By Reef Check Executive Director, Dr. Gregor Hodgson
At the end of January, an RC team consisting of Reef Check Director Dr. Gregor Hodgson, National Coordinator for Haiti, Erika Pierre-Louis, Program Manager Edward J. Beucler, Administrator Alexandra Pierre, and Trainer Romain Louis began recruitment in the city of Cap-Hatien on the north coast of Haiti for the country’s second EcoDiver team. Recruitment presentations were made at six local universities as well as a television appearance on Tele Capoise, Channel 8, promoting the EcoDiver program and the overall mission of Reef Check in Haiti.
At each institution, our staff explained why it is important to protect the local marine environment, what the EcoDiver training entails, how the students can apply to volunteer for the program, and that only 15-20 of the total applicants will ultimately be selected for the EcoDiver program. In all, 300 application forms were collected.
During the television appearance on Tele Capoise, Channel 8, Erika Pierre-Louis and Alexandra Pierre, both of whom are members of our Port-au-Prince EcoDiver program, appeared on a 30-minute talk show.
The application included swimming experience, background in biology, and a 150 word statement as to their interest in the program. The goal of the selection process was to produce 50 recruits that had the strongest statements of interest and were split evenly between male and female. The 50 selected applicants were then each assigned to a training group for their first swim training session.
Just like their Port-au-Prince counterparts, the group will be reduced further to 15 as the participants undergo snorkel, scuba, and EcoDiver training before making the final team.
The north coast project is supported by the HRI/OTI Program of the US Agency for International Development.
|Reef Check Team arrives in Cap-Hatien||Presentation at University Roi Christophe in Limonade||Preparation for Channel 8 TV interview by Erika and Alexandra|
|Sorting applications||Swim training||Swim training|