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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Kòltiz, a Patriotic Haitian Practice of Solidarity

Haitian agriculturalists build solidarity by working and socializing together. In towns such as Camp-Perrin on the southern Tiburon Peninsula, groups of poor farmers called kòltiz complete periodic wage labor throughout the year to set aside enough money to purchase a cow in December. The shared meat of the slaughtered cow is a necessity for soup joumou (pumpkin soup), a dish made across the nation on New Year’s Day to celebrate Haiti’s independence. In 2003, UNESCO inscribed soup joumou on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Kòltiz is one of several solidarity practices central to the economy of Haiti’s Creole-speaking majority. Despite the preponderance of the Haitian Creole language and culture, members of the Haitian state and urban elite orient themselves instead to the French language and culture. This means they often ignore compelling Indigenous Haitian Creole models of a good society, including solidarity practices such as kòltiz.

Read the rest at Foreign Policy


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