Children harvest vegetables from the school garden
There was much bustling about on Friday morning in preparation for the annual St. Paul’s School Harvest Festival. Vendor stalls needed to be built, vegetables harvested, eggs gathered and children corralled.
Each year, the school holds this festival to showcase the agriculture program, led by Agronomist Raphael Salvador, which teaches students about farming and animal husbandry, and supports small family farms in the community. There is a small fee to enter and the proceeds help support the school's program. After a welcome from Agro Raphael, Father Luc Desire and Principal Maxo Valcin, the children sang songs, performed dances and enacted plays advocating for the preservation of trees, care for the environment and the importance of nutrition.
Artisans and vendors displayed their wares in stalls made from long sticks. Local women kept the stoves going nonstop cooking delicious “fritay”, or fried Haitian staples such as plantains and manioc. Eggs gathered from nearby chicken coops and a large spread of okra, peppers, eggplants, melons, sugar cane and carrots harvested from the school garden made up the offering from St. Paul’s program. Goats were tethered to a tree in the shade and the rabbit hutch was on display nearby.
Later in the day, a bicycle was raffled off and St. Paul’s students played a soccer match against students from a nearby school. This year’s festival was a big success, with fantastic attendance from St. Paul students and parents, as well as students, parents and community members from the surrounding area.
Teachers Raphael & Vladiny with a student
Student displays her artwork for the festival
Student displays his artwork for the festival