition.

Haiti1Stop: Can you tell us if you have a designer in mind that you’ve always admired in the fashion industry? What is it about the designer or artist that is appealing to you?

Nora David: Yes, Gabrielle Coco Chanel. She was determined to rise from her humble origins. She was creative, took risks, and changed the way women dressed. Not to mention the little black dress and the bag that finally freed the women’s hands, the 2.55 (•‿•)

The Designer

Haiti1Stop: Does Nora David have a specific fashion style that she identifies the most?

Nora David: Yes, I do and this makes me remember that a friend of mine had told me one day that I am classically chic. I am a woman who loves her life and life in general. I am confident and assertive, and friends and family know that if they need help solving a problem, I am here for them. Therefore looking pulled-together at all times is a priority for me. That’s why I rely on classic, simple items that don’t require a lot of thought and have timeless style. To that classic look, I will add my touch of sophistication by wearing prints on prints, or a plus size outfit with a belt to give it that extra loose look, but take each piece I am wearing and you will see it’s a simple item.

Haiti1Stop: What does the word “DESIGN” mean to you? Do you see yourself as a trendsetter? Do you follow any international trends?

Nora David: Design is Create, let your inspiration take over and create. Yes, I do follow international trends for colors and shapes. But for trimmings and details, I design my own.

Haiti1Stop: What is your Designer tip of the day?

Nora David: Mismatch matches too. Try some prints on prints (•‿•)

Haiti1Stop: In designing a handbag, what is your most precious possession that you have to have in every design process (a tool, a notepad, a ritual etc…)? Is there such thing as a design mistake? Do you have a story to share with us about it?

Nora David: A notepad, a black pencil, color pencils…Yes, a design mistake is very common. When you design, sometimes you tend to forget about the technical, practical and doable. Hahaha yes, I do have a story. I designed a purse that everybody loved! It was so beautiful that I decided to make it the signature purse. I had forgotten one little thing: I designed the handles to be on the straw. Big mistake as the straw is not strong enough to hold the weight…

Haiti1Stop: Which elements about a handbag do you like the most? How many handbags do you own?

Nora David: I would say inside pockets and cellphone pockets. Well, I don’t know for sure but I believe around 100…

Haiti1Stop: What inspires you as a designer every day to think, breathe and create handbags?

Nora David: Periods of time, paintings…

Haiti1Stop: Creating a handbag demands a creative process from the inspiration, sketch, theme, color, shape and design, materials to be used leading to a story board. Can you share with us the journey of this process so we can envision your design space into creating a handbag?

Nora David: First, I would choose a theme. Following the color trends and staying within my theme, I would go fabric shopping. Then, I would put some Vangelis type of music, sit with my fabrics and start creating…

Haiti1Stop: As a creative artist, I hold on to the first projects I’ve ever done to set the tone for the next project. Do you do the same in keeping your first design projects or do you discard them especially if they are not of good quality? And, do you still have the 1st handbag you ever designed? If yes, would you share a picture or description of it with your fans and Haiti1Stop?

Nora David: I keep all my projects, good or bad. And yes, I still have the very first handbag I designed…

1st Handbag Design

Haiti1Stop: Can you describe to your fans the different styles of handbags that exist? What is your intake in selecting the perfect handbag? Should a person pay attention to their body structure to select a handbag?

Nora David: There are 20 styles of handbags. The most popular ones are the bucket which is a shoulder bag in a shape of a bucket, the tote which is a carry-all square bag, the clutch, the messenger bag which is a roomy bag with adjustable strap, the satchel which has a wide and flat bottom and short handles, the hobo which is a shoulder bag that dips in the center, the wallet, the backpack….

Yes, a person should pay attention to their body structure. Just like you try on clothes, you have to try on a purse. It has to fit and it has to be comfortable. Not every bag fits every body type either.

Haiti1Stop: Do you think a designer should be a great sketcher and / or patternmaker in order to launch their collection? Which qualities do you think a person should possess in starting a handbag collection?

Nora David: I do think you need to be a great sketcher, because the sketch is the beginning of everything. If the sketch is wrong, the chances of having the handbag right are slim. It is definitely a plus if you can make your own pattern. Sometimes the patternmaker might not see your vision and only you can make it.

To start a handbag collection, you need to know handbag construction, what components should go into the making of the handbag. It is a plus if you can make the first sample yourself, to find out there might be a problem or not.

Haiti1Stop: In the fashion / accessory world, who do you think might be your biggest competition or an inspiration to you and to the vision of your brand whether it is contemporary, futuristic?

Nora David: My biggest competition is the already well known brands. And they are also my inspiration as I would like to see my brand as popular.

Haiti1Stop: Would you share with us, which companies did you work as an independent designer after graduating from the Fashion School of Montreal? What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from working in those companies? Would you recommend an aspiring designer to work for a company or intern prior launching their own line?

Nora David: I would definitely recommend an aspiring designer to work for a company prior to launching their own line. First reason is you get to make contact with key people in the industry, whether it is supplier or potential client, and you get to learn from the inside how this industry really works.

Haiti1Stop: We think that all Haitian designers should support each other in such competitive industry and may the best win. So, how have you seen support from your fellow artists? If not, what would you wish for?

Nora David: I have to say that my generation is very supportive. We encourage each other a lot. I get support from other designers and they get support from me. I wish it was like that at all level…

Haiti1Stop: Some people in the fashion industry identify Haitian people as being crafters and not designers. And, those few Haitian designers that are doing well in their craft are not known to the public. How would you differentiate a crafter versus a designer? And, how can we break that stigma of being not as qualified of a designer for those who have doubts about us?

Nora David: Yes, they tend to see designers as crafters. But there is a difference. The designers create and the crafters execute. In my case I create the handbags but I don’t weave the straw, thus I am the designer. The people weaving the straw are the crafters.

That stigma can only be broken by us designers. We have to stop accepting people (mostly the foreigners) referring to us as crafters. We have to make sure they refer to us by what we are. If the media says “crafters” we have to contact them and have them correct it to “designers”. If a famous foreign designer introduces us as “crafters” we have to correct him/her and have him/her introduce us as “designers”…

Nora David’s Collections Xaragua. The Brand

Nora at IHDA in 2012 with the purses

Haiti1Stop: We congratulate you again for bringing Collections Xaragua to our door steps. We are curious to know, how did you hear about the IHDA (Independent Handbag Designer Awards)? Are you planning to re-enter the competition any time soon?

Nora David: I was doing some research online about handbags and found their website. As I was browsing, I saw the contest and decided to participate. Yes, I am planning to enter the competition next year.

Haiti1Stop: What is the best way for people to know about your next event show?

Nora David: It would be through the social media, facebook, twitter @CXaragua and our website at

Adabelle bag

Haiti1Stop: You submitted the beautiful “Adabelle” style handbag to the IHDA? We want to know how did you select which handbag to submit to the competition? When did the “Adabelle” handbag make its debut?

Nora David: I selected Adabelle for the competition simply because I love this bag: very versatile for an everyday bag, big and strong enough to hold a laptop, cellphone front pocket for easy access, the flat bottom makes it easy to reach inside…

Adabelle made its debut for the Spring-Summer 2012 collection.

Haiti1Stop: When I attended the IHDA event, what struck me was the name of your collection: “Xaragua”. I find it to be strong, fitting, historical and meaningful. Congrats on the brand name!

Now, was the name Xaragua, your first choice of name for your collection? Or did you have a discussion about it prior of selecting such name? Would you share with us the story behind the name “Xaragua” for those who do not know of it?


Nora David: Yes, it was my first choice. I wanted a name that screams “Haiti” and also that I could relate too. Xaragua was the most popular chiefdom with a Woman as head of state. I want to make Collections Xaragua the most popular Haitian brand owned by a woman.

The origin of the brand name, Collections Xaragua, obviously comes from Haitian history. It is my way to pick every one’s curiosity so they can learn about Haiti, when it was called Hispaniola.  Before the slaves were brought to the country, Haiti was a peaceful and beautiful country, inhabited by the natives (called Indians by Christopher Columbus).  Xaragua was one of 5 and the most popular and strongest of the chiefdoms of Hispaniola, it was a chiefdom in which 2 of the most influential caciques were a brother and sister, Behecchio and Anacaona. Xaragua was in the southwest peninsula. They grew lots of cotton here and also in the cul de sac, north of where Port-au-Prince lies today. It was full of peaceful Tainos that were very peaceful but were killed due to trickery and hate.

Haiti1Stop: The brand name is very important to set a designer apart from many other brands. What is the best advice would you give an aspiring designer / artist on how to define their brand?

Nora David: You always gotta have a story behind your brand name. In my opinion this is what will keep you grounded and focus. The same way your story tells who you are as a person, the story of your brand will make your brand be what it is.

Haiti1Stop: For those people who do not know, when exactly did you officially launch your line? Why did you choose such date?

Nora David: I launched it on April 30th 2011 at the very first edition of Runway Haiti. It is not the date that I chose, but the event. I chose this event because Runway Haiti was a platform to gather all Haitian designers on a runway to promote our designs locally and internationally.

Haiti1Stop: How would describe the Xaragua collection style? Who is the customer that would wear your handbag? Do you listen to their feedback? And, where do most of your customers come from?

Collection Xaragua

Nora David: Collections Xaragua is a line of handbags consisting of unique shapes that are trendy and chic to go with every woman. The brand is a modern twist on the classic handbag with a combination of bright colors and palm straw; the signature of Collections Xaragua. The customers that will wear my handbag is a professional woman who chooses carefully her outfits and likes to make a statement by what she wears.

Yes, I do listen to their feedback, as this is what will help me satisfy them better and better and understand their needs. Most of my customers come from Haiti. Now that I just entered the Floridian market, I am starting to have a wider range of customers.

Haiti1Stop: You design different styles of handbags, each one with a special name. What inspires you from selecting those names for your handbags (like Selma, Yedda, Heloise, Rexana, Blanda, etc.) Does the name underline the style or the personality behind the handbag? And, which style do you like the best and why?

Nora David: Every name has a meaning that underlines the personality of the handbag. For example Selma means safe. The construction of Selma makes it easy for the holder to open the handbag, but difficult for someone else. Plus the bag is reinforced to support an up to 17” laptop. It’s the safest one in its category.

It’s hard for me to tell which one I like the best hahahaha. But, the Edina, which is the crossbody bag is one of my favorites. It carries everything I need, has an easy access front pocket and my hands are free! I carry it all the time!

Haiti1Stop: What is the retail price of your handbag? Do you also sell wholesale in case there might be people interested in carrying your line in their stores? What is the method of payment that you accept?

Nora David: My handbags vary between US$35 and US$135. Yes, I do sell wholesale and they can contact me via my website or by email at

I accept paypal, direct deposit, cash.

Haiti1Stop: Are there any stores in Haiti that carry your collection? If yes, which ones are they? And, do you intend to open a store in Montreal in the future?

Nora David: For now there are no stores in Haiti carrying my collection but It will happen very soon, before the end of the year (•‿•)

For now, I have no plans to open a store. I’d love to see my bags in different existing stores.

Haiti1Stop: Currently, your website does not allow online purchasing, how can a person from overseas purchase your handbag? Are you able to deliver your handbags to overseas? If yes, to which countries?

Nora David: Yes, the person can contact me via the website and mention which handbag she would like to purchase and we go on with the transaction via paypal. Yes, we can ship anywhere, shipping paid by the customer.

From Drawing to Sample

Haiti1Stop: Each designer has something that elevates their heart rate and drives them to finish their product. Which one is it for you: the sketching (using a pen or a computer), the selection of materials or the finished product?

Nora David: It’s the finished product. Mostly when from the start I can see it will look exactly how I had it in mind…

Haiti1Stop: What is the time frame would you say it takes to achieve your finished product from the concept, inspiration to prototype?

Nora David: I cannot really tell. Every creation is different. But I can say it takes from 3hours to weeks…

Haiti1Stop: You use eco-friendly materials such as straw, siam and fabric for your handbag collection. What made you want to proceed into the eco, sustainable design path? In which regions of Haiti do you outsource those materials? Is the woven straw easy to obtain in huge quantity or do you have an assigned supplier? Do you see yourself expanding your current sustainable materials to other types of materials?

Nora David: I didn’t necessarily choose to go with eco-friendly materials. My choices were all made around “Haiti”. I chose the straw for the lining of the purses to give it a historical link with Haiti. We used to produce the straw in Haiti, and even though the industry has died, straw remains a “cultural” fabric.


I chose the palm straw because I wanted my handbags to have a Haitian authenticity. This is why I incorporated the straw into my designs and made it the signature of the brand.

I do have assigned suppliers for the straw. I place my orders according to my production and they deliver it. But no rush order can be placed; I have to plan very well to not run out of woven straw.

Yes I see myself expanding to other types of materials, but will always keep the Haitian authenticity.

Haiti1Stop: How would you best describe the siam and straw materials for those people who do not know what they are?

Nora David: The siam is lossely woven cotton fabric and the straw is dried palm leaves.

The Entrepreneur

Haiti1Stop: What is thrilling about owning your own business? Walk us through the process from the time you conceptualized the idea to its reality from the legal to business points of view?

Nora David: Owning your own business requires more discipline. What is fun about it is that you get to decide when or where you are working. But sometimes not having a boss, makes it harder to concentrate and do the work, mostly when it comes to not so urgent things. It is also more stressful to own your own business as the paychecks are not guaranteed every two weeks and most of the time you have to manage the income on a longer period of time. But at the end of the day you get to do what you enjoy and that feeling you get when you see your employees and customers happy is indescribable.

I conceptualized the idea in 2 hours. I created my first line in one hour and the business was up the next day. Yes, as simple as that (•‿•)

Haiti1Stop: How long have you lived in Canada before settling again in Haiti as a businesswoman? When did you know it was time to make such a bold move?

Nora David: I’ve lived 7 years in Montreal. I just knew. I felt empty not doing something helping my own country.

Haiti1Stop: The 2010 Haiti Earthquake was a catastrophic event where many of us felt disarrayed and the country needing economical, physical, emotional and psychological help. So, did you have any reservations starting a business in Haiti right after the 2010 earthquake with the uncertainly that lies ahead with the country? And, what are the tasks that you fulfilled to determine where you want to locate your business in Haiti?

Nora David: Not at all. The earthquake was what actually convinced me to do so. A year after the earthquake, I felt that nothing was being done. That’s when I decided instead of just having an opinion, to act and do something myself. Creating jobs to make people be able to sustain their family is my main goal.

I located my business in Port-au-Prince because it was easier. I grew up and lived in Petion-Ville. Even though I’d wish to have the business outside of Port-au-Prince, I had to make a decision based on costs. Maybe when things go better, I will relocate…

Haiti1Stop: You came from an accomplished, talented, artistic entourage. Do you think your family entourage gave you the confidence and financial tools needed to launch your own company, especially having your mother Maëlle F. David as a role model?

Nora David: Definitely yes. My family and mostly my mother gave me all the support and tools I needed.

xaragua Haiti1Stop: Did you encounter any roadblock/challenges in starting your collection and opening your company in Haiti? If yes, describe them. And, what will be your best advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Nora David: It’s no secret that in Haiti, things might be difficult. But nothing is impossible. Everyday there are challenges but you have to work with them and find the way around it. My best advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to start with solid roots. If your feet are not well rooted to the ground, you will fail easily. Nothing is impossible; if you want it make it happen. Patience is the key; don’t go in any business thinking you will succeed first shot! Stay positive and listen to your customers, friends and family and make the best of all the advices you get.

Haiti1Stop: Have you heard of the Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year contest in Haiti? Would you ever enter such competition in the future?

Nora David: Yes I have. I am planning to enter this competition next year as one of the requirements is the company should be running for at least 2 years.

Haiti1Stop: There are talented Haitian artists that design for passion and not for monetary value. But to cover the overhead costs and sustain longevity, it is critical to be aware of the financial aspect including costs of raw materials and labor time for the artist, equipment maintenance and much more. What are your insights in teaching your fans and aspiring entrepreneurs the dos and don’ts in creating their projects while maintaining a sufficient living for themselves?

Nora David: You should always have your customer in mind. You have to know them, how much money they make, how much they spend. You should never fix a random price thinking it’s enough to cover cost and make profit. You should always calculate your cost, your margin of profit and your price.

Haiti1Stop: In NYC, we have the fashion garment industry and most runway shows are held at the heart of Manhattan. So, where would you want to see the renaissance of fashion or the capital of fashion in Haiti? How do you see the fashion industry evolving in Haiti in terms of manufacturing and materials sourcing?

Nora David: I’d love to see the capital of fashion in Haiti to be Jacmel. Only two hours away from Port-au-Prince and you get to enjoy the beach and the mountains. It would be perfect if Jacmel had their own international airport.

The fashion industry is emerging. Manufacturing small lot still remains a challenge though. Materials sourcing is very easy, the challenge is to stay within the international trends.

Haiti1Stop: I believe we are capable of producing handbags and footwear but we need skilled technicians in the field, great equipment, schooling and continuing education in the field with tons of training, great craftsmanship and discipline in quality and delivery. What are your views about this issue? Can you see Haiti among the many other manufacturers like China, Mexico and other countries for handbag manufacturing?

Nora David: I agree with you, we do need discipline in quality and delivery. I definitely can see Haiti for handbag manufacturing, but not in a near future. There is a lack in training and in skilled technician, not to mention the equipment. But I believe with all these foreign companies producing in Haiti, we will have more skilled technicians and better equipment.

Haiti1Stop: Craftsmanship is a key factor in handbag design. We’d like to know how do you keep up with all standards a) to increase demand for your brand and b) to participate in international shows?

Nora David: I do a lot of training with my employees and trying to change that mentality of accepting imperfections. I keep my quantities low to assure great quality. In my book quality comes before quantity. I communicate with my customers so they can understand the craftsmanship behind each handbag.

When I participate in international shows, I play by the same rule. Quality is more important than quantity. Therefore it is important to place the orders within the timeframe.

Haiti1Stop: How do you set yourself aside from other brands? What is your intake about imitation?

Nora David: Simply by having my own brand, my own personality, my own story. It is important to offer a product your customer can relate too, thus the reason why I want to be “friend” with my customer.

The only good side of imitation is that if you are being copied, it’s because you have a great product. But, I totally disagree with imitation as I see it as a form of disrespect towards the work of a person. You can used someone’s work as an inspiration, but imitating is a no-no.

Collections Xaragua. The Business & Kind-Hearted Woman.

Haiti1Stop: Is your company also called Collections Xaragua, same as your brand name? Where is your company located in Haiti? How would you describe your business model in Haiti? Would you mind sharing with us your mailing address for your company?

Nora David: Yes, same as my brand name. The company is located in Delmas 29.

Collections Xaragua is a social enterprise. We give back to the community by sending the kids of our employees to school, by volunteering in social events such as food drive, back to school…

The mailing address is #4A Rue G. Sylvain, Delmas 29, Port-au-Prince Haiti

Haiti1Stop: How long after graduating the Fashion School of Montreal, did you start your company? What were the steps you tackle to open your manufacturing handbag company in Haiti? How long did it take you?

Nora David: Six months after graduating in 2006, I acquired a winter accessory company that I will sell at a later time. I then worked for 2 years as an independent designer and in 2010 Collections Xaragua was born. It took me 5 months to have the company running as it is now. Little by little I was acquiring what I needed to have a complete production line. I started with one sewing machine and buying material for a dozen handbags at a time and now I have much more sewing machines and an inventory of material and trimmings.

Haiti1Stop: How many employees do you have? Among them, how many are women?


Nora David: I have 4 full-time employees and 7 part-time. They are all women except for one.

Haiti1Stop: Was it a challenge for you to recruit employees with handbag construction training? If yes, did you have to educate and train them?

Nora David: It is a real challenge. I constantly have to educate and train them.

Haiti1Stop: How do you envision yourself, Nora David the brand, the company in 5 years down the road?

Nora David: 5 years from now, I see Nora David the brand as a well known designer. I see my handbags in many stores in America and the Caribbean. I see more jobs created and more kids staying in school.

Haiti1Stop: Describe to us your typical day at your company overseeing the designs and running your company in Haiti?

Nora David: It is hard to describe as I don’t really have a typical day. I manage the company by myself; my tasks are a million in a day. There are days that I spend replying to emails, others that I design, or supervise the production. There are days that I spend only testing materials. Other days are reserved for research on trends, materials, styles…One thing I can guarantee is there are no boring days. hahahaha…

Haiti1Stop: How do you recruit the models to showcase your collection? Is your priority to select solely Haitian models?

Nora David: For now, my priority is to encourage Haitian models. I recruit them via model agencies or friends.

Haiti1Stop: Would you be open to manufacture handbags in Haiti for other designers who might be interested in having their products made in Haiti?

Nora David: Definitely yes.

Haiti1Stop: Have you ever thought of having a custom design division at your company for those clients who may want something personal and different for them? In the end, they would be the ones selecting their specific style & color.

Nora David: Yes, custom designs are welcome (•‿•)


Haiti1Stop: There are many Haitian designers who are thinking just like you, opening their own factory / company in Haiti or employing people from Haiti to deliver their products. Explain to us if this was a difficult process to achieve? And, what would you say is the first step to take to establish success and making this dream a reality?

Nora David: Yes it is a very difficult task to achieve because it is really hard to find skilled technician and sometimes you have to wait months to find the right equipment. The first step is to gather everything you need to make your product. Do not start your marketing if you don’t have all the tools to deliver. And again the key is to be patient.

Haiti1Stop: You seem tuned with exposing your brand in local and international events such as Runway Haiti, Women In Production, the Hawaii silent auction and the IHDA. Is it important to you to promote your brand in many outlets as you can? How has been the demand of your brand after participating in those events? How often do you travel in the U.S. or overseas to promote your brand? And, is it part of your journey to being a constant traveler?

Nora David: It is very important for me to promote my brand. I’ve gotten positive feedback from all the events I participated in and it got the brand to be known. I travel very often to Miami, which I consider now my second home. I promote a lot in Florida for its proximity with Haiti. I’d love to travel more to promote the brand everywhere in the Caribbean, South America and even Europe, but I believe it will be for a later time hahahaha…

Haiti1Stop: What would say is your best experience participating in those event shows? What have you learned from them? Are you planning to make this a tradition every year and do you have any other events you want to be part of? And, what is your advice for those designers who want to participate in the runway shows or trade shows?

Nora David: The best experience is to listen to the customers. You learn about their needs, their taste and their opinions. This information is crucial to any design you want to make in the future. Yes I will make it a tradition every year, and I am also open to other events. Everything now is a matter of cost. If I can make it, I’ll be happy to do so and offer my products to more potential clients.

Before you decide to participate either in a Runway Show or Trade Show, remember to calculate your cost. It’s rule #1 of business. Do not participate just to participate; you also want to be able to sell. For example, if you are doing a Runway, you don’t want to be out of stock for what you showcased. If a client wants to buy, this is the best time to sell. If the Runway is solely for marketing purposes, make sure you have the best pictures so you can use them to sell your products.

Haiti1Stop: Do you plan to start a clothing line? If yes, would you ever collaborate with your mother on a ready-to-wear collection or start a new project venture with her or other designers?

Nora David: Yes I do plan to have a clothing line. I already collaborate with my mother for her designs. We both have very different style but a collaboration is always fun. I’d be open to working with other designer for a ready-to-wear collection…

Haiti1Stop: You use local materials for your handbag construction where other people are known to use materials from China and elsewhere for their handbags made in Haiti. We are curious to know your insights about this issue.

Nora David: Every entrepreneur makes the choice that is best for him/her. I choose local materials because I am a social entrepreneur and I also want to encourage Haitian economy. By buying my material locally, I encourage the Haitian businesses. It’s just a choice I made because I don’t only want to see myself succeed, I’d love to see Haiti succeed.

Haiti1Stop: We are aware that your company helps to educate the children of your employees. You are certainly giving back and that makes you a philanthropic woman. Tell us more about this idea of yours and what triggered you to take the nonprofit route?

Nora David: I believe most of Haiti’s problems are due to lack of education. It is too bad that education is not given to everyone. Therefore I took matter in my own hands and decided to give education to as many kids as I can. Hopefully more young people like me would choose the same path and in the future, we’d have an educated country. I am who I am today because of the education I had. It would be selfish from me to not give this chance to another human being.

Haiti1Stop: When do you plan to officially open your nonprofit organization? Do you already have a name for it? Which area of Haiti would it serve? What educational activities / projects would you have? Haiti1Stop would be delighted to cover this new endeavor of Nora David from its starting point to its final phase. Do keep us posted!

Nora David: I am planning to officially open the nonprofit organization in March 2013 and organize our first big event for back to school 2013. Yes I do have a name for it, but I will share only when I register it. hahahaha…

I would start with the South and South West of Haiti to eventually serve the whole country. Yes, it is a big project and it is my dream! I will definitely keep you posted as I am sure it will be a nice journey together!

Breast Cancer Awareness / Sensibilisation au Cancer du Sein

Written by Dahla

Breast Cancer Awareness

breast-cancer-ribbon-2-oct-2012October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Do you know that Breast Cancer is the second highest cancer in women and that it can also occur in men? We urge every woman to initiate a doctor’s visit and keep their follow-up appointment and continue to have their self breast manual exam regularly. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the correct way of doing a breast self exam. Breast Cancer is not a disease that occurs only in October and it is imperative that women listen to their bodies, ask questions and educate themselves on a daily basis.

Facts about Breast Cancer in the US from the American Cancer Society :

  • 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer some time during her life
  • About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
  • About 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer)
  • About 39,510 deaths from breast cancer (women)

For our Haitian Community, do you know that Haiti does not maintain a national cancer registry? With that said, many cases are unreported and often misdiagnosed by not having the proper tools of equipment and education to make the correct diagnosis. We ought to think about educating ourselves on this subject so we can better care for our bodies, and also urge the medical community in Haiti to take on greater initiatives in partnering with the local Health Ministries or international organizations so they, themselves have a better understanding on diagnosing this disease and also get access to the treatments so we, Haitian women can beat the odds.

Do your breast self exam regularly! Do not procrastinate on your health!

According to the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries (2002), Haiti had the lowest incidence and mortality rates from breast cancer among the Caribbean countries. But in 2011, Partners in Health reported that Breast cancer affects more women in Haiti than any other cancer and roughly 831 out of every 100,000 women are diagnosed each year. It may seem to be a small number for some of us but it is an alarming factor if our Haitians do not get access to medical care. Dr Ruth Damuse, a physician from the Zanmi Lasante’s breast clinic had been diagnosing at least 3 to 4 Haitian women with breast cancer out of the 40 exams she performed weekly at the clinic. This proves that we must seek medical care and not to delay it. Late detection of breast cancer can decrease the benefits of treatment outcomes and of course the survival rate.

The key is early detection and know your family history.

Do not let fear refrain you from seeing a doctor or healthcare provider. Do take your health seriously and stay connected with the healthcare community and share your struggles / findings with family and friends.

Remember Life is worth living!

Educate yourself by clicking on those links:

  1. What do you know about BREAST CANCER? Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation
  2. National Mammography Program – provides free mammograms. Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation
  3. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012 Source: American Cancer Society
  4. National Cancer Institute – latest news about available treatments for different types of cancer
  5. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation – all about breast cancer research and awareness programs
  6. Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program – Phone: (800) 877- 8077
  7. Haitian American Association Against Cancer (HAAAC) – provides links on treatment & support groups – Phone: (305) 572-1825 / Email:

Links in French & Creole

  1. Guide for breast exam (in French) Source: & Societe Canadienne du Cancer
  2. Cancer du Sein (in French) – provides information breast cancer in French. Source:
  3. Kansè TeTe (in Haitian Creole) – enfomasyon sou konman pou ekzamine TETE w pou kont pa w.

Source: Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) & American Cancer Society

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Mois de la Sensibilisation au Cancer du Sein

breast-cancer-ribbon-2-oct-2012Octobre est le Mois de la sensibilisation au cancer du sein – Savez-vous que le Cancer du Sein est le deuxième cancer plus élevé chez les femmes et qu’il peut également se produire chez les hommes? Nous demandons instamment à toutes les femmes d’initier une visite d’un médecin et de garder leur rendez-vous et de continuer d’avoir leur auto-examen manuel des seins régulièrement. Demandez à votre médecin ou professionnel de la santé sur la façon correcte de faire un auto-examen du sein. Le cancer du sein n’est pas une maladie qui survient uniquement en Octobre alors il est impératif que les femmes prennent attention de leur corps, posent des questions et se renseignent sur une base quotidienne.

Faits de Cancer du Sein aux États-Unis de l’American Cancer Society :

  • 1 femme sur 8 développera un cancer du sein invasif un certain temps au cours de sa vie
  • Environ 226,870 nouveaux cas de cancer du sein invasif chez les femmes
  • Environ 63,300 nouveaux cas de carcinome in situ (CIS) sera trouvé (SIC est non-invasive et est la plus ancienne forme de cancer du sein)
  • Environ 39,510 décès dus au cancer du sein (femmes)

Pour notre communauté haïtienne, savez-vous qu’Haïti ne maintient pas de registre national du cancer? Cela dit, de nombreux cas ne sont pas signalés et souvent n’ont pas un bon diagnostic surtout si il n’y a pas d’outils appropriés d’équipement et de l’éducation a faire le bon diagnostic. Nous devons penser à nous éduquer sur ce sujet afin que nous puissions mieux soin de notre corps, et nous pouvons exhorter également la communauté médicale en Haïti à assumer de plus grandes initiatives en partenariat avec les ministères de la santé locales ou des organisations internationales afin qu’eux-mêmes ont une meilleure compréhension sur le diagnostic de cette maladie et ont également accès à des traitements afin que nous, les femmes haïtiennes peut battre cette maladie.

Faites votre auto-examen des seins régulièrement! Ne pas retarder sur votre santé!

Se pou fet egzamen tete ou regilyèman! Pa pran reta sou sante ou!

Selon le Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries (2002), Haïti avait le plus faible taux d’incidence et de mortalité pour le cancer du sein compare aux pays des Caraïbes. Mais en 2011, Partners in Health a signalé que le cancer du sein touche plus de femmes en Haïti que n’importe quel autre type de cancer et environ 831 sur 100,000 femmes sont diagnostiquées chaque année. Ce fait peut sembler être un petit nombre pour certains d’entre nous, mais c’est un facteur alarmant si nos Haïtiennes n’ont pas accès aux soins médicaux. Dr. Ruth Damuse, un médecin de la clinique du sein « Zanmi Lasante » a diagnostiqué au moins 3 à 4 femmes haïtiennes avec le cancer du sein sur les 40 examens qu’elle avait accomplie chaque semaine à la clinique. Cela prouve que nous devons chercher des soins médicaux et de ne pas les retarder. La détection tardive d’un cancer du sein peut diminuer les avantages de l’issue du traitement, et bien sûr le taux de survie.

La clé est la détection précoce et de connaître votre histoire familiale.

Kle a se deteksyon bonè ak konnen istwa fanmi ou.

Ne laissez pas la peur vous abstenir de voir un médecin ou un professionnel de la santé. Prenez votre santé au sérieux et restez connecté avec la communauté des soins de santé et partagez vos luttes / découvertes avec votre et vos amis.

Rappelez-vous la vie est digne d’être vécue!

Sonje ke lavi a genyen valè!

Renseignez-vous en cliquant sur ces liens:

  1. What do you know about BREAST CANCER? Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation
  2. National Mammography Program – provides free mammograms. Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation
  3. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012 Source: American Cancer Society
  4. National Cancer Institute – latest news about available treatments for different types of cancer
  5. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation – all about breast cancer research and awareness programs
  6. Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program – Phone: (800) 877- 8077
  7. Haitian American Association Against Cancer (HAAAC) – provides links on treatment & support groups – Phone: (305) 572-1825 / Email:

Links in French & Creole

  1. Guide for breast exam (in French) Source: & Societe Canadienne du Cancer
  2. Cancer du Sein (in French) – provides information breast cancer in French. Source:
  3. Kansè TeTe (in Haitian Creole) – enfomasyon sou konman pou ekzamine TETE w pou kont pa w.

Source: Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) & American Cancer Society

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World Mental Health Day

Written by Dahla

According to the World Health Organization, October 10 is dedicated to raising public awareness about mental health issues. Their fact sheet on Depression reveals the following:

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. 
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective treatments for depression. Though, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.

Depression is a serious and alarming situation where most people in the Haitian community often disregard this illness and they do not seek help for proper treatment. Depression is real and it can happen to anyone, at any age, at any social and financial status. It can either be short-term or long-term depending upon the underlying factor and if it is left untreated, depression can leave the individual in a debilitating state. Sometimes, you would hear the word “moun fou” in Haiti (meaning crazy person) to identify an individual who has lost their mental abilities to comprehend and be logic in their regular activities. I often wondered if that person was to be seen by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare professional, would the diagnosis still be “moun fou”?  I don’t know but I always had doubts in my mind when I hear someone labeled as “moun fou” and that hurts.  

We have a long way to go in our community to remove the stigma of a “moun fou” as if that person has no emotions, no desires, and no love. I see people often laughed at those who are homeless, depressed or just act strangely to them just because they are odd to their eyes; but they forget that those people need help and have a story to tell. I would say that we can all be subjected to one day, in our lives to be depressed and that most of us can bounce back easily from it. But, for some, they may require medical treatment to become “normal” again which can be different in the eye of the beholder.

A tragedy, a specific trauma, a chronic illness, substance dependency,  the loss of a loved one, years of unemployment, the end a relationship, the loss of a child, long term injuries, natural disasters such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the tsunami, and many other situations can lead to depression. Whatever the case may be, we ought to listen to our bodies, to our emotions and reach out to others and seek help. And, sometimes our family and friends or colleagues are the ones that may bring it to our attention to see a mental health professional or a psychologist. From my perspective, when an individual has a mental disorder, their entire family suffers as well so I would say depression is a family, social and community illness and we  need to be more compassionate to each other and to the loved ones affected by a mental disorder.

Don’t suffer in secrecy! Do not be ashamed to acknowledge your depression!  Do seek help! 

There needs to be more training in our community, more health tools to treat the different types of mental disorders and prevent misdiagnosis. If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, know that you are not alone and please seek the proper treatment suitable to your needs. Find out about the clinics, health centers in your neighborhood that offer mental health treatment for your ethnicity and especially finding the right professional that speaks your language. Furthermore, if you are seeing a counselor, a psychotherapist, it does not automatically mean that you are a “ moun fou” (crazy person).

Take time to review the resources listed below and share them with friends and family. Let’s help each other be in a better place by acknowledging others, making them feel at ease to talk to us and by listening to their emotions through great communication.

Remember, a person with a mental disorder still needs to be loved!




  1. What is Depression?  Source: World Health Organization
  2. Mental Health News  Source: World Health Organization
  3. Mental Health Hotline Numbers and Referral Resources  Source: 
  4. Mental Health Help Hotlines  Source:
  5. Listing of facilities offering services to the Haitian American Community in NYC   Source: NYC.Gov- Community Mental Health 
  6. Haitian Mental Health (HMH) Network  – provides resources & conferences about mental illness
  7. Association Haitienne de Psychologie in Haiti - Phone: (509) 2244-2514/ 2244-2245   Email:
  8. American Psychological Association – provides resources on different disorders
  9. World Federation for Mental Health(WMFH) – provides resources on mental health, policy & conferences.   Email:
  10. Taking Care of your Emotional Health after a Disaster Source: American Red Cross
  11. WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)  Source: World Health Organization


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Volunteer Opportunity Available with HCN

The following message comes from Haitian Connection Network. Please take the time to volunteer or share this opportunity with someone you know. HCN is one of the organizations listed on Haiti1Stop, and Kristen Hertzog, Executive Director at HCN was profiled in our conversations feature. Kristen’s work is all about providing Haitians with the proper and necessary tools for a great education.

Haitian Connection Network needs office volunteers weekday mornings in our sunny Brownstown/Ephrata! We provide educational opportunities to deserving students living in Haiti. Must be positive, enjoy working in a small office environment and desire to help the less fortunate through education!

Some Opportunities Include: basic office skills, organizing, advertising, sending emails, scheduling presentations and connecting virtually with Haitian students! We work with YOUR strengths and skill set! No Missions Experience Necessary!

For more information:

Twitter: @haitiinfocus
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The Art of Tweeting / L’Art de Tweeting

The Art of Tweeting

(English version)

Written by Dahla – Follow us on Twitter @Haiti1Stop

easyfishmarketing-comblogimagestweet-retweetTweeting is an important tool that allows many people to break news or to congregate over general news, a specific story, a specific cause or movement to bring awareness or to open a dialogue within the tweeting community and also to promote one’s brand and certainly share insights with colleagues, friends, business associates and the rest of the world.

I love the tool especially when used the correct way, it can bring people to follow your individualistic views or your brand. However, it is not to be taken lightly and to be used vaguely. All that we do on the web stays static and permanent and that can reflect your persona through the types of tweets that you are sending to people. To me, Tweeting is having a fun and sometimes serious conversation that is credible, honest and succinct with others. With that said, I refuse to tweet nonsense materials just because I want to gain popularity. If I were to do so, it would be the equivalent of speaking jargon and no one would understand what I’m trying to say.

In anything that we do in life, we ought to be respectful of everyone’s creative and original work. I realize that there are many people that are tweeting endlessly without quality of content; those that tweet with great content; those that tweet with no understanding of the use of the tool; and those that tweet other people’s messages without crediting them. The latter is what prompted me to write this piece to share how a tweet posting can bring frustration to an individual, company, a community or society if not done properly. Tweeting ought to be treated as if you were sending a professional email to someone because you take time to digest what you want to write, how to write it, to whom you want to send it and also review the spelling of the message content.

Thus, with Twitter, you can review your message prior to posting it, delete it from your posting if you don’t like it, or delete any negative comments from others. The other cool thing? You can share other people’s messages or news by retweeting them. Retweeting is great when done correctly because it allows you to broadcast a message you like so it can be posted onto your twitter page so that you can also share it with your followers. Do I think it is the only purpose for Retweeting? Certainly not! From my perspective, Retweeting is showing the original author(s) that you appreciate and value their insights and their information and that is why you are willing to retweet their message. It can also bring new followers to your twitter page and also allows the original author(s) to know who you are as your retweets will be shown on their twitter page as well. However, there is a correct way to “Retweet a message” and it involves giving credit to the originator of the message. This should be taken very seriously because not retweeting the correct way by not crediting the original author (a person, a company, a news media, and an organization) can be seen as plagiarism. And that you cannot do, because this action can falter your integrity and may lead people to unfollow you.

The creative minds behind the creation of Twitter, like Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, have truly captured our minds and hearts into using this tool and incorporating it into our daily activities. They created a fabulous engine while providing to us different icons on our twitter page to post a message, a picture, a video, an icon or to delete a message and most importantly to retweet a message. When you click the “Retweet icon” provided by Twitter, it automatically credits the original author of the message. Taking that action is quick especially when you don’t have the time to manually retweet with the “RT” symbol prior the original message. A “manual retweet” would entail a person to copy and paste the original message onto their tweet post and adding “RT” prior the original message with the @author. You can also add your own comment to the retweet message if more characters are allowed onto your posting and it takes practice and skill to do it manually without committing errors. Basically, what can you expect to see from a retweet message? Well, the message with the original author and the person that activated such action and finally the original author gets notified of that tweet as well. Thus, if you are new to twitter, I would urge you to use twitter’s “retweet icon”.

I personally came across an incident that occurred a few days ago where an organization has posted a twitter message and one person has copied the exact wording message onto their posting and failed to mention the organization’s name on their message. THAT was a faux pas! That person basically claimed to be the originator of the message when clearly he was not. This is clearly a dishonest action! This latter action can often be unnoticed to the original author unless they look closely at their tweeter community feeds to identify if any of their messages had been improperly retweeted or misused. Whether it is difficult to get caught or not, I would suggest all of you not to take this route because the tweeting community is smart, savvy and would not appreciate cheaters. Yes, we may all want to have popularity but please do it the right way! You must give credit to the person who wrote the story where you took it from.
You must !!!!!!!!!!!

Retweeting is about courtesy and supporting each other in their own endeavors. Many people want to tweet all day and retweet but what matters is content and not quantity. If you had the idea of tweeting about a story and you see a counterpart already talking about it, you can simply retweet that message correctly and add an extra insight from your perspective. We all can be a very happy family and respect each other online via different social media platforms.

Life is about creating, complimenting people for their great work and not to copy anyone else for fame or popularity. Not properly crediting an individual, a colleague, an organization, a company or a news media in your tweets is disrespectful, unprofessional and tacky. According to David G. Larson (aka Dave Larson), Founder of @tweetsmarter,

“Twitter reserves the right to suspend users for posting tweets without proper retweet attribution if done repeatedly”.

Well, were you aware of this information? That proves you that there is certainly an etiquette to follow and it should not be taken as lightly for those of you who want to plagiarize and not create original messages. David G. Larson eloquently writes about the ways to attribute credits to original author, and how to avoid common mistakes and he also provided the rules and best practices of Twitter in regards to posting other people’s tweet messages as your own. I would encourage everyone to read it and apply those rules in their daily tweets within the community and with the world.

I hope those tips can help our community to tweet and retweet the proper way with proper crediting to others. Below are some links I feel could help you learn how to credit other people for their original work or refresh your skills of retweeting.

  1. How to Retweet the Right Way in 4 Easy Steps by Laura Fitton. Source: HubSpot Blog
  2. How Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended From Twitter by Dave Larson. Source: @tweetsmarter

L’Art de Tweeting

(Version Francaise)

Ecrit par Dahla – Suivez nous sur Twitter @Haiti1Stop

easyfishmarketing-comblogimagestweet-retweetTweeter est un outil important qui permet à de nombreuses personnes d’annoncer des nouvelles ou à se rassembler sur les nouvelles générales, une histoire particulière, une cause spécifique ou d’un mouvement de sensibiliser les gens ou pour ouvrir un dialogue au sein de la communauté. Tweeting, et aussi pour promouvoir sa marque et certainement partager des idées avec des collègues, des amis, des associés d’affaires et le reste du monde.

J’aime l’outil «Tweeter» en particulier lorsqu’il est utilisé de manière correcte, il peut amener les gens à suivre vos opinions individualistes ou votre marque. Cependant, il ne doit pas être pris à la légère et ne doit être pas utilisé vaguement. Tout ce que nous faisons sur le web reste statique et permanent et cela peut refléter votre personnalité à travers les types de tweets que vous envoyez. Pour moi, Tweeting c’est avoir une conversation amusante et parfois sérieuse qui soit crédible, honnête et au point avec autres individus. Cela dit, je refuse de poster des matériaux de Tweet qui ne font pas de sens juste parce que je veux gagner de popularité. Si je le ferai, ce serait l’équivalent de parler du jargon et personne ne comprendrait ce que je veux dire.

Dans tout ce que nous faisons dans la vie, nous devons être respectueux du travail créatif et original de tous. J’ai réalisé qu’il y a beaucoup de gens qui “Tweet” sans cesse sans avoir de la qualité dans leur contenu; ceux qui Tweet avec un excellent contenu, ceux qui Tweet sans la compréhension de l’utilisation de l’outil, et ceux qui Tweet les messages d’autres personnes sans leur donner des credits. Et, ce dernier m’a incité à écrire cette pièce pour partager la façon dont un “Tweet” affiche peut apporter la frustration à un particulier, une entreprise, une communauté ou d’une société s’il n’est pas effectué correctement. Twitter doit être traité comme si vous envoyez un courriel professionnel à quelqu’un parce que vous prenez du temps de rédiger ce que vous voulez écrire, comment l’écrire, à qui vous voulez l’envoyer, et aussi revoir l’orthographe du contenu du message.

Ainsi, grâce à Twitter, vous pouvez confirmer votre message avant de l’afficher, effacer votre commentaire plus tard si vous n’aimez pas votre message original ou de supprimer tous les commentaires négatifs des autres. Et, le truc qui est amusant, c’est que vous pouvez partager des messages d’autres personnes en utilisant l’icône “Retweet”. Retweeting est une action très forte lorsqu’elle est effectuée correctement, car il vous permet de diffuser un message que vous aimez afin qu’il puisse être affiche sur votre page de twitter de sorte que vous pouvez également le partager avec vos lecteurs / fanatiques. Pensez-vous que c’est le seul but de “Retweets”? Certainement pas! De mon point de vue, Retweeting montre l’auteur original que vous appréciez la valeur de leurs idées et de leurs informations, et c’est pourquoi vous êtes prêt à retweeter leur message. Cette action peut aussi apporter de nouveaux adeptes à votre page twitter et permet également l’auteur d’origine de savoir qui vous êtes comme vos “Retweets” seront montré ainsi sur leur page de twitter. Cependant, il y a une étiquette à suivre pour “retweet un message” et il s’agit de donner crédit à l’auteur du message. Ceci doit être pris très au sérieux parce que ne pas créditer l’auteur original (une personne, une entreprise, un média or une organisation) c’est de commettre le plagiat. Et, vous ne pouvez pas faire cette action parce qu’elle peut faiblir votre intégrité et peut amener les gens à ne pas vous suivre sur twitter.

Les cerveaux créatifs à l’origine de la création de Twitter, comme Jack Dorsey et Evan Williams, ont vraiment capturé nos attentions et nos cœurs en nous donnant cet outil « Twitter » parce que nous l’utilisons constamment dans nos activités quotidiennes. Ils ont créé un moteur fabuleux, tout en offrant à nous des icônes différentes sur notre page twitter pour afficher un message, une photo, un vidéo ou d’autres icônes ou de supprimer un message et, surtout pour “retweeter” un message. Lorsque vous cliquez sur l’icône “Retweet” fourni par Twitter, il crédite automatiquement l’auteur original du message. Prendre cette action est rapide surtout quand vous n’avez pas le temps de retweet manuellement avec le caractère « RT » avant le message d’origine. Un «retweet manuel” entraînerait une personne de copier et d’afficher le message d’origine sur leur poste de tweet et d’ajouter « RT » avant le message d’origine avec l’auteur @. Vous pouvez également ajouter votre propre commentaire au message retweet si d’autres caractères sont autorisés sur votre annonce, et il faut de la pratique et de compétence pour le faire manuellement sans commettre des erreurs. Fondamentalement, un « message retweet » comprendra le message, l’auteur original et la personne qui a activé une telle action, et enfin l’auteur original sera également notifié de ce tweet. Alors, si vous êtes nouveau sur Twitter, je vous invite à utiliser « l’icône de retweet » fourni par Twitter.

Il y a de cela quelques jours que je suis tombé sur un incident qui s’est produit où une organisation a posté un message sur Twitter et une personne a copié le message libellé exact sur leur poste et la personne n’a pas mentionne le nom de l’organisation sur leur message. Cette personne fondamentalement a prétendu d’être l’auteur original du message quand elle n’était pas par contre. Il s’agit clairement d’une action malhonnête! Cette dernière action peut souvent passer inaperçu à l’auteur original à moins qu’il suive près sa communauté de tweeter pour cribler et identifier si l’un de leurs messages ont été « retweeté » incorrectement ou mal utilisés. Alors, je dirais à vous tous de ne pas s’engager dans cette voie parce que la communauté de tweeter est intelligente, avisée et n’apprécierait pas les tricheurs. Oui, nous voulons la popularité mais s’il vous plaît, le faire de la bonne façon. Vous devez donner crédit à la personne qui a écrit le message original et c’est le meilleur comportement à prendre professionnellement. Il faut que vous attribuiez des crédits aux auteurs originaux!!!!!!!!!!

Retweeting c’est l’action de courtoisie et de soutenir mutuellement d’autres individus dans leurs projets ou entreprises. Beaucoup de gens veulent « tweeter » toute la journée et « retweeter » mais ce qui est important c’est le contenu et non la quantité. Si vous avez eu l’idée de tweeter sur une histoire que d’autres personnes en parlent, alors il vous suffit de « retweeter » ce message correctement et ajouter un aperçu supplémentaire à partir de votre point de vue. Nous pouvons tous être une famille très heureuse avec respect.

La vie est de créer, de complimenter et de ne pas copier quelqu’un d’autre pour la gloire ou la popularité. Ne pas créditer l’auteur original d’un message ( qu’il soit un individu, un collègue, une organisation, une entreprise ou un média) dans vos tweets, est irrespectueux, non professionnel et malhonnête. Selon David G. Larson (aka Dave Larson), Fondateur de @tweetsmarter,

“Twitter se réserve le droit de suspendre des utilisateurs pour l’affichage tweets retweet sans attribution correcte si elle se fait à plusieurs reprises”.

Eh bien, cela vous prouve qu’il y a certainement une étiquette à suivre et il ne devrait pas être prise à la légère comme pour ceux d’entre vous qui veulent plagier et de ne pas créer des messages originaux. David G. Larson écrit avec éloquence sur les moyens d’attribuer des crédits à l’auteur original, et comment éviter les erreurs les plus courantes et il a également fourni les règles et bonnes pratiques de Twitter en ce qui concerne l’envoi de messages de retweeter d’autres personnes. Je demande a tout le monde à le lire et à appliquer ces règles dans leurs tweets quotidiens au sein de la communauté et avec le monde.

J’espère que ces conseils peuvent aider notre communauté à « tweeter » et « retweeter » d’une manière professionnelle. Voici quelques liens qui peuvent vous aider à apprendre à créditer d’autres personnes pour leur travail original ou rafraîchir vos connaissances de retweet :

  1. How to Retweet the Right Way in 4 Easy Steps by Laura Fitton. Source: HubSpot Blog
  2. How Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended From Twitter by Dave Larson. Source: @tweetsmarter

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