The Haiti Creates product line is made exclusively at the Cite Soleil Art Center (CS Art Center). This community owned factory exists within the footprint of a small school in the Boston zone of Cite Soleil, a shanty town just outside Port au Prince, Haiti. The school is called Cite Soleil Community School, or CSCS for short.
The school has been in existence for over 30 years, but its initial structure was destroyed in the earth quake of 2010. After the earthquake the school relocated and began to reestablish itself. Haiti Allies, one of CSCS's primary U.S. based partners, helped significantly to provide funds to enable the Haitian owners of the school to rebuild in the aftermath of the quake.
A core principle of Haiti Allies has long been to invest in cooperative development in Haiti, and to try to break the cycles of dependency that characterize many non-profit and NGO efforts to empower Haitian communities. CS Art Center is an expression of this kind of investment in self-sustainable enterprise.
The Lion's share of the seed money needed to build the CS Art Center factory was provided by members and friends of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire, WI. It is their long-term commitment and extreme generosity that made this dream a reality. There are no words that will adequately express the gratitude of the CSCS community for this amazing expression of solidarity, hope, and love.