Every February, people in Haiti come together to celebrate Kanaval. The word Kanaval is the Creole translation of the word carnival, and represents a traditional three-day Haitian celebration, which is similar to Mardi Gras. It is a time for music, dancing, parades, and community.
Unfortunately, this year the festivities were disturbed by the disastrous January 12 earthquake. In the spirit of the Haitian celebration, and with the aim of generosity, the UCSB community along with the Weidemann Foundation came together on February 27 at the Loma Pelona Center at UCSB to simulate and honor the Haitian holiday.
With help from eight residence halls, The Weidemann Foundation, CalPIRG, the Residence Hall Association, and the UCSB Bookstore, Kanaval became a reality. Festivities included games, activities, food, and raffles as well as performances by campus-based dance and musical groups. All activities at the event were geared toward raising funds to be donated to Haiti earthquake relief through Fonkoze.
According to organization representatives, Fonkoze is Haiti’s largest micro-finance institution offering a large range of financial services to the rural poor in Haiti. The organization is based in Haiti, and is reportedly working hard to fix the catastrophic damages caused by the earthquake. The event generated $350 that will go directly toward relief efforts.