Surfing Haiti

According to the latest polls by Haitian Website Sakapfet.com, 75 percent of its members would vote for John Kerry instead of George Bush for president. Fifty percent believe that if Haiti is to have a presence in the next World Cup soccer championships, there will have to be significant private investment in a Haitian soccer league.

Konpa Kreyol inched out Djakout Mizik and Carimi for the favorite band at the recent Compas Festival. The Website reports that more than 81 percent of those polled are staunchly against legal marriage between same sex couples and 34 percent are confident of keeping their New Year's resolutions.

If you're curious about Haitians in or outside of Haiti, Sakapfet.com is a must-browse Website. Not only will you get insight into the local community's sensibilities, but you'll get direct contact through bulletin boards and chat rooms with people in the Caribbean nation itself.

The venture was started five years ago by Michael Emerman and Vincent Medina. The business partners set out to create a venue for up-to-the-minute news and information from Haiti with a well-rounded presentation of cultural events and sports. The site has grown from a smattering of hits and members in 1999 to thousands of visits from Internet users, Emerman says.

The site has proven to be so successful that Emerman and Medina are throwing a Haitian-style family outing to celebrate. Their anniversary picnic will feature members of the local Haitian business community as well as filmmakers and artists. There will be live music and games for children as well as a wealth of fine Haitian food.

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Juan Carlos Rodriguez