In 1975, La Vallee was cut off from the rest
of the country because of bad road conditions. The Valleens
pulled together and took action. There were no health-care programs,
hospitals, schools for the poor, educational programs, electricity,
telephones, drinkable water, or
technical assistance for agricultural needs.
On Saturdays with help from hundreds of volunteers
working with hand tools like shovels, axes, picks and wheel
barrels, they worked on improving the roads. That local movement
led to a more structured organization in 1976 with the creation
of CODEVA (Coude?a?coude pour le Development de La Vallee).
eventually built a small hospital, each villager had to bring
the biggest rock they could carry and a bucket of sand - three
primary schools, the Lycee Phillipe Jules – where a poor
student can receive the entire secondary school education, and
a public market. This community effort came with a price --
Professor Aubies Franck and other leaders suffered political
consequences for wanting to bring change.
One of them, Phillipe Jules, died from complications
of a car accident while volunteering.
of CODEVA include elected officials as well as ordinary citizens
whose one goal is to make La Vallee a place to be proud of,
and that future generations of La Vallee de Jacmel and other
communities of Haiti inherit an infrastructure, which includes
adequate health?care access, education and economical development,
as well as a clean environment.