Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"St. Marguerite," a mountain school in Léogâne, in the community of "La Tourmelle"

Here is a school in the mountains of Léogâne that needs rebuilt. The earthquake of January 12th, 2010 destroyed the church (Ste. Marguerite) and school, in the mountain community of "La Tournelle". Funds from the United Nations paid to get rid of the debris. Now they need funds to rebuild. Would love to help make the connections with a consortium of churches interested in funding and sending folks to rebuild.

This school is between six and ten miles up into the mountains and is only accessible by foot and pack animal. It serves preschoolers through the equivalent of 9th or 10th grade ("Troisième, Secondaire"). The Episcopal priest responsible for the school is Père Dejardin Wisnel.

The school has a limited partnership with an Episcopal church in the States named "St. Mark's." Gotta love that. Specifically, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, in Altadena, CA. Here is a picture from the school program that they support at the Latournelle school:St. Mark's Episcopal School--Compassion for the World

Leave me a note on this blog, or write me via the Mission Connections site:  Mission Connections
if you think your church might be interested. It would without doubt be a unique mission experience, including seriously physically challenging.

Pre-school teacher helping a student form her letters.

Area where former church-school stood. This area has been cleared, flattened and slightly enlarged with help from a United Nations program.

One of the older classes in a bit of a building that remained.

The main building that remains, where the administration is located and, I would estimate, three classroom areas.

Photos by Mark Hare, all rights reserved. Denera Lemoine, a school administrator, provided information about the school and the relationship with St. Mark's in Altadena.


Betsy said...

Saint Mark's Episcopal Church and School, Altadena and St. Mark's School, Southborough have a thriving relationship with Ste. Marguerite's Church and School! Pere Wisnel Dejardin visited both last fall and a third visit from members of the two St. Mark's communities is about to take place; we are committed to each other for the long run. Great news for Latournelle: an NGO (Finnish?) is soon to rebuild their school; this project was planned earlier, then cancelled, and now appears to be on course again.
Very interesting reading your blog; thanks be to God for your work helping the people of this area share their knowledge to the benefit of all.

Mark Hare; Jenny Bent said...

Thank you, Betsy, for your reply. Very helpful. If I understand correctly, folks from the two supporting schools in the US will be visiting St. Marguerite soon? It would be great if I could coordinate my time there to have a chance to meet you all.

My understanding is that there are four or five more Episcopal schools in the Léogâne mountains that need rebuilding. Do you know anything more about those?

The mountain schools in Haiti are key to making community life viable there. Kudos to the US churches that are partnering with them.

Betsy said...

We are aiming for annual visits; this year's group went the beginning of February. We have a St. Mark's - Ste. Marguerite's FB page which doesn't reflect all of what we do but does have some updates.

I don't know anything specific about other schools in the area that need rebuilding, but I am sure there are some! I believe a road is currently being constructed from Jean-Jean to Latournelle to replace the current narrow path, in part with the goal of making it easier to get supplies there to rebuild the school.

Mark Hare; Jenny Bent said...

Thanks for the reply, Betsy. I have not gone up the mountain since the work began on the road, but my associate, Herve has and I have some photos. When I was in Léogâne last week briefly, word was that a vehicle can now get almost all the way to Latournelle. Look forward to seeing the results of the project.

Blessings to you as you continue your commitment with the school.

Betsy said...

I would really like to see photos if you are able to share them! You can email me at mobetsy [at] hotmail [dot] com. There are many good things about the road, but some we were told that some people will lose their homes as a result...the price of development, I guess.

Betsy said...

Just came back from Latournelle and Leogane. The road goes all the way and has frequent motorcycle use, along with the occasional car or truck. As we left on Monday, the work was beginning for Ste. Marguerite's new school building!

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