Left photo: Young Haitian professionals came together to discuss how to build bridges across the Haitian Diaspora. Right Photo: Maritza Boudoir and Wanda Time-Gilles, right, created the “Rebrand


Staff Report

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti – On August 19, two Capoise (a female native of Okap, Ayiti) decided to put their efforts together to give back to Haiti during the week of Fèt Okap, a yearly celebration in the city of Cap-Haitien.

Wanda Tima-Gilles from Miami and Maritza Boudoir from New York are two entrepreneurs with a large following who have both made Haiti a priority on their agendas. Together they held the first ever “Rebrand Cap-Haitien” event.

The two ladies invited several dozen influential young professionals from within and outside of Haiti to a round table discussion at one of the city’s “pratrimoine” called Lakay – a restaurant in Cap-Haitien. They had much needed dialogue on how to make an impact on the way Haitians across the diaspora and locals work together in the future.

“We wanted to connect the two in the hopes of building a relationship that would be fruitful in changing the dynamic of how Haiti is seen, explored and treated, while giving other entrepreneurs a platform to share their ideas and start seeing the possibility of implementing them,” explained Tima-Gilles, owner of L’Union Suite, a very popular national Haitian media company based in South Florida.

From socialites and popular photographers to public officials, community activists and social leaders, “Rebrand Cap-Haitien” brought together speakers who serve as the windows to Haiti for the world including: Angie Bell, Samuel Dameus, Director General Andy Durosier and Davidson Toussaint.

Over 40 locals in attendance were thrilled to have an event like this in their backyard. They expressed the need for more social events like these in the country to help change the narrative for CapHaitien as a thriving tourist and business location.

“There’s a need for increased tourism because Okap, Cap-Haitien’s creole nickname, is full of historical landmarks, beautiful cascades and local hotels that can accommodate travelers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life,”

said Boudoir. “’Rebrand Cap-Haitien’ was the perfect way to connect local professionals who have the desire for change with (Haitians in) the diaspora who want to know what they can do from abroad to encourage change. The first of its kind, this networking event has begun a much needed dialogue that has already started the promotion of Okap through social media and has linked mavens together to start growing local businesses on a larger scope.”

According to Tima-Gilles, this is the first of many ways Haiti is becoming more and more progressive.

“Haiti is definitely being talked about throughout the world and during the event we were able to come up with several key ideas that will now bring the different parts of Haiti to the forefront as well, starting with my hometown, Okap,” Tima-Gilles concluded with confidence.

For more information on the Cap-Haitien Power Mixer and Wanda’s first trip back home, visit Lunionsuite.com and watch Suite Life Vlog at www.youtube.com/channel/UCHXrkQDcHfzlzJ6P q2ElNpQ.

To stay one step ahead of the work being done, follow L’union Suite on all social media platforms and follow Okap Devan on Instagram @okapdevan.