Written By: Junior Medard, Haiti General Manager
From July 2018 through the end of August 2020, the American dollar had significantly appreciated compared to the Haitian Goude (HTG). This was due to several things: Haiti's economic model based mostly on import, a chronic political crisis, frequent unrest, and currency speculation by local banks.
This sad reality has had a deteriorating effect on the social conditions of Haitian citizens, including Extollo's Haiti-based staff. In order to mitigate the social and financial impacts of a falling HTG, Extollo tagged staff compensation to 80HTG/$1 since June 2019. The local currency rate was continuing to increase until reaching 122HTG/$1 in August 2020. Extollo’s proactive approach to staff compensation in relation to the falling HTG was indeed a good relief for the staff.
However, the month of September brought a number of concerning changes. Haiti's Central Bank depreciated the HTG from 122HTG/$1 to 65HTG/$1 with no proportional decrease in the price of products, significantly impacting the life of average Haitians. This change came after the Haiti Central Bank sanctioned a few local banks for the dollar’s speculation and injected several million USD into the economy. This new context, instead of improving Haitian’s life, brings more uncertainty for the people. Except for a very short list of products, the prices of basic necessities have increased, thus making life even harder for those who are poor. Even the middle class in Haiti is feeling the negative impact. This creates tension within Haiti and is creating even more political turmoil, which we have seen throughout the month.
Please pray for the economic and social situation in Haiti, and that those who are most vulnerable can get the food, shelter, and safety they need. An ethical and robust economy is so needed in Haiti. Extollo's work in this regard is so very important.
vocational training in haiti
This course of nine students went very well due to the leadership of Jonathan, Jeffte, and Mirlande, and the very good work Stateside to update, improve, and retool the training outline, instructor documents, student lab assignments, and curriculum itself. Even ex-pat instructor, Jeff Ballard, has been impressed with the quality of the work the students are doing (which is saying a lot!) through his review of pictures and videos from the class. Our digital communication tools, that allow us to chat and send pictures/videos, is a key to making this type of guidance possible.
Our staff diligently follow inspections helping ensure our vehicles and equipment are maintained and running in top shape. The environment in Haiti is rough, and parts can be hard to find so these attention to details are important to be good stewards of the gifts that have been given.
We are so happy to introduce you to Garry Jonathan Dagrin, the newest member of our Extollo Haiti team. Jonathan will be helping as one of our training instructors. He is also very valuable to us as an interpreter! Below, Jonathan greets you and shares a brief biography:
My name is Garry Jonathan DAGRIN. I’m 27 years old. I'm the oldest of 3 children. I’m from Jacmel in the south-east region of Haiti. Since 2005, our parents decided to move to Bercy to have access to a better education for us. In 2012, after graduating from high school (called école secondaire in French), I decided to go to the university of GOC to participate in the civil engineering department. I successfully earned my license in 2018. I worked for 6 years with People for Haiti (PFH), a group of missionaries in Bercy. I discovered Extollo through their website. I was very impressed by their vision and their objective, so I joined the team for an even more interesting adventure which will bring me more maturity as a young professional. Extollo already gives me the opportunity to be able to implement the skills I'm learning for the advancement of the institution. I'm glad to be among you.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"I think the work Extollo is doing in training young people in the country is priceless."