Dance Party for Haiti back to help students in the north
PORTSMOUTH — Dozens of people who attend the annual Caribbean Dance Party each spring will once again be able to celebrate their role in building a school in Haiti on Saturday, April 30 at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth. After a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, the dance party to raise funds for the Eben Ezer School will once again feature Combo Sabroso, one of New England’s most beloved Latin and reggae bands that attracts dedicated Latin dancers.
Among those giving brief talks at the opening of this year’s event will be Seacoast residents who traveled to Haiti in 2020 after years of supporting the Eben Ezer School. The group of 10 supporters managed to visit the school in January 2020 just before COVID hit. The trip was also on the 10th anniversary of a major earthquake in Haiti.
“My family had supported the school for a decade, but seeing the children and visiting the Milot community gave us a whole new appreciation for what life is like in Haiti and what Eben Ezer School does,” said said Stephen Ritchie of Eliot, who along with his wife sponsors the school’s annual teacher salary.
After a short update on school, Covid in Haiti and the recent earthquake, the music will start at 8 p.m. The Fluere Dance team from Portsmouth will give a Latin dance presentation followed by a short Latin dance lesson.
The Caribbean Nights for Haiti Festival, now in its 11th year, supports the education of approximately 500 children in a country where half the population cannot read or write.
Lucia Anglade, a Haitian-American living in New York, started school in 2003 on the land where she grew up. Seacoast residents began helping the school in 2007 when it had 35 students. Dozens of coastal families and organizations sponsoring children and paying teachers’ salaries have allowed the school to grow and survive.
Life and Hope, the organization that runs the school, is also well on its way to building a guest house which will allow the school to generate some of its own income and help ensure sustainability. organisation. It will also provide employment and vocational training.
The party starts at 7 p.m., with a slide show followed by a ball at 8 p.m. Vaccinations will be mandatory to enter 3S and ticket sales will be limited to avoid overcrowding.
The hall has filled up over the past few years as more and more people have heard of the school and the dance party. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets for people who sponsor children or teachers at school are $25.
Tickets are available online via Paypal at lifeandhopehaiti.org/donate and on sale at A Little Something in South Berwick, Ceres Bakery in Portsmouth and Lil’s Cafe in Kittery. More information is available from [email protected]