Thursday, April 26, 2007

Canaries High St Bathroom Repair and Jetti Repair

The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) is looking into possibly making some major infrastructure repairs in Canaries that will have a major impact on the success of the Canaries Street Party and future tourism development efforts in the community along with improving the quality of life for local residents. Currently BNTF is looking to possibly repair the bathroom facility on High St which will provide welcome "relief" to tourists who are attending the street party. During our survey with one of the hotels not having sufficient restrooms facilities was found as a major fault to developing the event. The second infrastructure repair is the sea Jetty which allows boats to dock in Canaries to visit the village. Basically repairing this provide a completely new way to enter Canaries. We have already have had commitments from a few hotels (JJ's in particular) to begin bringing tourist down to the street party.

With these two infrastructure improvements Canaries is well on its way to developing a self sustaining tourism and support for its local residents.

The first series of pictures will be showing the sea Jetty and the repairs needed following by the High St. Bathroom. I will also include the estimates of the repairs.

Main shot of Jetty.

First shot of the steps and and platform.

Here you can see how the sea forced the boards up. Unfortunately when they were installed it was done with large nails instead of bolts and screws, the first storm that came through began to pop up the boards one at a time until most of them are gone making it nearly impossible to climb up to the Jetty.

Another shot showing the missing boards at the base of the step.

This is where the boats and dingys would pull up, the boards have to be replaces and a tire barrier needs to be built on the rail to protect the boats and platform.

Here is where you can see where end of the platform has fallen. The wood is good, the support struts need to be replaced in the back. It will require a hydraulic lift and a lot of manpower to move into position so it can be repaired.

Take a look at the support struts, you can see where the wood between the support struts and main truss is missing.

Here is a closeups showing the damaged struts on both sides.

This final picture show how the final beam is dipping into the ocean and it is causing stress on the rest of the structure, if not eventually repaired it could eventually cause permanent damage to the remaining platform.

Here is picture from the Jetty showing new development in Canaries. The building has been recently purchase from Press On by Zap, he is renovating it to create a guesthouse, resurant and disco. Development like this along with the street party must have a functional Jetty in order to be sustainable.

Hello All,

The final series of pictures shows the bathroom on High St.

Here is the lovely bathroom entrance on the right side.

Here is the entrance to men's side, the showers are also on this side.

You can see the rain gutter damage here.

Damage to roof edge.

The Laundry which is no longer usable.

Back side of laundry.

More gutter damage.

Electrical work needs to be done to install working lights for the night.

The toilets need to be repaired and in some cases replaced.

The wash sinks needs repaired and refurbished.

The bathrooms need to be retiled and the showers renovated.

More tile damage.

The second shower.

Thank you for taking the time to review these pictures and we are all excited to think of the changes coming for Canaries Village.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mullet Survey

Shocking allegation were brought to my attention by a close friend who will remain nameless that my hair style already has or is rapidly approaching mullet status. Please review the following photo evidence.

For the definitive info on mullets and the many classification visit:

Classic Mullet for comparative analysis:

I am taking a Mullet survey, based on how many votes I receive in the form of comments in the blog comment section I will keep my hair the way it is or have it cut.

Please Vote be leaving a comment with the following info:

1. If I have a mullet leave message"Tame the Mullet!"
2. If I do not have a mullet leave the message "Let the Beast grow"
3. Leave at least your first name so I know someone is not cheating on the voting.

The results will be announced in two weeks on April 30th.

Godspeed people, godspeed!

The Old Church: Exorcising the dirt demons

Saturday the old Catholic church was cleansed after sitting boarded up for 10 years minus the occoasional vagrant that broke it for a nights sleep. The 10yrs worth the dirt devils and nasties were exorcised with the help of two beautiful volunteer ladies on vacation from North Carolina named Bonnie and Connie.

With there assistence we were able to command a small army of little helpers ranging in age from 4-14yrs of age.

This all came about because of a phone call I received from Janine the mananger at Ti'Kaye resort. She had two tourists that were looking for volunteer work while they vacationed and I was the first person she thought of when they asked. After I picked my jaw up off the floor in surprise I said, yes certainly I would love to have there help.

(all pictures are after the cleaning was done)

Bonnie and Connie arrived at the appointed time and we entered the church. The floor was covered in a dark soot like filth, broken pews lay around and strong odor of urine permeated everything. Deep in the corner was Mary the Mother of God covered in soot. It was an intimidating site to face with 3 brooms made of local pieces of wood and leaves that had seen better days and a single hose putting forth a weak stream of water.

We bravely attacked and members of the village, mostly children continued to show up wanting to help up, within an hour we had a veritable army of children eager to please, pushing and scrubbing soot. We dumped, sprayed, swept, and sweated pushing that filth out of the church.

Bonnie and Connie were incredible, passing out rubber gloves to all the kids like candies. Half the people working with us were just there to meet these two nice white ladies.

We worked and scrubbed through the day and miraculously the floor begin to appear, the urine smell was replaced with a clean bleach smell and Mother Mary came from the corner back to the middle of the church.

It was a great day and we did some wonderful work in the community and it would not have happened without Bonnie and Connie's help.

After the cleaning we went back to my place where they met Marcy and we have a few fresh mango and banana smoothies with Chairman's. It was great time and we look forward to both them visiting us again in paradise.

This Church is clean!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Progress is being made on all fronts in Canaries.

Old Church:
A miracle has happened where the Catholic Church is going to allow us to begin using the Old Church for activities. In the past their were some contentions between the community groups and church but it looks like both sides are working together again for the benefit of the community. This is something I did not think I would see before I completed my service. The old church needs some work, structurally it is sound and beautiful. It is one of the only building that you can have large community activities and trainings. The initial inspection was a bit scary, the smell or urine was the first thing that was noticed and then the drunk sleeping on a foam pad in the corner was the second plus a dead dog and a few birds.

Sat at 8am people of the village will be there to bleach and clean the building to exercise the demons so to speak. Will also be making some minor door repairs and we will be placing a lock on the church giving the keys to the priest and parish. Hopefully we can continue to work with the Parish council and priest and come to agreement on how to use the building so we can begin pursuing funding to make repairs. Its very exciting.

The rabbits had ear infections with this nasty yellow stuff was coming out, it was really, really gross, it was so think it literally filled their ears. With Tina's help and guidance we cleaned out the rabbits ears with q-tips, tweezers and peroxide and a little triple antibiotic to help them heal. Without her help I could have lost the whole herd. Later on a few others had the infection but I was able to doctor them up with the help of a few local boys that assist me.

Right now I am in the process of fund raising for the Rabbit Co-op, its a good project that I know it will have benefits to Canarians as a small business enterprise.

Creole Pot:
This week the president of the Canaries UK association will be visiting. We will be giving a special luncheon or dinner to talk to him about the development of Canaries and Creole Pot.
I was also able to push to have a special VIP pass on Creole Pot nights for possible funders and advocates of Creole Pot. This badge has a huge VIP on it in block letters and the Creole Pot logo. It entitles that person to free drinks and food for the evening. It will be interesting to see how it goes, and how people react, I predict that people will be asking me for VIP passes for themselves:) My only fear is that people may harass the person with the VIP for free drinks since they do not have to pay. Will come to that bridge when we have to.

We have also moved the stage around a bit and have rearranged the booths, hopefully the new setup will improve traffic flow. We also have tables and chairs for people to sit and signs on the road for the event that was provided by Cricket World Cup money.

Were hoping the UK association will see how Creole Pot is providing employment and positive changes in the community and agree to fund the proposal so we can make capacity and infrastructure improvements.

Lastly we have been working with Urania and Nick to begin making our constitution to protect the organization.
Urania is also submitting proposal for us for training and infrastructure purchases.
Hopefully some of those benefits will come through.

So that's it from the WEST SIDE!! of Saint Lucia.


Monday, April 02, 2007

The Start of the Canaries Village Rabbit Cooperative

necessity is the mother of all inventions.

unfortunately I cannot murder thumper, so the idea to start a Rabbit Co-op has been born partly due to the suggestions of my aunties. The idea is to train Canaries villagers in raising rabbits as an easy way to make extra income or provide extra food. Here is a copy of the program and funding proposal for the Co-op. I will be pursuing funding through the local government and donations. Enjoy.

Canaries Village Rabbit Cooperative


To train Canaries Villagers how to raise and sell rabbits in a profitable self sustaining way that will provide economic benefit to young unemployed single mothers and young men.

The community and people:

The community of Canaries is one of the more economically distressed areas in Saint Lucia, with high unemployment and low family income. According to the 2001 population and housing census, the district of Canaries had the highest unemployment rate on the island, a rate which was twice the national average. The unemployment rate among females was even more alarming, with over 50% of females unemployed. Few employment opportunities currently exist in the village. This problem is further exacerbated by the lack of employable skills among residents.

Figure 1






Castries City




Castries Suburban




Castries Rural




Anse La Raye




















Vieux Fort












Gros Islet








Source: Housing and Population Census 2001

A strong culture of dependency particularly on remittances from England, a weak tradition of entrepreneurship and self-employment and an inability to come together to tackle community problems has significantly retarded the growth of this community. However, in recent times a spirit of self-help and community mobilization seems to be emerging.


With Canaries Village suffering from chronic unemployment forming a rabbit Co-op is a cost effective way to provide income from breeding and selling rabbits. In addition it teaches basic entrepreneurial skills and business management. Even if rabbit raising is done on a small scale for a family it can reduce the families food costs because rabbits can be fed on vegetable scraps and banana leaves and other local flora.


Currently the Co-op is operating a full size rabbit hutch that has 6 rabbits. With gestation taking less then 28 days from breeding time this population will rapidly expand. The rabbits are being cared for by the Canaries Peace Corps volunteer and two local youth. The rabbits are being bred currently for the Co-Op with the intentions to provide one female doe to each member that completes the program.

The program will consist of 14 families with the expected attrition of at least 4-5 families because of the program demands listed below:

Six Week Rabbit Care and Feeding Program:

Members will participate one day per week in feeding and caring for the rabbits for 6 weeks. This approach will provide direct skills transfer in a hands on manner. The length of the rabbit care and feeding program is long with the intention of providing intensive exposure and training in addition to developing the discipline necessary to successfully raise rabbits which require a small amount of daily care. Attendance will tracked through a sign up sheet. If a member misses two feeding times they will be disqualified from the program.

Two Morning Workshops:

There will be two morning training workshops in the village community center. They will focus on education and training for the rabbit Co-op on the following topics:

-Rabbit Physiology and Health

-Rabbit Breeding

-Food and Diet

-Profit and Cost Analysis

-Hutch Design and Maintenance

Members will be required to attend both workshops if they miss one they will be disqualified from the program.

Rabbit Hutch Building:

Each member will required to a build a 3 cage hutch using a basic design that utilizes local materials in particular bamboo, a free, hardy, natural, available material from the rainforest. The other building materials will be chicken wire and wire mesh along with hinges and nails and screws and sheet metal for the roofs donated by Caribbean Metals. These materials will be provided along with direct supervision and assistance.

Members will also be required to construct a food container, breeding box and self watering system for the rabbits.

Upon completion of all of these tasks members will receive.

  1. 1 Female Doe
  2. 1 50pd bad of rabbit feed.


The program will be carried out with the supervision and support of the Community Development Officer Urania Joseph who is responsible for assisting in economic activity on the West side of the Island and the Canaries Village Council. Updates of the project will be provided at the blog and copies of receipts for purchases will be faxed or mailed to donors.


This easy self replicating project can have economic impact in Canaries village in a minimum of 10 families’ lives. Families that mostly consist of unemployed single mothers and young people looking for self employment opportunities like this. The below section is the program budget breaking down the requests for funding for the following materials to begin the program.

Thank you for your consideration in this project.

Rabbit Cooperative Funding Request



Total in EC

Total in US

Chicken Wire (Price Per Yard)





1/2 Wire Mesh (Price Per Foot)





Bottles of Wood Glue





50pd Bag of Rabbit Feed





Brass Hinges





1'Drywall screws, for hinges and clasps (Price per Pound)





Headless 2inch nails (Price per Pound)





2x4 x12 Pressure Treated (Hutch Frame)





Clasps (to lock cage)





Galvanized nails for roof (Price Per Pound)





4x8 3/8 Pressure treated plywood (Feeding and Breeding Boxs)





Total Funding Request




Contact Info and References.

The following information can be found at the Peace Corps volunteers blog.

-Pictures of the rabbits and hutch, self watering system, breeding box.

-Info on costs for and design of a 5 cage hutch. (this design did not use bamboo)

-Info about Canaries Village

-Info on the Volunteer

Contact information and mailing address:

Volunteer Lee Klejnot

US Peace Corps

PO Box 123

Castries, St. Lucia

West Indies.

Cell (758) 285-5103 Email:

Canaries Village Council Contact Info and Address:

Town Clerk Mrs. Morrisette

Canaries Village High St.

Canaries Village, St. Lucia, West Indies

(758) 459-4107

Community Development Officer for Canaries and Anse Le Raye:

Urania Joseph

Office (758) 458-3806 Cell (758) 287-1802 Email:

References on Canaries per the 2001 Population and Housing census: