Haiti: Paula Clermont Péan

I want to create a place to dream, to open up the windows to the future, to nourish hope and spread the wings of regeneration.

— Paula Clermont Péan

Actress, theater director, writer, professor of literature and theater, Paula Clermont Péan is the director of the Pyepoudre Cultural Center. It is a center for animation, training courses and public readings, founded by Paula, in Puerto Príncipe, in 1989. She was educated in France and in the United States. After returning to her home country, Haiti, she dedicated her work towards the promotion of popular culture and to the building of a network for the association of young people, affiliated to the Worldwide Federation of the Associations, Centers and Clubs of Unesco.

Some people think that culture is a luxury, especially if it is in one of the poorest countries in the world. However, Paula Clermont Péan, a Haitian, persists each day in her continuous effort to bring culture into people's lives. “This work makes people look at themselves, question themselves and see themselves as social actors in their society. It cultivates their curiosity. These dynamics create awareness, people realize their need to share their visions of the world, a world in which it is worth building peace.” In 1985, back in her home country after 16 years of absence, she changed her idea of creating an Art School and decided to wait until people came to her with their ideas of what they wanted. In its place, in 1989, she founded the Pyepoudre Cultural Center (the Dusty Feet Cultural Center): “With this center, I wanted to go to young people instead of asking them to come to me. I wanted to go to meet the young people wherever they were, in rural or urban spaces, in the suburbs or in the city.”

Pyepoudre Cultural Center