Park Izmery is the only open space in an inner city neighborhood of Port au Prince. It offers safety and room for the community to meet, play, exercise, learn and have fun.
English classes are offered to the children of the soccer program on Saturday mornings. One HotFutbol staff dedicates his time to teaching reading and writing in English. In addition, HotFutbol staff, Andy, uses the space on Saturday afternoons for a community youth program offering art classes and English classes.
Four years ago, with the help of a group of Berkshire County high school students and local Haitian community members, a trash dump was cleared and replaced with garden. Trenches were dug for irrigation and a well pump restored. A local community member is hired to plant and farm the garden. Food from the garden is used in the daily meals for the children.
Visitors to Park Izmery from the International Childhood Enrichment Program, a nonprofit out of Maine, raised money and installed a playground for young children with the cooperation of Playmakers Life Is Good Foundation. It is great to see the playground being enjoyed by young and old.
SCHOOL PHYSICAL EXERCISE CLASSES AND TOURNAMENTS
Having a field and open space allows area teams to participate in tournament play at Park Izmery. The primary school in back of the park meets once a week for a PE class and there are interclassroom matches each week. High school tournaments take place in June and the Adult soccer league hosts a tournament each summer.
Each year the neighborhood Catholic church sponsors a Christmas dinner for the community as a celebration of sharing and goodwill. An annual health clinic is hosted on the field for everyone in the community.
A Farmer support group from Jeremie and a Clean the Neighborhood group use the park meeting space on Saturdays and Sundays when the park is open to the community from 3:00-6:00.
SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) is an international NGO local to the neighborhood, that has worked with HotFutbol to provide ecological sanitation. They are currently rebuilding a new block of composting toilets for use in the park. Speakers present workshops on cholera prevention and composting.