To Haiti, With Love…to Film a Documentary.

In All Topics, Lifestyle by Ryan19 Comments

Haiti Map

You’ve seen Haiti all over news networks and website for years as the face of disaster, suffering, and government corruption. I’m going to be straight forward with you — I’m sick of seeing this. The Haitian people I know are sick of seeing this. It’s journalism exploitation at it’s finest and we are going to flip this trend right on it’s damn face.

Yes, The country has faced numerous natural disasters and political corruption that has crippled the economy and repressed it’s people. But the citizens of Haiti are still a an amazing people, still strong, still kind, and the country still holds immense beauty. We plan to show you just exactly that.

This is going to be a short and sweet run-down of the project we’ll be heading the next two days.

The story will be one of hope, not of sadness. Viky, the Haitian heading the project, has made quite something out of himself in the US, and it’s time for him to return home and start giving back to his country. He wants the Haitian youngsters to know you can do big things with your life. And he wants the world to know Haiti is still a gem to be cherished. All the while developing this sustainable energy project.

My best friend, Sebastien Germaine, is Haitian. We have always planned to go to Haiti at some point just to give back, but things have always fallen through. This October we were going to travel there for a few weeks but work and other obligations stopped both of us.

Then, just a couple weeks ago, my friend David and I (who I do videography projects with) was approached by one of his aquaintences about filming a documentary on a sustainable energy project they are starting in Haiti. Here’s the kicker — We had to leave in 3 weeks with short notice. Instantly we agreed to take on the project, knowing this is simply an opportunity to use our skills for an amazing cause that we couldn’t miss. And luckily both my jobs were more than happy to give me last minute time off.

Here’s the thing…all you see about Haiti these days are images of crying mothers and children, poverty, and destruction.

All visual misery ever does with the majority of people is depresses them, and actually makes them want to be less involved because people don’t want to feel that way. Maybe they Tweet or Facebook something, maybe they mention how sad it is, and MAYBE they donate a few dollars. Then they push it out of their memory.

That doesn’t solve a damn thing.

We are going to be flying to Haiti for 10 days to show you exactly the opposite. We will be exploring the country, the culture, and meeting the people and showing you that there is so much more good still going on in Haiti. So much rich culture. So much beauty.

The project (and I’m no engineer so I’ll go more in depth later) is aiming to knock out a few of Haiti’s problems. On a basic level Haiti has poor waste management, very low access to reliable electricity, and a growing problem of de-forestation. Using the enormous amounts of waste, they are developing a prototype to turn this into clean burning coal which can be translated into electricity for cities. By doing this, they hope it will entice Haitians to dispose of their waste properly and stop chopping down forest to use the wood energy.

It will start small. We will be heading for 10 days to interview government officials, education officials, and others while signing the documents for the prototype. During this time, David and I will be filming EVERYTHING we do. We will be traveling all over the western half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and capturing the beaches, history, and people for you to see.

I’m really excited for this opportunity, and I feel this project will have some amazing potential to change the view the world has about Haiti.


  1. Melody

    I very much look forward to the outcome of this project! I for some reason, am also drawn to Haiti and know that I will visit the beautiful country someday!

  2. Toni

    I hope you have an amazing time full of inspiration and hope hun and I cannot wait (!) to hear all about it as its a place so very few people visit! :)

    1. Author

      Yes, Toni, it’s such a virgin country to tourism the past 60 yrs, but it used to be the “Pearl of the Caribbean” and I can’t wait to show you the little treasures I discovered!

  3. Angela

    What an amazing project to be apart of. Looking forward to learning something about a country I know very little about. I will be following!

    1. Author

      Thanks Ellen, it was an adventure of a lifetime and I’m completely exhausted but so happy to bring everyone a different view of the country =)

  4. Ed Rex

    Well, I look forward to see what you have to show us.

    Everytime I watch mainstream media, I get annoyed as they really do become ‘end of the world’ like and become negative. Time for some happy news and inspiration to get the world going again.

    1. Author

      Rad Rexy, glad you are looking forward to it! THat is exactly what we were trying to do opposite of. Haiti deserves a true representation and the world needs more honesty.

  5. Jean Max

    I’m Haitian and all I can say is thank you brother! You’re doing something great that not even some Haitians can do! Can wait to see what you’re coming up with!

  6. Widchel

    can’t wait for the result..

    don’t forget to tell us what equipment was used (you know how us enthusiast do).

    can’t wait to go back to where i was born myself but in the meantime, i intend to enjoy the show ;-).


    1. Author

      Widchel, I’ll definitely be making a post about the equipment used! Trust me, I know how us techie/photographers/videographers love the little details :)

  7. keri

    Cant wait to read the next posts! these ideas already sound amazing, as all I am ready for is total poverty and heartache! I leave SATURDAY (!!!) for PAP then on to Hinche. Supporting women in labor as a birth doula at a midwife-training hospital; doing its best to lower the infant and maternal mortality rate. Hoping to have a week of all babies and women making it and thriving like I know these beautiful Haitians can! thanks for shedding light on the joy and loveliness, here. YOu have my DREAM life 20 years ago (before 4 kids! :)
    greetings from Connecticut!

  8. Djeno

    Love the article “Haiti Travel Advice: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.” It was on point and so compelling. And your photography is just breathtaking. I’m thrilled that you discovered the real Haiti and shared it with your readers.

    As it seams you did not have the opportunity to visit the southern part of Haiti, I hope you will go back in the future and see what the southern coast has to offer, including Jacmel, Les Cayes, Port Salut, and Ile a Vaches, all wonderful places. I’ve only recently discovered these gems myself (born in Cap Haitien, but raised in NYC) and regret having believe for so many years, that Haiti had nothing positive to offer.


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