Update: Permaculture Relief Corps in Haiti!

Haiti 2010 earthquake: collapse of port complex

Below is a great update from Nika Boyce (@nika7k) I want to thank everyone who has expressed interest and I am inspired that this idea IS HAPPENING!  Stuart Leiderman (Lakou Permaculture) is on the ground in Haiti right now calling out for help stateside with coordinating a long term Permaculture Relief Corps effort.  People working in Haiti have asks that folks do not send goods just yet as you can see from the photos the port is a total mess!  Below is a email list of key coordinators by region:

Stuart Leiderman   —Currently in Haiti right now was working on the Lakou-Permaculture project


Joni Zweig  –Currently in Haiti works with AMURTEL disaster relief


Cory Brenna—Currently in FL coordinating funds and people in FL works with permacultureguild.us which has a donation site up now for the creation of a Permaculture Relief Corps


Kevin —-Currently in Hudson Valley NY coordinating fundraising


Rhonda—- Coordinating in the Bloomington IN region


Marvin Warren —Coordinating for the Ithaca Finger lakes area


If your not on this list and want to be or on this list and don’t want to be….


Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) Currently coordinating for the Olympia WA and Seattle area


From Nika Boyce (nika7k):

Like you, I have been simply swept away by the brutal earthquake that has subsumed Haiti into a hell that gets worse by the day.

I have been mostly learning about it via CNN and on twitter. I have been pouring over the satellite images of the destruction as seen in Google Earth.

As I write, Reuters says that more than 200,000 people have died and as of this evening, they have buried 40,000 dead. MANY more bodies lay in the streets and under endless tons of ruined buildings.

Thank goodness for twitter and the permaculture people I have gotten to know there because that is the only thing that is keeping me from feeling utterly lost in desolation over this apocalypse.

It is through @gaiapunk, who is something of a one-man permaculture media empire, that I have begun to learn about and really love the idea of Permaculture First Responders.

He posted several links to projects already either training Permaculture First Responders or projects on the ground in Haiti and other disaster struck places.

Permaculture First Responder – Permie Disaster Relief Training Course

Cegrane Camp Permaculture Rehabilitation Project

Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange

I have been wondering how I might be able to help nurture this idea here, tucked away in my small part of the world without actually going to Haiti myself.

I have been chatting with Cory at Permaculture.org and am happy to share this link that is very constructive in terms of the next steps.

Help for Haiti from Permaculture

(UPDATE: @gaiapunk will also be posting a Long term Permaculture Relief Corps project on kickstarter.com a crowd funding site look for that in the next day or two)

From that site you will see:

Some of the projects which permaculturists can design and implement are:

Short Term:

Building sewage systems, composting toilets, compost and recyclying centers, rocket and solar stoves, temporary shelters (perma-yurts), water catchment and filtering, and plant nurseries.

Rocket and solar stoves are key because the major ecological problem in Haiti which causes huge hardships from many angles is deforestation for fuel. Solar stoves use no wood and rocket stoves, which can be made out of old cans and pipes laying around, use almost no fuel and can cook with twigs.

Correct diversion of sewage, human waste, and water can substantially contribute to rebuilding farm land in the area – the idea is to create the conditions for long term self-sufficiency and abundance with even our short term handlings.

Long Term:

Permanent, low cost, earthquake resistant natural buildings, water storage, earth works, renewable energy, permaculture food forests, broad-scale reforestation, farms, aquaculture systems, and community buildings such as schools and health centers.

We are currently working via a worldwide network of permaculturists to bring resources to Haiti, and several permaculturists are interested in traveling to Haiti to help with the rescue and relief efforts, but need funding to do so. We are in contact with disaster handlers in the area who they can coordinate with for maximum effectiveness. There is a permaculture project existing in Haiti that we are working to connect with as well. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me – I am also willing to meet with potential funders to answer questions personally.

If you want to donate now, please use the “Haiti Donations – Donate” Paypal button on the right hand side of this web page. For past projects we’ve funded, please see the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation article under “Projects.” We will use initial funding to get people there on the ground and most needed resources such as equipment for building the short term items needed. Whenever possible, we use existing resources in the area that are free or very inexpensive – permaculture is very effective at getting the maximum return for energy invested, so you will know your money is going to a good cause.

I know that the idea of surviving this disaster is like a miracle and then the idea of Haiti being able to climb up from a place so dark seems too distant to contemplate.

To this end, I have been graphing out what the needs would be over time for people living through such overwhelming disasters.

I think its extremely important to do this now and for Haitians, now, because these same ideas and strategies will be needed again and again as climate change progresses.


In the graphic above, I try to illustrate the needs of a person immediately after surviving a catastrophe (earthquake, fire, flood, etc). The needs are pretty basic but inelastic in their being absolutely needed.


Once the person is out of immediate danger and is left standing with nothing, no assets, nothing but other survivors around them, they need to find a way to rebuild, regenerate, and boost their resilience so that they become embedded in a community that provides current and future needs.


In this next graphic, I extend on the specific needs outlined in the second graphic with permaculture and no/lo-carbon and low cost strategies for coping and rebuilding.

Please take some time and explore these graphics and tell me what you think, whats missing? What would you add?

Please consider becoming involved in helping the Haitians, using permaculture or by other means, as where the Haitians are right now, that hell, could easily be ours, any of us.

We are, in many ways, their community.

We are each other’s community and it is through us banding together that we build resilience in every place.


10 thoughts on “Update: Permaculture Relief Corps in Haiti!

  1. Yes! Thank you Nika, Cory and Evan. It feels like it is coming together indeed. Wherever I see fit for my help I will be there. I’ll stay updated with what unfurls. Thank you again for this well-needed work.


  2. Pingback: Haiti vs. Iraq « eat/the/earth

  3. This is an opportunity for Haiti to come out of the dismal past and rebuild a agrarian society. A Broad Acre response is the best future for Haiti. By the way, I would replace economic security with resource security. Economic security is the big lie in America that government and big business use to force a paradigm of worker dependence on their programs.


  4. Broad acre the best permaculture response in the tropics?!! I don’t think so. What about integrated farm forestry? Agro-forestry? Intensive, community managed, space and resource efficient…..


  5. How do I get involved? I got my permaculture design certificate and Im experienced in many alternative building styles. I want to help. is there a group already out there?
    Thanks. I’m not very internet saavy and live in Texas where there aren’t many activists or permaculturists… i need assistance very much. 🙂


  6. I love permaculture, very spiritual and gentle. very low cost and very high efficiency, i believe permaculture is one of the best hope for haiti,
    i wish your organization and other organization group working
    in haiti all the success, these organizations are the only one who can get haiti of its rabbit hole. best wishes and god bless you.

    I have a great idea with so many million high skill people unemployed around the world, I think those mind should link together through a permaculture program to rebuild haiti,
    instead of feeling down for feeling for not having a job use your free time to help one of the most special country rich in history and culture who had help free many country in south america and the carribean an help america purchased from the french.
    to all unemployed and high skill people around the globe please used your time to create a positive change for a very special country.

    the reward for helping haiti will be great a very positive karma, a sense of great accomplishment no job in the world can match, and a living positive legacy like many great man who have worked the planet like nelson mandela, martin luther king, gandhi rosa park and many more your name will be among them.
    millions will talk about you, after living this planet, because you have created something greater than yourself, something many claim to be impossible, but you have proven them wrong. follow your heart and god will be with you all the way to guide you, to protect you because you chose to help another fellow men, we are all one your color of your skin is irrelevant we are all from the god source wish is love, and all is the only thing that change the world, it’s true haiti earthquake sent a shockwave on every man and woman heart around the world, but it’s also and
    awakening, an awakening to love, an awakening to compassion and also an awakening to take positive action that all of us should open our heart to something positive and loving for your fellow mankind. no skill required just a beautiful warm heart and a very beautiful baby step or watching a seed sprouting turn into a beautiful plant and tree.
    all the best to all of you


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