Who are we?

1Starfish is a 501c non-profit that provides veterinary and animal husbandry assistance to the community of Derriere Marc (Denye Mak) and surrounding areas of La Gonave, Haiti. We do this by visiting the island yearly with wound care supplies, medications and vaccines. We work with the local veterinary agents and farmers providing health clinics and education.

We also work with local educators providing school supplies, money and construction help.

Sadly, our last trip to Denye Mak was in January of 2018. We have not traveled there since because it is no longer safe in Port au Prince. Either for us for our friends who live there. Gangs rule the streets and kill and kidnap as they please. Friends have lost jobs, family and any quality of life. Inflation is rampant, fuel is in short supply, life is miserable. Even more so than “usual”. On a slightly brighter note, our friends on La Gonave aren’t plagued by kidnapping and killings. However, drought is severe and inflation is just as rampant. All goods come from Port au Prince and with fuel at a premium, costs on the island are even higher. Some of the deep water wells that have been dug in years’ past are dry. Currently Gran Sous (a natural spring many miles from Denye Mak) is the source of most people’s water. Getting to it and hauling it takes great effort on everyone’s part with the donkey doing most of the work.

You may be thinking that nothing ever changes with news from Haiti and overall you would be correct. However, our friends are still operating the two schools 1 Starfish helps support. From what I gather, oftentimes the teachers cannot be paid. But they continue to teach. The schools’ gardens are still planted although with lack of water, we do not know how they are doing. Some of the community gardens are feeding people. There was a recent sickness that went through the swine and medication was practically non-existent for the veterinary agents. The government has stopped doing anthrax vaccinations in the cattle (apparently since the assassination of Moise last July). There are outbreaks of anthrax in the people now.

Through donation, 1 Starfish continues to send money for the schools, gardens and animals to Denye Mak. The pandemic has not helped with fund raising efforts, as you can imagine. We are ever thankful for those of you who have made contributions. Please let your friends, fellow workers, family, acquaintances know about this non-profit. Every single dollar donated is used solely for our friends living in Denye Mak. We have a board of three volunteers. Oh, full disclosure, we pay for this website from donations.

Haiti was once one of the wealthiest colonies in the Americas. It was the first independent black republic in the world. It is now one of the poorest countries in the world with an annual per capita income of $719.00.
La Gonave is an island WNW of Port-au-Prince.The island suffers from a lack of water resources. Recent international efforts have drilled deep water wells to mitigate this and to prevent cholera and other water borne diseases.
Pronounced Denye Mak in Haitian creole, Derreire Marc is a small community on La Gonave. There are few vehicles there except for motor-bikes. There are no paved roads, electricity, or running water.
Donkeys are the little trucks of La Gonave carrying water, passengers, and supplies. They typically carry 160 pounds of water several times per week. This too much of a load for a 250 pound animal!


Pictures from recent trips to Haiti.