Montesinos Orphanage and Environmental Technical School, Haiti
Titanyen is a small, but quickly growing, informal settlement an hour ride away from Port-au-Prince, where our project, an orphanage, school, and future technical school for the region is located. The project is guided by the vision of young and highly dedicated parish priest in the region, Father Charles, who began with no funds to teach street orphans not just the standard curriculum but the skills and ideas to become Haiti’s environmental stewards. In a country like Haiti where environmental degradation is some of the most severe on earth, restoring the earth’s capacity is both environmental and human rights issue.
Our project has focused on generating a master plan and architectural services for the orphanages’ school, residential and agricultural facilities, which provide both a K-12 education for the orphans and the community as well as adult education on sustainable agricultural practices, building and infrastructure. Our master planning includes design and educational practices to guide the restoration of the 30 acres of the school, orphanage and organic farm, bakeries, and micro industries and includes and sustainable infrastructure to serve the water and waste cycles of the entire community. After an intense effort, often disrupted by the fragile and unstable social and political situation of Haiti, the school and dormitories for 160 students have been completed, and we are focusing design and construction of a bakery, water systems, organic farm, and restoration of this fragile but stunning site.
The project is generously supported by Caritas Rome, Food for the Poor, and a Partnership University Grant institution building grant which has made possible the research, field work and construction activities of teams of students, faculty and professionals from the US and France led by teams from PSU and ESA in Paris. This year, with support from these foundations, students from both institutions will be constructing the buildings and infrastructure to support the micro-industries which will economically support the orphanage and commercialize its crafts and agricultural production.