“The Haitian people love having fun, and they are an exciting group of people to hang around. Dépi tanbou frapé, tout moun levé dansé (as soon as the music starts, everyone starts dancing)! The carnival, rara bands, music, and folklore is braided into Haiti’s essence – the Pearl of the Islands.”    – Elsy Dinvil (writer, cook and Art Camp Cultural Guest Artist, 2019)

Krik? the Haitian storyteller calls out when they have a story to tell.
Krak! the audience responds if they want the storyteller to begin.

For many Americans the stories we hear about Haiti are ones of natural disasters and poverty. But knowing about a country and its land – its flora and fauna, its stories, folktales, art, music, dance – is to know its heart.  Through these qualities we discover each other’s stories and humanity, as we develop our capacity to see the difference between sensational headlines and the essence of a land and its people. A few facts about Haiti . . .

  • Haiti is located on the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic.
  • “Ayiti” (land of the mountains), was named by the first inhabitants of Hispaniola, the Taino Indians.
  • Beaches, waterfalls, cloud forests, and pine tree-capped mountains used to abound. Today, only 4 percent of the forests are left, and much of the soil has washed into the sea. When one flies over Haiti what one sees is mostly gorgeous, bare-bone mountains.
  • The national bird of Haiti, the Hispaniolan trogon,  is a beautifully colored species of bird native to Hispaniola, living in remaining tropical and subtropical forests.
  • The Haitian Revolution, ending in 1804 and celebrated every year, can be described as the largest and most successful slave rebellion in the Western Hemisphere.

Please Note: to make available the experience of Art Camp to as many campers as possible, campers are limited to enroll for a single week-long camp session, however this year campers may also attend the 3-day Bonus Camp July 1-3.

The Stories

MONDAY introduces campers to Haiti with a story beginning on the coast of West Africa.
Djapie and the Magic Dwarf
Clever and headstrong, Djapie studies with the village witch doctor.  Failing to heed his master’s advice, he ends up in a Haitian slave market. Freedom after the Revolution finds him practicing magic, but he is still Djapie….

The week ends with a Friday Trickster Tale of the raconteur’s choice!

3-DAY BONUS CAMP July 1 – 3 (limited spaces available)
Trickster Tales Trio –  a story each day!
Haitian trickster tales are famous for clever characters.  This fun week will be storytellers’ choice!

WEEK 1:  June 24 – 28 (spaces available!)
The Case of the Uncooked Eggs
A thank you gift of three eggs results in a poor woman’s prosperity, but the jealous giver calls in the lawyers…oh, no!

WEEK 2:  July 8 – 12 (waitlist applications welcome!)
Mother of the Waters
A harshly-treated servant girl shows kindness to a strange old woman and a wild cat.  But the daughter of the house – well, she isn’t kind.

WEEK 3:  July 15 – 19 (pre-K/K spaces only)
The Magic Orange Tree
It’s the perfect folktale recipe:  a sad but clever girl, a cruel twist of fate, and a magic song.

WEEK 4:  July 22 – 26 (spaces available!)
Malice Learns a Trade
Malice is lazy and just doesn’t like to work. He still must earn a living, but only Malice would choose such an occupation.

WEEK 5:  July 29 – August 2 (pre-K/K spaces only)
The Gizzard
A young hunter gives his mother a beautiful bird with instructions to care for it tenderly. When a greedy man recognizes the bird’s magic, things get complicated….

WEEK 6:  August 5 – 9 (spaces available!)
Four Hairs of the Devil
A brave young boy is sent on an impossible and daunting quest.  Fortunately, he is clever and well mannered.

WEEK 7:  August 12 – 16 (limited spaces available)
Owl doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence, but he loves to dance….


Click here for an update on the Art Camp Exchange in Haiti fundraiser last summer.

For general camp details see Art Camps and Info for Parents.

For last summer’s cultural focus: GAC 2018