Staff

Dieudonne Cyprien (John)- Co-Founder, Co-Director, Fùtbol Coach

John is is Sa-K-La-K-Wel resident social maven and acts as DJ/MC at SA-K-LA-K-WÈL events.  Living next door, he took interest in what was going on from the start.  John immediately seized the opportunity to learn English, and can now speak with ease to any of our foreign visitors.  John is head coach and founder of The Sa-K-La-k-Wel Local Youth Soccer Team (futbòl club) located just across the street from the school.  John also provides transportation, and acts as an enthusiastic tour guide to visiting staff.  John has a knack for helping visitors participate in and understand local Haitian culture and traditions.  John believes strongly in the importance of having a community center available to the residents of Oban, and has donated a piece of land to build the new Sa-K-La-K-Wel amphitheater, classrooms and living quarters.

Robert Negron- Co-Founder, Co-Director, Visiting Instructor

Artistic Director of The Indy Convergence for the past 6 years.  Robert’s background is in the theater as an actor, writer and producer. He has worked at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, the Rubicon Theater, Boston Court, and Old Globe Theater . He Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, South Coast Repertory Professional Conservatory, A.C.T. Summer Conservatory, and interned at La Jolla Playhouse.  Along with Desiree he attended Coronado School of the Arts.  Robert has also attended Earthship Academy and is working to complete his degree in Biotecture.  Robert has a strong interest in utilizing artists in asset based community development and gives workshops to supply artists with the tools and information they need to engage communities with a positive, culturally informed, and non “top down” approach.

Gabriel Pallo- Co-Founder, Visiting Instructor

Gabriel was first introduced to the idea of going to Haiti through Robert Negron after hearing about a possible collaboration between Indy Convergence and SA-K-LA-K-WÈL.  He was immediately excited about the idea and made the trip out with Robert in February of 2012 to aid in the commencement of the school and upcoming Convergence in Haiti.  While it has been a difficult process to learn the language and a way of life that is completely foreign, he has found great reward in teaching Karate, connecting community leaders, making new friends,  and helping run functions at the locale.

Desiree Chantal- Co-Founder,  Music Director

For the past two years Desiree has been working in 6 different schools around Jacmel, La Vallee de Jacmel and Port of Prince. While she enjoyed working with local youth, she wanted to provide the same opportunities to students that lived a little further outside of the city.  She raised money working in the US and eventually saved enough to rent a property just outside Jacmel. While her main focus was originally music and English, collaborations with local and foreign volunteers have made SA-K-LA-K-WÈL a true community resource with limitless possibilities.  A consummate artist at heart, Desiree has been stretched to fulfill the needs of a growing organization and risen to the challenge on every front.

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