Exploitation of the taïno art


What is the Touris Lakay ?


  The Touris Lakay is a community-based tourism that aims to energize each region on the basis of the wealth available there. It is a tourism that respects our culture, our heritage and the Haitian people. The Touris Lakay is above all a great konbit of three forces that have been excluded until now in the development projects of the communities. These three forces are :

  • Residents of the rural community
  • His youth too often dispersed
  • Its diaspora

This konbit aims at taking care and development of the rural world by its own nationals from its latent potential. It must lead to recognize, protect and make the most of its environment, its natural, cultural and historical heritage, to generate income in a perspective of sustainable production of wealth.

To achieve this, a sense of collective pride is essential. It must provoke in those who have left their community enough enthusiasm to return home and participate in this great movement of development through well thought-out tourism. A development capable of attracting national and foreign visitors eager to discover and experience the novelties proposed in integrated programs of well-planned tourist circuits.

The Touris Lakay does not claim any luxury but requires cleanliness, hygiene, security, decent welcome (including comfortable toilets) and above all originalities of all kinds: dances, local crafts, healthy and traditional local cuisine… This rural community development based on nature, history, culture, human potential and the application of the philosophy of Konbitisme is a royal way of cooperation between the three aforementioned groups and an encouragement to the unification of the Haitian society.

For the implementation of Touris Lakay

FORF encourages :

  1. The holding of seminars aimed at making the community aware of the great constructive scope of applied Konbitism, of the potential for exploitation of the region’s wealth and especially of the great entrepreneurial capacities to be developed.
  2. The organization of surveys that will take stock of the situation of the area, its strengths and weaknesses, and all the exploitable wealth: natural, cultural, historical, human.
  3. The mobilization of the community to identify and choose development projects likely to attract visitors and generate income.
  4. The constructive and mobilizing involvement of members and associations of the diaspora from the region around the selected projects.

TOURIS LAKAY is an important component in achieving FORF’s national vision:




Principles underlying Touris Lakay



Touris Lakay is a form of tourism complementary to mass tourism promoted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries. Three principles underlie the action:

Principle 1  

Identification of sites of interest to both national and international tourists. These sites can be beautiful natural waterfalls, sea fronts or mountain peaks. They can also be colonial ruins, caves and Indian burial grounds or places of residence, be places where colonial battles were held, or represent significant places in the history of the country. These sites must be geographically close to each other in a region to allow for the creation of one or more tourist circuits.

    Principle 2 

Organization of training seminars given to the inhabitants of the region to train them in the principles of entrepreneurship and accompany them in identifying the exploitable potential of their area. Participation and involvement of local communities linked to these circuits of interest. Organization of the workforce necessary for the development, administration, protection of the sites and tourist circuits, and the safety and well-being of visitors by local officials and decision-makers.

  Principle 3

Involvement of Haitians living abroad in the form of participation in projects, investments, donations and technical volunteering, scholarships. The diaspora originating from the communities and regions where these sites are located makes a key contribution to the promotion of tourism and economic development in each of these circuits.


Role of the FORF

The role that FORF is committed to playing in this process is that of facilitator, fundraiser, and pilot project to test the viability of the process. Once launched, the projects must be self-sustaining both administratively and financially. They must also contribute to the protection of heritage, the beautification of the environment, and the stabilization and economic and social development of communities.


Pilot Project 2016-2019


  Training of villagers in the heritage and art of taïno inspiration in Bois-Neuf/Ravine Sèche, commune of Saint-Marc. Construction of a small training and production center for pottery and jewelry of taïno inspiration. Integration of the village in the tourist circuit of the Côte des Arcadins. Possible construction of a small museum/interpretation center of taïno art in the village of Ravine Sèche.

 – Step 1: Feasibility study / Preparation of a project plan / Establishment of local alliances

– Step 2: Call for pilot project funds, staff resources

– Step 3: Implementation of the pilot project / Continued fundraising for the entire project

– Step 4: Evaluation of the Pilot Project and Follow-up Analysis

– Step 5: Expansion of the pilot project to different locations and tours


The project of initiation to the artisanal exploitation of the taïno heritage

The village of Ravine Sèche, in the communal section of Bois-Neuf, Bas Artibonite, is the site of an ancient taïno site. There are still traces of this civilization that archaeological studies have corroborated.  The inhabitants of the region are aware of this and have enthusiastically involved themselves in learning and producing pottery inspired by this past which they wish to promote with a view to a true economic development of their area and the improvement of the living conditions of the residents.  Thus, the village spontaneously provided the project with an adequate and secure space for the installation of a pottery workshop including equipment and a firing kiln as well as for the conduct of training and production activities.

The village also conceals other assets and attractions: attractive coastline and fishing facilities, sports areas, cultural center, museum-residence of the great Haitian writer Frankétienne, drinking water purification plant, the presence of the much frequented “National Biblical Center of Fatima” and many others. In addition, located on the Arcadin coast near many hotels, the village lends itself very well to the development of a tourist circuit.  Its access road is asphalted, making it easily accessible to tourists, and members of the Tourist and Hotel Association (ATH) have already expressed interest in including it as a new destination in their tour itineraries.  The Odette Roy Fombrun Foundation for Education (FORF) and the Lise Antoine Saint-Natus Women’s Health Foundation (FLASSEF), jointly involved in the area since 2015, have decided to continue on this path of development. The project presented here will be carried out in close partnership between the two (2) foundations with the support of the Françoise Canez Auguste Foundation (FFCA) and Moulin Sur Mer Foundation (FMSM).


Training in Pottery and Jewelry inspired by taïno – Construction of a workshop in Bois-Neuf/Ravine Sèche

Le projet Bois-Neuf vise à :

  • dynamiser la communauté de Bois-Neuf/Ravine Sèche
  • contribuer à son développement à partir de l’exploitation de son riche héritage historique et culturel
  • développer ses capacités de production d’œuvres artisanales de qualité d’inspiration taïno
  • lui permettre d’intégrer les circuits touristiques de la zone voisine des Arcadins et de ses hôtels pour
  • éventuellement, s’ouvrir aux marchés extérieurs.             

Specific objectives      

The specific objectives of the project are to :

  • Intensively continue the pottery and jewelry training courses that were successfully started in October 2015.
  • To equip the village with a center of production of pottery and jewelry
  • Set up the organizational structure for production and sales management
  • Training young people in entrepreneurship
  • Introduce the population to the history of Amerindian ancestors


Expected results 

The following results are expected at the end of the project:

  • More than thirty young people, girls and women will be properly trained in the craft production of taïno-inspired pottery and jewelry.
  • The village will be served by a properly equipped and well-managed workshop.
  • In the room annexed to the workshop, they will be able to exhibit and sell their works.
  • Contacts will be established with the hotels of the Côte des Arcadins for the sale of their production.
  • Visitors will come to visit the village, which will begin to exploit other possibilities of attraction and sources of income as well: taïno (cassava) cooking, embroidery, weaving, etc.



The project will have the following effects :

  • To energize the community of Bois-Neuf
  • To create a new tourist attraction for the region
  • To create new jobs and new sources of income
  • To give a new pride to the population who will know how to better manage their environment.
  • To encourage the practice of the great konbit and the sharing of knowledge and potentialities; civic-mindedness
  • To open the community to external markets


Project managers and beneficiaries talk about it

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihm0ofMVmOg[/embedyt]