CAH provides hope for development in an otherwise barren economic climate. Haiti promised much as the first Caribbean state to achieve independence. Yet decades of poverty, environmental degradation, violence, instability and dictatorship have left it as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, 80% of the population lives under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Despite this poverty, a culture of craft artistry thrives.

Tapping into rich artisan networks in Haiti, CAH was formed in 1973 by religious councils and NGO representatives as a sales outlet for crafts made by farmers and small artisan groups. Over time, we have grown by forming partnerships with other international fair trade organizations, including Oxfam – England, Ten Thousand Villages, and SERRV International.

In 1979 CAH received a grant of $20,000 from the Inter-American Foundation to create a revolving credit fund and greatly expand our inventory. This significantly improved our ability to quickly process large orders. In 1990, we participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., gaining important international exposure. Expanding our business to the internet has also us to increase our international marketing and communications worldwide.

Most importantly, everyone involved in CAH – from artisan members to employees – take pride in our work, remaining committed to the development of artisan crafts in Haiti.