New Book: Edwin R. Quiles Rodríguez’s “El haitiano que hablaba inglés” 


The first presentation of the book El haitiano que hablaba inglés [The Haitian Who Spoke English] by architect Edwin R. Quiles Rodríguez is scheduled for Friday, April 4, 2014 at the headquarters of the College of Architects and Landscape Architects of Puerto Rico (CAAPPR) at 7:00pm. The CAAPPR is located at 225 Calle Del Parque, Santurce, Puerto Rico.

In 2010, following the earthquake that struck the poorest country in the Americas, a group of Puerto Rican volunteers were given the task of building a primary school in the town of Leogane, at the very epicenter of the destructive earthquake. For a little over a year, coordinated by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of Haiti, more than fifty brigadiers worked non-stop to fulfill the promise of creating a space for Haitian children.

The book written by architect Edwin R. Quiles Rodríguez is a chronicle of this work experience. It tells of how they approached the project and how parents and students joined in to contribute to the design and construction of this project. It is a story of births, surprises, of admiration, of lessons in dignity, and of trying to build bridges to overcome the historical distances that separate us. Eventually, inevitably, the chronicle ended up being a love story, thanks to the children, their parents, and the Puerto Ricans brigade who came to give their hearts to Haitian children: all kinds of people who crossed the waters of the Caribbean so that the children of Leogane could have a new opportunity.

The idea of telling the story spawned another idea: to publish it as a book and to use the proceeds to provide solar energy system for the school.

El haitiano que hablaba inglés is profusely illustrated with extraordinary drawings by artist Nelson Sambolín and designed by Marcos Pastrana; the editing was done by Armindo Nuñez Miranda. The publication was a collaboration between Editorial Otros Mundos and Ediciones Gaviota.

For original article (in Spanish), see

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