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Shop Amazon for Savings on It’s Cactus Haitian Metal

Haitian Metal sculptor, Jean Claude Soulouque with his recycled metal art.

Jean Claude Soulouque holding his “Cross with Milagros inside his workshop in Croix-des-Bouquets.

As most of you are well aware, It’s Cactus’ reason for being is to fight poverty with art.  We pursue a market-based solution to uplifting lives and improving economic rnd330__53239.1430492501.100.100security for our artists, their families, and their communities.  We’ve been dedicated to that purpose for over 20 years and we’ve been doing it at various times through physical storefronts, retail and wholesale shows, and building a strong online presence.  This includes not only marketing on our own It’s Cactus website, but also on social media, such as Facebook and Pinterest, as well as on retail sales sites like ebay, etsy, and the retail mega-giant, Amazon.winged_heart_with_bird__45644.1439168484.100.100

“Why Amazon?” you may ask. “Isn’t that kind of like bargaining with the Devil? Aren’t you in competition with yourself that way?” The answer to these questions lies in the numbers.  According to Michael Hayes of “Shopify,” Amazon lands 85 million unique monthly visitors.  Another source tells us that 44% of online shoppers go to Amazon first when looking for goods.  In other words, while a new customer may find us on garden_butterflies__07942.1439228030.100.100Amazon and make his/her first purchase through Amazon, we have the opportunity to win that customer through giving them a wonderful product, providing excellent service and fulfillment, and have the chance to introduce ourselves and our own company to them.  It’s a chance we can’t afford to miss and more importantly, it’s a chance we don’t want our artists to miss.  Giving them the greatest opportunity to sell their art is why we are in business.
SO…strange as it may seem, I am encouraging you to shop Amazon now through Feb. 15th for It’s Cactus products.  It’s a great time to do it! It will happen only twice per year; now and again in August.  Amazon works with us to determine how much SM181B__01835.1453512105.100.100product to ship to their fulfillment centers and, for a set amount of time, those products are stored for distribution there for free. However knowing exactly how much will sell lies somewhere between math and magic.  Rather than pay for having the goods returned to us after the specified time has passed, we’d rather have a sale and enjoy our customers reaping the benefit of 40% off our regularly priced pieces of terrific Haitian metal art.
Below is a list of links to all of the products that we are selling at the reduced rate.  Just enter promo code “Cactus4U” at checkout and score the discount!  BUT, we would so appreciate it if you would take the time to give your new and wonderful sculpture a star rating when you have received it.  Marketing research by “Big Commerce” shows that 92% of customers across the board rely on product reviews when making their purchase decisions.  What these product reviews mean for our artists, is that their work is something to get excited about.  That excitement translates directly to their increased sales and greater economic security.
Ready to join us in fighting poverty with art?  Shop the sale, rate your product with (lots of!) stars, and know that you are fighting the good fight!
Sweet Summer Angel                            Spring Garden Flock of Birds
Tree Sculpture with Birds                       Garden Butterflies
Angel Playing the Horn                          Cross with Birds
Birds in Flight                                       Metal Sun
Spring Garden Tree                               Garden Flowers
Cross with Milagros                               Little Mermaid Under the Sea
Angel with Attitude                               Sea Turtle
Garden Birds and Sun                           Garden Tree with Birds
Moon and Sun                                      Heart with Wings Set
Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

Can Chocolate Cure Poverty?

Haitian cacao farmer from the north

Cacao Farmer. (Photo courtesy of Askanya)

In a previous blog, I declared my deep and abiding love of chocolate. I have written too, about market-based solutions to the problem of poverty in Haiti. Can you imagine my delight at coming across a company that has both!

Les Chocolateries Askanya is the brain-child of Corinne Joachim Sanon, a Haitian-American woman, who decided she wanted to do something meaningful and sustainable to fight poverty in Haiti. In November 2014, with fresh MBA from Wharton and indomitable entrepreneurial spirit, she put her energies into producing fine chocolates. The business concept is her driving force: “Haiti’s first and only premier bean-to-bar chocolate

This is how cacao grows

Cacao pod (Photo courtesy of Askanya)

company. Grown in Haiti, Made in Haiti, Enjoyed Everywhere.”

Corinne, her husband Andreas Symietz, and friend Alexandra Lecorps and went to work transforming her grandfather’s four-bedroom country home in Ouananminthe in northern Haiti into a full-production chocolate factory. By April 2015, the factory swung into action with seven full-time local employees. Another friend, Gentile Senat  also entered the chocolate-making scene. Sourcing locally grown cacao from area farmers, the factory workers receive the freshly harvested beans and begin their magic. The cacao is fermented, dried, sorted and then the delicate matter of roasting begins. From there, the roasted beans are cracked, ground, winnowed, and finally refined. At this stage, the making of chocolate bars actually begins. (See great photos of this process on Askanya’s website.)

Though Askanya sells in Haiti and abroad, its first customer is the Haitian people. Catering to a Haitian palate, which generally prefers a

Haitian metal art

Haitian metal version of a farmer at work by Johnson Cajuste.

sweeter, less bitter flavor, they produce a 40% milk chocolate bar and a 60% dark chocolate bar and have plans to develop other flavors with 70% in the works. I am happy to report that the dark chocolate that I ordered from Askanya for my family was very enthusiastically received. I don’t pretend to describe flavors well, but I think I detected some fruity notes (Cherry, maybe?) and the overall taste and texture were delightful.

It is exciting to meet people such as Corinne, with visions so similar to that of It’s Cactus for fighting poverty and uplifting lives. By providing opportunity and employment, by teaching skills – whether they be quality management, marketing, or chocolate-making – and by treating trading partners with respect and care, real growth and prosperity can be achieved.

Hang up the art and pass the chocolate!

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


In the News: Haitian Presidential Elections

Haitian women stroll past an array of political ads in Port-au-Prince

Despite political uncertainties, life goes on in Port-au-Prince

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Haiti’s presidential elections, saying among other things that the top two vote-getters in the primary elections, Jude Celestin and Jovenel Moise, would be participating in run-off elections to be held on Dec. 27th. This is not quite the way it’s worked out. To be blunt, it has become quite a mess, but I will try to give it to you here in a nutshell…

Jude Celestin, the candidate with the second-most votes, has charged that the Oct. primary elections were fraudlent and declared that he would not participate in any run-off unless his conditions were met. All six pages of them. Among his complaints is that the membership of the CEP – Haiti’s version of our Electoral College – is selected in dubious fashion and thereby has no credibility in decision-making for either the primary or the run-off elections. A government-appointed investigative commission looked into Celestin’s fradulency claims and it too discredited the elections, citing a sky-high number of voting “irregularities” and presumption of fraud. The Commission echoed Celestin’s call for sweeping changes in the electoral machinery to include the CEP.

Yet another group, called the G-8 and composed of several presidential candidates from primary race that didn’t qualify for the run-offs, publicly bashed the Commission’s findings. G-8 says that while the Commission verified voting irregularities, it did not identify the beneficiary of those irregularities. In other words, the losing candidates are questioning whether or not they actually lost. Good point. Are you confused yet? Wait, there’s more!

Heart sculpture by Joubert Brutus

Heart sculpture symbolizing a wish for peace and love in Haiti.

The December 27th run-off election date was postponed so that these investigations could be carried out. Two weeks ago, a January 24th run-off date was put forward by the (possibly slimy) members of the CEP. Outside observers are now pressuring the Haitian government to go through with the elections on that date with or without Celestin. The problem there is that Jovenel Moise, the government-backed candidate, might be the only one running. If no president is elected and installed, “in peaceful transfer of power,” by February 7th, it will become necessary for a provisional government to be formed in accordance with Haitian constitutional law. That’s what has the outside observers worried, of course.

Not surprisingly, Haitians are taking to the streets en masse in protest. The Associated Press interviewed one of the protesters, Ernest Casseus, an unemployed 57-year-old from a neighborhood of concrete shacks and trash-strewn streets. Casseus insisted that the runoff should be postponed to protect democracy in Haiti, saying rather succinctly, “It’s like a football game: You need two teams to play or you have no finals. A presidential election with one candidate is crazy and will only result in chaos,”

Stay tuned.

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


Could you read that to me in Kreyol?

Haitian schoolgirls on their way home after classes.

Uniformed schoolgirls ready to head home after a day of classes in Port-au-Prince.

Just before Christmas, I received a box from It’s Cactus containing a set of large sculptures I had bought while we were in Haiti in October. Usually when I receive an order, it is pulled from the warehouse shelves in Salinas, CA, packed, and sent on its way. This time, however, I had made my order in Croix-des-Bouquets and it was boxed in Haiti separately from the rest of the It’s Cactus merchandise. When It’s Cactus received the shipment, my box was separated out and sent directly to me without any re-packing. I received it just as it had been packaged up in Haiti.

I am telling you this because of the “surprise” I found inside: My sculptures had been wrapped very thoroughly and carefully in French lessons. Used up pages from French language workbooks; brought home, no doubt, by the artist’s school children who no longer had need of them. Waste not, want not.

It reminded me of something rather astonishing that I had learned on one of our previous trips that has only recently been changed. Up until July 2015, Haitian school children were taught exclusively in French. This, while the language of their country is Kreyol. According to one set of

French language workbook pages make good packing material.

Wrap mine up in Kreyol!

figures I read, (and you can too) about 1 Haitian in 19 is fluent in French, yet all lessons, from reading to math to science were taught in the French language, oftentimes by teachers who were not among the fluent. Can you even imagine the obstacle this was to a child’s ability to learn? Can you imagine the enormity of the educational handicap when it was applied to an entire nation?

Reading comprehension is based on three things: the representation of letters, the corresponding sounds the letters make, and the meaning of the the collected letters that form words. A child who is unskilled in his own language and taught exclusively in another one may parrot the words that he hears correctly with no real understanding of what he has said. This is compounded in the case of a Haitian child due to the relative closeness of the sound of Kreyol words to French and the large disparity in their meaning. The upshot of all of this is that Haitian Kreyol-speaking children who have been taught only in French have had an incredibly hard time with reading comprehension and corresponding difficulty in reading to learn.

Happily, change is in the air. The new government mandate seeks to promote Haitian Kreyol throughout all levels of education, from kindergarten to university. It entails the standardization of Kreyòl writing, and the training of teachers for instruction of, and in, Kreyòl. Studies clearly demonstrate that children who receive a solid foundation in their native tongue are “set free” to learn not only reading, math and sciences, but second and even third languages as well.

Of course, the larger goal is to elevate the level of education of the population as a whole. Though it will take time, the reward should be greatly worth the government’s investment. With higher levels of skill in reading, math, sciences, and foreign languages, new generations of Haitian students will be able to realize their full potential as productive citizens of an emerging country. As for myself, I hope that maybe my next box from Croix-des-Bouquets will be packed in Kreyol lessons. I would take that as not only a sign of progress but also a sign of the Haitian government’s commitment to the success of the program. Used up Kreyol workbook packing paper – bring it on!

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


A Merry Christmas in Haiti

The Haitian Christmas greeting is Jwaye Nwel.

Merry Christmas is Jwaye Nwel in Haitian Creole.

As in much of the world, Christmas is a beloved and eagerly anticipated holiday in Haiti, with rich traditions and exuberant celebration. Preparations begin weeks before with decorations beginning to appear in stores and markets and quickly finding their way into Haitian homes. Trees are a part of the decorating scheme, though in smaller homes, branches suffice to hold colorful holiday lights and homemade ornaments. Fanals are elaborate paper lanterns, often cut to resemble miniature Victorian gingerbread houses or churches. The “windows” are lined with colored tissue and a lighted candle inside the lantern combine to create a stained glass effect. Placed in windows or on porches or doorways, they create a warm, welcoming aura and light the way inside. (Click to see an example of this handcraft.)

Children look forward to a visit from Santa Claus, known in Haitian Creole as Papa Nwel. In preparation, they clean up their shoes, fill them with straw, and place them under the tree or on the porch. Of course, they are hopeful that he will replace the straw with a wonderful toy or present, and that Papa Fwedad, the dreaded dispenser of lumps of coal (and worse!) does not show up instead!

Because Haiti’s population is largely Catholic, midnight mass is an integral part of the Chrismas observance. Following the service, families

Haitian Metal Artist Claudy Soulouque with his Peace on Earth design.

Claudy Soulouque with his sculptural wish for peace on earth.

gather in parties collectively called Reveyon. Children are often allowed to stay up very late, playing games such as wosle (similar to jacks) and lighting sparklers and homemade fireworks. A creamy spiced coconut drink, known as Kremas flows freely (Recipes abound, but this one is a good representative, should you care to try.) while music, dancing and shouts of good will fill the night air until the wee hours.

Jwaye Nwel. No matter how you say it, the traditions are dear and the feeling is warm and heartfelt at home, in Haiti, and around the world. Merry Christmas. And above all, Viv ak ke poze sou Late. Peace on Earth.

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


The Season of Giving

It is the Season of Giving. What an opportunity to do good! Truly, it is a wonderful opportunity – one that anyone is loathe to squander. But how does one give effectively? Ah, that is the harder question.

The art of giving, as explained by a Haitian metal fish sculpture.

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day…

There are many ways in which to give, but I am going to boil them down to two and use the time-honored fishing analogy as my vehicle of explanation: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Tomorrow, he might get a call that the new job is his and he will never have to learn to fish. You cannot foresee what brightness tomorrow will bring and in the meantime, you help a needy man over a rough spot. He might never know hunger again, yet he will always be grateful for the kindly hand that offered up the fish when the time was tough. Sometimes it works out that way, and when it does, it is wonderful.

At It’s Cactus, we believe in teaching a man to fish, and we do so by giving opportunity. We open trade opportunities and teach our trading

Working in Haiti, It's Cactus gives opportunity for trade and learning.

By giving opportunity, we give a gift that can last a lifetime.

partners about the business of production and marketing, giving them the skills they need to feel success and see it grow. This is not an easy path, and achieving positive results takes a great deal of time and patience. Yet we have seen terrific results in our 17 years of working with our Haitian artists and practicing Fair Trade. The best part of it is that we have seen success sustained. Once the opportunity is seized upon, once the lessons are learned, they sitck. They stay. They LAST.

Here’s how: When a new artist approaches us with an innovative design to sell, he gets an order worth $100 USD to make samples. This enables us to evaluate his style and consistency as well as assess his ability to follow through on our agreement. When those hurdles are cleared, we work with the artist to establish a selling price that is both fair and marketable. We discuss all aspects of pricing; teaching and learning in both directions along the way. When the price is settled, a new order is written, again with 100 percent paid in full up front.

As our sales of the new artist’s design grows, our ability to buy more from him grows as well. This steady growth enables us to experiment with other new designs and orders with him. He becomes more skilled not only as an artist, but also as a

Giving as explained by a mermaid sculpture.

If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

businessman. With lessons well-learned and well applied, the rise in his prosperity – though not meteoric – is substantial and sustainable. In this way, the gift of opportunity becomes a gift that can last a lifetime. Multiply that gift by the 30 artists we work with on a regular basis, and the impact on their families and their community becomes enormous. That success reinforces our continuing efforts to keep opportunity growing and expanding.

Giving is a very personal thing. Bringing happiness in any form to anyone at any time is a worthy gift whether it is meant for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Giving opportunity is simply how we at It’s Cactus choose to give. When you buy from us, you support our artists, and that is a very great gift, indeed.

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Peruvian retablo featuring a very traditonal Our Lady of Guadalupe

Peruvian retablo featuring a very traditional Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Tomorrow, in much of North and South America, the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe will be celebrated with pilgrimages and fiestas throughout the two continents. It is believed that on that date in 1531, the Mother of God appeared for the second time to Juan Diego, a humble Nahuatl peasant, and gave him the proof that he needed to convince the Spanish Archbishop to build her a temple on Tepeyac Hill in what was to become Mexico City.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is widely embraced as the Mother of the Americas for a number of reasons. She appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego, rather than to the Spanish ruling priests, and spoke to him in his native tongue, saying, “Do you not recognize me? Am I not of your own kind? Are you not in the shadow of my protection?” The miracle of the tilma – her image being emblazoned on Juan Diego’s cloak – was covered

Ceramic recreation of the appearance of Guadalupe by the Aguilar Family of Oaxaca, Mexico

Ceramic recreation of the appearance of Guadalupe by the Aguilar Family of Oaxaca, Mexico

up by Castillian roses and revealed only when the roses tumbled onto the floor of the office of the Archbishop. He would have recognized the significance immediately: The roses did not grow on Tepeyac Hill and certainly not in December. They were from his own native Spain. Even with her uncustomarily dark skin, the Virgin’s image was laden with Marian symbolism which the white colonial Archbishop could not fail to understand, from the blue of her gown, to its celestial brocade, to the aura that surrounded her. In short, Juan Diego’s evidence was compelling beyond fault and her miracle was declared.

The beginnings of the temple were built in 1533 and dedicated in her honor. A second church on the same site was begun in 1556 and in 1695 the cornerstone of a new, larger sanctuary was laid. The modern Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, was formally dedicated in 1976. Therein,

Guatemalan wood carving of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Guatemalan wood carving of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Haitian metal art by Edward Dieudonne

The Virgin of Guadalupe worked in Haitian metal by Edward Dieudonne.

the miraculous tilma hangs on permenant display.

Over the centuries, European and New World cultures as well as tradition, history, and politics have combined to establish the Virgin of Guadalupe as a universally recognized Marian icon. Her image is revered and artistically rendered in every imaginable medium: ceramics, textiles, paper – even tatoo ink. As the “Mother of the Americas,” the Virgin of Guadalupe’s role and corresponding iconography evolves continuously in response to the ever-changing needs of society.

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


A Fascination with Folk Art Nativities

Haitian metal Nativity Scene

A Haitian version of the Nativity, by Exulien Exuma

Isn’t it fun to look at Nativity scenes? I love to see how the “First Christmas” is expressed in folk art, with variations from one artist to the next;

one tradition to the next. Diversity is a wonderful thing! Just looking at the three pictured here, the cultural clues are as distinct as they are endearing.

In the first example – worked in recycled metal from Haiti by Exulien Exuma – the evidence of it’s tropical origin is plain. The Holy Infant is unswaddled, for the evening is warm and balmy. He is laying in a tuft of grass under swaying palms, Joseph wears a straw hat, and Mary’s hair is bound up in a kerchief, Caribbean-style. A goat stands in close attendance, nary a sheep or camel in sight.

This Peruvian version, created in Ayacucho, has design details characteristic of the indigenous cultures of the Andes. Even the clay from which it

is made is indicative of its source. The bread being offered by the adoring shepherd is likely Pan de Chuta, if I had to guess. (And I do.) I think it’s a good guess, though. Pan de Chuta is a sweet, anise-flavored bread and regional specialty of the Peruvian Andes. Baked in traditional

Folk Art Nativity from Peru

Peruvian Nativity set from Ayacucho.

wood-burning ovens over eucalyptis leaves, and the small, round loaves are frequently offered as gifts. (To read more about the bread or to see the recipe, click here.) The shepherd also wears a knitted cap, very typical of the region, while Mary and Joseph wear heavy felted wool fedoras, also popularly worn in the Andes. Each of their cloaks, and the Holy Infant’s blanket bear indigenous weaving motifs, all of which combine to create a very Andean signature on the scene.

The third example, though not strictly a Nativity scene, depicts the Holy Family in their flight to Egypt, as interpreted by a Central American folk

artist from El Salvador. Again, clues to the artist’s world view abound. The perfectly cone-shaped mountains that loom in the background of the

Folk art painting of the Holy Family and their Flight into Egypt

From El Salvador comes this vibrantly colored rendering of the Holy Family.

painting echo the volcanic cones that dominate the Salvadorean horizon. Mary and Joseph are enveloped in what might be considered biblical robes, but their bright colors and bold floral and geometric patterns are straight out of the Central American tradition as are the chickens that mill and peck near Joseph’s feet.

While the central story of the First Christmas is universal, its representation through folk art is a unique reflection of the individual artist’s cultural identity, conveyed through the values and aesthetics of his communtiy. Like a translation, folk art nativities are expressions in colloquial language, with nuances and accents that make them vivid and easily understood. And that is precisely what makes each one unique and wonderful.

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


Papa Nwel and Papa Fwedad

Wall Plaque by Winston Cajuste

A wish for you and yours, by Winston Cajuste

Since it is the beginning of December and many of us are caught up in holiday preparations, I thought I would look into some of the Christmas

Hanging Spiral Tree by Evenson Thenor

Decorate our Hanging Spiral Christmas tree with tiny red bobbles for a bit of color and Suess-like whimsy.

traditions of Haiti to share with you here. Christmas is one of the major holidays of the Haitian calendar and many of their traditions are quite similar to ours in the States. There is a holiday tree to decorate, songs to sing, special foods to enjoy, and there is the embodiment of our

Santa Claus in Papa Nwel. However, Haiti being Haiti, there is a Rada to the Petro, a yin to the yang. In addition to the beloved Papa Nwel, there is a dreaded Papa Fwedad as well.

During my last trip to Haiti, i realized how prevalent the idea of balance is. Haiti is ” 90 percent Catholic and 100 percent Voodoo”, as they say in references too numerous to mention. Within Voodoo are two distinct spirit groups – Rada and Petro. Rada is benevolent and kind and the other, Petro, is fierce and dangerous. In Voodoo temples that I visited, I found images from both spirit groups represented in equal measure, together forming an idea of justice within. When the spirits are in harmony, there is balance in the world. In the sense of Voodoo, then, Papa Nwel would be associated with Rada family of gentle spirits, and Papa Fwedad would be the counterpoint, one of the fierce Petro spirits.

To be honest, Papa Fwedad was mentioned only a time or two in my research, but in both cases, it was in the same breath as Voodoo. ( See The Haiti Observer and Prezi.) Though I am no expert, I am not convinced that Papa Fwedad was born of Voodoo belief at all, though the association now is strong. I think he was appropriated from the tradition French tradition of Papa Fouettard, who accompanies Papa Noel on his visits to children during the Christmas holiday season. In both Haiti and France, the one bestows wonderful gifts to good children, while the other brings lumps of coal and punishments to those children who are naughty.

“They see you when you’re sleeping, they know when you’re awake.

They know if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


Haiti’s Presidential Elections

How I feel after the third presidential campaign phonecall of the day.

AAAGH! Election time!

Here we are in the United States, nearly 12 full months before we cast our ballots and nearly everywhere we turn, we see, hear, and receive phonecalls “from” the candidates. Three Democrats, fourteen Republicans, and one Green Party candidate are persistantly vying for our attention. I suppose if my glass were half full, I would feel honored and immensely empowered because my vote is so important. But on this point, my glass is half empty. We have hardly even gotten started and instead of feeling honored and empowered, I feel inundated and irritated.

Before I cry into my coffee too much, however, I must recall the election run-up that we witnessed in Haiti. We were there in early October, a mere two weeks before their preliminary presidential elections. Yes, you read that correctly. Preliminary. There were 54 presidential candidates in the running, a situation which usually necessitates a run-off, unless by some miracle, a majority is won by someone in the first round. The run-off elections were already tenatively scheduled for Dec. 27th.

Campaign ads everywhere in Port-au-Prince

One of the more clever and artful of the zillions of campaign ads on the streets of Port-au-Prince.

I didn’t listen to any Haitian TV or radio while I was there, and hadn’t read up on the elections beforehand, so I had formed no opinions about which candidate might prove to be the next president. However, the enormous amount of street signage lead me to conduct a very unscientific experiment. No Gallup pollster worth his salt would ever rely on my methodology, but what the heck. Based on the huge number of times Jude Celestin appeared in my hundreds of photos of that trip, I predicted that he would be the winner, and that Jovenel Moise, who appeared almost as frequently in my photo record, would finish well.

Now, a little over a month later, it turns out that I’m not so far off. Because of the complicated and somewhat convoluted (to put it mildly) calculations of the Oct. 25th election returns, the early results have just been announced. Out of the 54 Haitian presidential contenders, the candidate backed by the current government, Jovenel Moise actually won the greatest margin in the preliminary race with 32.8% of the popular vote. Jude Celestin came in second with 25.3%. So I got it backwards, but out of 54 possibles, I called the top two. Not bad!

Haiti's streets covered with presidential ads

Smiling faces of presidential hopefuls cover every available surface.

(For more election results, click here.)

So what does my experiment suggest for the current candidates in our country? Crank up the laser printers! Simultaneously, we voters can look forward to a landscape filled with signs of the candidates displaying their winning-est smiles for months to come, along with our honor and empowerment being constantly and steadfastly reassured – assuming our glasses are half full, of course.

 

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

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