Sa-k-la-k-wel was co-founded through a year long process involving 4 Haitian and 3 foreign staff members as an Earthship style community center that would hold the triple purpose of an amphitheater for displays of art and music, space for classrooms, and self-sustainable water catching bathrooms.
The building is also a demonstration example of self-sustainable AND hurricane resistant construction, much needed in a place like Haiti as it demonstrates construction techniques critical for the health and well-being of Haitians. In particular, these buildings are made primarily with re-used waste products of our society; tires, cans, bottles and cardboard are some of these materials. The form of the building is designed to resist the extreme winds from a hurricane. In addition, the building is designed to catch, treat and supply fresh water from the sky.
2014 – cleared the land, dug into the hill and began the tire work.
2015 – built the dome roof and finished building the theater, finished the walls to one of the classrooms, poured a very large floor and dug seating for 125 people. Twelve to twenty five people a day showed up to volunteer. Restarted Sa-k-la-k-wel’s tradition and host an annual celebration event. It was memorable.
2016 – finished digging two-thirds of the seating with the addition of one more row, built a protective double wall of tires, finished pounding the walls to the second classroom and packed out everything built. Also succeeded in holding the traditional annual music event!
The 2017 hit will be from February 4th to March 10th and will be led by Earthship Biotecture foreman Phil Basehart. The goals for 2017 are to step things up and get roofs up on the two classrooms so we can install/dig/build the water system: Digging botanical cells and making the whole building catch and cycle rain water to be reused for flushing and feeding plants. Seating will also be finished.
Sa-k-la-k-wel will hold its annual event towards mid-March, which will be a celebration of the work accomplished, and a coming together of communities through artistic collaboration and creative exchange.
HOW YOU CAN HELP – DONATIONS:
We use our funding to purchase materials and tools in Haiti for the build, cook lunch onsite for everyone working (estimated at 12-25 people daily for the duration of the build) and help with whatever is needed to make this project happen. We need to fundraise another $5,000 in the next two weeks so any help would be much appreciated. If you cannot donate yourself, please consider sharing this page with your loved ones. Click here to donate to this project.
HOW YOU CAN HELP – PARTICIPATE:
Sa-k-la-k-wel always does its very best to provide live training each year to professional Haitian builders and to the local population. Earthship Biotecture skills and knowledge are now available to the population and several local people have been getting valuable training since 2010.
This year Phil Basehart, experienced foreman and builder at Earthship Biotecture in Taos, will be joining the project in Haiti for three weeks (February 6th – February 22nd) and we have a few limited spots available for international participants. The fee to participate is USD $600 (we are only charging for the time that Phil is there teaching, but you are welcome to attend for the entire duration of the build!). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining!
Thank you for helping us build an important venue and supporting a local Haitian movement that is working collectively to be sustainable and create access to fundamental knowledge and ethics.