Our Stories

Screenshot 2018-09-18 17.47.21Erick Lafond

Erick Lafond was born in Jacmel, Haiti in 1969. As a boy, he apprenticed in painting and mechanics.  Later, he began to study papier-mâché, including a master workshop organized through the Mexican Embassy in Haiti.  Erick has participated in many cultural and artistic exchanges throughout Latin America and France.  He has received certificates in papier-mâché and marionette craftsmanship, as well as marketing, sales, and product pricing.  Erick produced a model of the Hotel Manoir Alexandra for a UNESCO special envoy to Haiti in 2011.  He has also sold his papier-mâché crafts to the National Palace in Haiti.

Jeffrey Neil 

Jeffrey lived in Haiti as a child where he enjoyed many of the distinctly Haitian Noël (Christmas) traditions from the baskets full of moss used to decorate the foot of Christmas trees to the simple, handmade nativity sets created out of palm fronds or wood.  The fanaux lanterns made to look like houses or churches were always the pièces de resistance of the holiday. In 2017, he finally returned to Haiti to collaborate with artists to revive this dying art, and find new markets abroad.

Jeffrey works in education and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Davis campuses.  Jeffrey holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, an MPhil from Cambridge, an MA from the Graduate Theological Union, and a BA from Yale.