Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy International Creole Day!

On this day, millions of fluent speakers of the Creole language can take pride in the fact that their native language Creole is being celebrated. The language, with its many variations is most prevalent in Haiti and in smaller sister islands of St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe (Caribbean), to Louisiana (United States), French Guiana (South America), Seychelles and Mauritania, (Africa) and Réunion (overseas department of France). Because Creole comprises of primarily French and African languages with some Spanish, Portuguese and English influences, it is safe to say that the remnants of Creole dialects span far beyond those nations and today all those Creole cultures are celebrated.

Here at the Kreyòl lab we pride ourselves in preserving and promoting Haitian Creole (Kreyòl) but today is a small reminder that we are not alone in the goal to use our language to build bridges between Creole and foreign cultures. Whether you are a Haitian or a foreign enthusiast, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you friends for taking the time to be a part of this universal mission. In the simple decision to connect with Haiti through work, volunteer efforts, enjoyable travel stays, or most importantly learning or speaking the language you justly deserve recognition for serving as an agent that gives Haiti- the most populated Creole speaking country in the world the opportunity to build its global presence. With such small commitments the advancement of the Creole language and culture is almost inevitable. We are most appreciative of your effort to join us as we firmly believe our diligence and continuous efforts in due time will simply offer proof that “men anpil, chay pa lou” no load is too heavy when the hands are many…

Mèsi Anpil.

Kreyòl Lab Team

Monday, October 17, 2011

Krik Krak ! [Poetry]

di krik,
Rèv mwen an malmakak
di krak,
klou gagit se fontyè imajinasyon m

Absans ou plake jouk anwo nan fetay tòl
Bonè bonè,
bonè m pran on palavire
Nan zokokolo kalbas tèt mwen
Pwomès ki te fèt fè mikalaw

Si demen de men n kontre
nan kachkach liben sere liben listwa
wa di yo:
timtim bwa sèch!
timtim bwa sèch!

lalin bliye chanje katye
katye a an dèy
byografi n son laviwonndede
mèch lwil
ak lanp tèt gridap…


Krik Krak!

Say krik:
my dreams hung over my head
Say krak:
round-wire nails frontier my imagination

As I envision your absence glued up over my tin roof
my sanity has been abated,
in the very depth of my calabash-head
promises made scattered.

If tomorrow our hands shall meet
in the midst of history’s epic game of hide and seek
May you tell them:
Timtim! Bwa sèch!
Timtim! Bwa sèch!

The moon forgot how to switch phase
the village is mourning,
our biographies remain an amalgam
of oiled threads and gridap-head lamps…

Vye Ewòl (c) / Koleksyon Toutouni

Friday, October 7, 2011



The Chicago Edikayiti Project is an initiative of Kreyòl Lab / in coalition with Chicayiti to mobilize, strengthen, and help organize the Chicago Haitian community to participate in Haiti’s development and help promote a positive image of the country internationally. We strongly believe that a partnership with the Haitian Community Center of Chicago is very important for the realization of key aspects of this social project. Currently, we can only focus on the Haitian community of Chicago but our ultimate goal is to adopt this program in the future in other Haitian communities in the Diaspora as well as in Haiti. Below is a list of our main objectives with some details:

• Build capacity and empower the Haitian Community
a) Offer basic literacy classes in Haitian Creole for adults and senior citizens
b) Offer free ESL classes for adults and senior citizens
c) Offer basic computer literacy courses- Intro to the Internet
d) Build a Virtual Resource Center for the Chicago Haitian Community
e) Conduct Haitian Cultural and Historical Workshops for Youth to foster community leadership and involvement
f) Help promote Haitian Businesses, Media, organize and promote cultural and historical events among our youth, elderly and the general public (Carifete, Bwa Kayiman, poetry/Spoken words, book clubs, picnics, etc.)
g) Encourage interconnectivity within the Haitian Community and raise awareness about community building.

• Promote and Preserve Haitian Culture
a) Offer beginner through advanced Haitian Creole classes to individuals and groups interested in Haiti for volunteer, internship, work, tourism or adoption
b) Offer Haitian Creole literacy classes to Haitian-Americans
c) Encourage Haitian representation/participation in international or ethnic gatherings

• Help bridge the gap between Haitian Youth in the Diaspora and Haiti to participate in Haiti’s development through Mobilization and Cultural Awareness
a) Haiti exchange program / Spring Break in Haiti
b) Promote patriotism and unity between the motherland and its diaspora

• Aid Haitian immigrants to become active citizens and integrate into American Society
a) Immigration assistance
b) Motivation, job and self-marketing skills

Literacy Course for Adults and Senior Citizens
This is called the Alphabetization program; the creole word is Alfabetizasyon which means literacy. The Literacy course will be taught in Haitian Creole for native Haitian speakers. It is a primary initiation to basic writing and reading comprehension skills especially for Haitian adults who could not afford or did not have a chance to ever receive any form of academic education in Haiti. Classes will be taught individually or in small groups. Participant will be able to sign their names, obtain basic reading proficiency and writing skills upon completion of this program. Class will meet twice a week for up to 3 months and will be taught by Kreyòl Lab’s founder: Erold Saint Louis. This is a very flexible program where students define class schedule with instructor.

The ESL Program for Adults or Senior Citizens:
The mission of ESL is to offer a flexible program to help the diverse needs of the Haitian community who have a limited ability in speaking, reading, writing or understanding the English language. Our aim is to ensure that their English proficiency will help them acquire the basic knowledge and skills they need to function effectively as active citizens.
In addition, Edikayiti offers key features we hope will maximize our level of impact within the Haitian community, which will include our ability to:
Empower our Adult Learners with confidence as they will be instructed by individuals that have basic proficiency in their native language of Haitian Creole, making for a less intimidating and more supportive classroom environment.
• Distinguish ourselves in the community as the only ESL program specifically dedicated to underserved Haitian senior citizens
• Conduct literacy courses specifically designed to swiftly equip Adult Learners with the most vital tools needed for employment
• As our ESL students progress through our classes it is our goal to be able to offer them basic computer skills to complete their readiness to integrate comfortably within American society.

Fall Class Descriptions
All classes will be held in a conversational manner. Edikayiti upholds the belief that students gain faster retention with practical training. All classes will be taught by educated native English speakers who are also fluent in Haitian Creole. This is an outline a few of our beginning ESL classes.

Greetings- These classes will focus on how to greet or introduce ones’ self with confidence with native English speakers

ABCs and 123s- These class sessions will serve as the main building block for which students learn pronunciation, start learning vocabulary and the grammar to begin forming sentences.
Money Talk- This class will be a vital component to get the Adult Learners to truly understand American currency and some basic shopping tips.

‘Tis the Season- This class will be a fun and interactive course in which students will have the opportunity to learn times, dates, days of the week, seasons and holidays. Students will be introduced to American traditions and values.
Proverbs- Proverbs serve as a great way to learn the language in that it expands vocabulary and uses words previously learned in new contexts.
Say it Aloud- All classes will be conversational style but these classes short stories and fables will be read aloud by all class participants.

Monday: 10am - 1pm & 6:00pm - 8pm
Wednesday: 6:30pm - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 2pm

You can now sign up for Chicago based live Haitian Creole classes. To inquire about online classes or to ask any questions you may have please feel free to contact us at 847-920-7818 or via email at All live classes will be taught at the following address:

Haitian American Community Association
1637 W. Morse Ave,
Chicago, IL. 60626
Haitian Creole Anytime Anywhere!

Kreyol Lab anywhere any time...

"...creating the perfect classroom environment in which students simply looking for basic conversation skills for vacation, or students looking to gain more immediate fluency for work, travel, relief or volunteer efforts and other immediate circumstances can take advantage of a complete learning experience with very specific personalized class opportunities offered by our KREYOL LAB."