An excerpt from our intern's this summer-
The main reason I’m down here in Haiti is to provide assistance with many different things at Ernso’s HPCD office. HPCD is an entrepreneurial development firm that provides both financial support, incubator space, and business development lessons to Haitian entrepreneurs who are trying to create sustainable businesses for themselves. You can learn more about HPCD and their efforts under the HPCD tab I’ve provided at the top of this blog page.

So far at HPCD I’ve taken on many different projects. Upon arrival here in Haiti, Ernso told me that in order for these entrepreneurs to maximize their potential and reach markets outside of their communities in Port-au-Prince, they must have a basic understanding of English and computer skills. He asked if I could start teaching an English course that some of the past interns have helped draft during their time at HPCD. In addition to the English course, an introductory computer course needed to be drafted from scratch. I immediately began reviewing the material for the English course. I was very excited to begin drafting my own introductory computer course and started drafting the outline and lesson plans for that as well.

Because I’m a native English speaker, it might come across a bit bizarre when I say that I’m much more comfortable teaching the computer course than the English course. I think, to a point, this is because I designed the computer course myself instead of jumping into pre-written material like I did with the English course. But mainly, I think I’m only less comfortable teaching English because I don’t ever really remember learning English; English just kind of.. happened. It was something that has built itself up through continuous years of living in an English speaking society. But computers is a different story; it’s a completely different approach. I specifically remember learning how to use a computer and its many resources over the years. I know which steps are necessary to learn first. I can see how different skills are acquired only after learning the more basic ones. This structure of learning something new such as computers is something I’ve had a hard time applying to teaching English.

Despite my comfort of teaching one course over another, I’m optimistic about both courses and look forward to spreading this knowledge to a group of hardworking individuals who are going to benefit directly from their newly acquired skills. I’ll be working alongside other interns to perfect the course. There will a translator on hand to relay all of the material between us and the student entrepreneurs. This is going to be a learning experience for everyone involved. It also motivates me to learn more Creole. I plan to come back to Haiti in the future after I graduate and I would like to be able to effectively communicate with the people.

I start teaching the introductory computer course tomorrow (June 4th) here at HPCD to 8-12 student entrepreneurs. I’ll blog more about how both the computer course and the English course have come along at the end of the week.



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