From an interview on March 6, 2017 with Ariel Dorval
I began making baskets over 40 years ago when as a young girl i wanted to learn a profession to support myself. I was taught by a friend in my hometown of Bomborde au Polis in the north of Haiti. Today i live and work in Gonaives and we have a group of 15 people that work on the baskets together. When we have a large order we can even gather more makers to help! We make the baskets with a palm leaf material called Latanye. This material comes from about 5 hours north of Gonaives and is not very easy to get. We buy the material and also have to pay money for transporting it to us.
It takes about 2 hours to make the small baskets and up to a day or two to make the larger ones. It is strenuous work and we need to stop and take breaks and stretch in the middle of it. Yes we get tired, but we are working! We are happy to have a profession that is respected and lets us make a good profit and earn what we need for our life. We provide food for our family, pay the kids school. With what we earn we take care of ourselves.
We all have a lot of hope for the future. Our business is growing and we are building a future for our kids.