Our hotel is in Jacmel. Haiti is one of few countries in the Caribbean not based on tourism. The hotel has 15 rooms in a "New Orleans-style" building build in 1888. It is a loved hotel that has depended on it's regular clients - artists, writers, photographers, hardcore travelers - people who prefer art to jacuzzis, fans to A/C, movies to TV.
Jacmel needs many things: We should have a library - with English, French and Spanish books. We need to show great films. Have good music 3 or 4 nights a week. And the buildings themselves need attention.
Anybody who wants to contribute is welcome. The plumbing needs upgrading. Gardeners are wanted. Commercial artists. Interesting musicians and other people who can inform or entertain. Also marketing people. People who really know social media. People who want to help us raise money for ecological and cultural projects. We want to go entirely solar. And to repair the last of the earthquake damage which almost destroyed all the buildings 2010.
Can you cook? Teach? Help clean the beach? And then help in a PR campaign to get the city to enforce the country's ban on styrofoam? And to stop dumping garbage in the river? We have started an association of local hotel owners to initiate all the projects Jacmel needs.
We will "go green." And entirely organic. But we need help to get there.
We need people who speak English or French or Spanish. We need to attract travelers from the Dominican Republic - the Western part of the island of Hispaniola. We need musicians to perform. We need just about anything an adventuress and literate person might be able to contribute. We are hoping to start a newspaper - which the town desperately needs - and has never had.
There are good beaches, an extraordinary waterfall, meager surfing, and has a great Carnival which - in one form or another - goes on for months! There is sometimes extraordinary "voodoo" - which goes on all night. Movies will be shown daily. Local transportation is very cheap. And Jacmel is the center of both art and crafts in Haiti.
Haiti is unlike anywhere else. It's the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and in many ways miserable. But also one of the most vibrant, happy, genuinely friendly. It is Christian in name only. The spirit-gods are here to stay and they influence daily life to a remarkable degree. What people get out of being in Haiti depends entirely on them but the place is both subtle and blatant that it's hard not be fascinated by it. Everyone seems somewhat altered by the experience of spending time here.
I am an American. I've owned the house for almost 30 years. As a private residence and then as a hotel. Now I want to make it a center for entertainment and cultural events in Jacmel, which is many peoples' favorite town in Haiti.
Private or shared rooms in the hotel. We also have a modern house across the street, on the beach, which can be used when the hotel is full. We have a stove for people who like to cook but 2 meals a day will be provided by the hotel's kitchen, generally considered the best in Jacmel.