Chavannes Jean Baptiste, A Haitian Hero?

What is the link between Haiti, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, Earth Hour, and Earth Day?

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste

You know something, it is funny how things coincide in life.

Let me explain:

Just yesterday, I was watching Larry King live on CNN and he was talking about Earth Hour; this is the hour, on Saturday, March 28 2009, from 8:30-9:30pm, when millions of people and businesses all around the world will switch off their light for one hour.

So I went to bed, not too worried about it, and most likely I was not going to tell you about it because I usually try to link Haiti to whatever it is that I'm talking about.

If I did tell you about it, it would probably be in a sarcastic way... I like to make you smile... perhaps I would mention that:

"Every hour is Earth Hour in Haiti" because... there are no lights to turn off...

An Haiti se BLACKOUT TOTAL... the lights are always OFF!!!

Who knew?

All these years we've been celebrating Earth Hour and we had no idea... :)

Go figure!

So what is the link between Chavannes Jean-Baptiste and Earth Hour?

Can I finish my story?

Thank you!

I guess you would love to know how I found the strangest and funniest way to link Haiti to Earth Hour and Earth Day for that matter.

And the winner is... Agronomist Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of Mouvman Peyisan Papay (MPP / Peasant Movement of Papaye)

Earlier this morning I was doing an update on my photo album web site - - and I bumped into a set of pictures that I took at the Bassin Zim water fall near my hometown of Hinche, Haiti.

One of the tags that I have in the set of pictures is "Chavannes Jean-Baptiste" Why? The man happens to be the most popular Haitian from Bassin Zim and the second most popular guy from Hinche... Sorry Chavannes, I had to do that :)

Then suddenly, I started thinking...

I remember going to his house a lot when I was 10-11 years old. His son was the best friend of my little brother Evency Saint Preux. they used to always be together, they were classmates at Ecole St. Pie X, kay Fre Emmanuel.

Epi tou, te gen yon ti dam mwen te renmen na zon nan... (Wi... Nou te komanse bone wi!... anpil pwezi le-m diw sa-a... malgre sa-m pran refi...)

But that was more than 20 years ago and I could not remember what he looked like. I've never seen him since.

Curious as I am, I went on the Internet and I did a search on his name.

Here is what I found out:

Haitian Agronomist Chavannes Jean-Baptiste is the winner of the 2005 Goldman Environmental Prize, a prize given to Grassroots environmental heroes, yes HEROES who, according the the GEP's official website, "too often go unrecognized".

They mention that the Peasant Movement of Papaye (Mouvman Peyisan Papay / MPP), founded in 1973 by Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, has become one of the most effective environmental peasant movements in Haitian history, successfully fostering economic development, environmental protection and individual survival.

Here is the funny coincidence:

The Goldman Environmental Prize winner is announced every April to coincide with Earth Day. (Earth day, by the way, falls on April 22nd of every year)

There is a video and some pictures of Chavannes Jean-Baptiste on the Goldman prize website. Click here if you want to see them.

"Onore moun ki fe sa ki bon..." (Dieudonne Larose)

This is a perfect opportunity for me to thank Chavannes Jean-Baptiste publicly because two of my childhood best friends, Belot Dieufait and Joachin Accene, received full scholarships from MPP to study agronomy in Mexico.

Some of us sit in the comfort of our homes away from Haiti wondering when Haiti will change for the better, some of us do something about it.

Mesi mesye Chavannes!

So... Tomorrow, Saturday March 28 2009, is Earth Hour, turn off your non-essential lights from 8:30-9:30pm... Si ou pa deja nan BLACKAWOUT!!!

Don't turn off your computer because I want you too look at all the cool pictures I took at the Bassin Zim Water Fall in Hinche. I also made a Bassin Zim Video with background music "Nan Papay" by Les 7 Vedettes...

Go watch it.

This is Woodring Saint Preux, ti neg-a Galbo-a, and I said it.

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All Comments (4)

Rachelle says...

Mr. Saint Preux I enjoyed the story about Chavannes and I truly love your sense of humor


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Serge Desrameaux says...

Chavannes Jean Baptiste is an haitian hero, in what?

I don't believe that.It's false.

He is an hero nan lajan silo Cerca-la-source la, nan fe boule kay sitwayen, nan vole te, nan fe landjez, nan fe revoke sitwayen onet.Hero sa a mwen pa pe l'.Sa se yon glwa san

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Raphael Jacquelin says...


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Nile says...

Ok I am now convince that something is terribly wrong with you when You said that Every hour is Earth hour in Haiti.

That was funny as

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