“Internationalism between Peoples”: Dessalines Brigade Wins the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance Award
Interview by Beverly Bell, Other Worlds
Brazilian and Haitian farmers are together constructing 1,200 cisterns in rural Haiti.
Photo: Federico Matias.
Jose Luis Patrola is a history professor, farmer, and member of the Brazilian land reform group, the Rural Landless Workers’ Movement, or MST. He lived in Haiti for three years as part of the Dessalines Brigade, an exchange of agricultural and technical cooperation between Haitians and Brazilians. In a departure from many international programs of “teaching” and “aiding” Haitians, Patrola speaks here about mutual learning and respect.
We are here in Haiti in an educational solidarity exchange program. We’re not here to teach. We’re here to learn.
In our work, there’s great respect for Haitian farmers and movements. That’s something that has been greatly lacking: respect. Not only from foreigners, but from Haitian elites who don’t acknowledge their own people.