|Jean (in khaki hat) discusses coffee production with farmers in Haiti|
Volunteering in Haiti, Jean traveled from farm to farm, working with coffee producers on an individual basis. After conversing with them and understanding their difficulties, Jean trained the farmers in a group setting, providing knowledge on the production cycle of the coffee plant, reviewing production and protection aspects, and creating a set of possible strategic actions. He found that one issue many of the farmers face is the destruction of their plants due to "Eskolit Kafe" (Hypothenemus hampei), commonly known as the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB), an insect responsible for the loss of as much as 65% of Haiti's coffee crops. Due to Haiti's geographic location, it is increasingly affected by climate change, as rising temperatures contribute to CBB attacks on coffee. Jean and the Haitian coffee producers decided that shade is an effective method for not only protecting the crops from CBB, but also increasing yield production since the shade is agreeable to coffee plant growth.
While in the mountainous town of Saut Mathurin, Jean visited several plantations before meeting with eleven farmers. Jean asked them to join a group of coffee farmers in Pico for a combined community training session. 97 coffee producers attended the meeting, creating a serious platform to discuss their shared challenges. Jean explains, "I saw different communities coming together as one person, pursuing one goal after my presentation. They finally voted and established a Reflection Committee of 9 persons to lead the project and move forward. Most importantly, I heard them saying: 'we are ready to start a new life with coffee production.'"
With fluency in French, an ability to bridge education levels, cultures, and backgrounds, and his passion for community development and knowledge of coffee production, Jean made a lasting impact on the Haitian people with whom he worked.