Aquaculture Learning Center – Marigot, Haiti



The Henri Christophe School in Marigot lies on the stunning south east coast of Haiti. In 2010, SAI conducted several site visits upon the school’s request, and after extensive consultation with faculty, administrators, and supportive community leaders, determined that it would be the ideal site for an aquaculture learning center.

Project Description

The Aquaculture Learning Center (ALC) incorporates a specially designed fish pond with hydroponic and earthen gardens where Haitian students and adults can come to receive training in sustainable food production methods. While this particular project is large, its essential components and techniques are easily replicated on dramatically smaller scales.

While growing their own food, ALC members collect data on water quality, feed utilization, and fish weights using laptops donated to the school by the MBL. Teachers at Henri Christophe plan to incorporate this data into lessons in mathematics, basic water chemistry, biology animal husbandry, botany, and computer skills while studying and optimizing the fish pond and gardens.

Get Involved

Establishing this Aquaculture Learning Center was an extremely exciting and inspiring project for us. Owned and operated by Haitians who initiated the project, this center represents a truly grassroots approach to fostering economic and food security development in Haiti. Please support SAI so we can provide community leaders like Ernst and his team with the technical support and guidance they need to turn their visions for community empowerment into realities. Feel free to contact us or give directly.


Ernst Colon is the foreman for the ALC project in Marigot. Ernst is a former factory owner and president of a Haitian political action organization. He is a savvy manager who ensures that everyone works together towards the ALC’s goals. He is committed to do everything within his power to help his country, and as a member of the ALC he leads the charge by managing the basin. At 67 years old, he is a father of four and grandfather of three and has returned to his hometown, Marigot, to live and work.



Serge Fontaine is the in-country coordinator of the ALC project in Marigot. He continues to be the intermediary between partners in the USA and ALC’s Haitian team in Marigot. Serge left Haiti in May 1973 for New York, in 1977 he earned an Associate’s Degree in Architecture Technology from New York Community College, and in 1982 graduated from the Pratt Institute with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He speaks English, French, Spanish and Kreol. Serge is the Chairman of HAES (Haitian-American Association of Engineers and Scientists). His is passionate about his work, spending time with family and friends, and hopes to one day retire in his home land. land.



Ilnord has been an IT/English teacher at the Henri Christophe School since the Spring of 2011. More recently he has joined the ALC project to collect data and track progress on fish production, coordinate information sharing with SAI via e-mail, and teach the students about aquaculture. Computer and IT work are his passions and he wishes to continue studying these fields so he can pass his knowledge along to future students.




Jilbert works as the security guard for the Henri Christophe ALC. He aspires to one day be a small business owner and have a family with one child.



Finishing construction of the basin Taking a break from building the basin wall Completed basin Inserting screens for the fingerling compartments Digging a hole for the well Basin filled with water and stocked with tilapia Ernst placing rocks in the basin's biofilter The basin's biofilter and airlifts Ernst's improvised netting to keep bird's out Bill teaching the crew how to clean airstones Bill and Jilbert working to fix a broken generator Jeto cutting bamboo to be used as a periphyton substrate Bill and Jeto stringing bamboo in the basin for a periphyton substrate Tracy teaching Ilnord and Zo how to monitor water quality Bill teaching the crew how to weigh fish Ernst, Serge and Zo constructing floating plant rafts Jeto placing floating plant rafts in the basin Charlie helping plant edible Jatropha in the schoolyard Jilbert showing off cabbage seeds that have sprouted in rockwool Cabbage, Moringa, and Bok Choy being shaded by banana leaves A local child teaching us how to collect water from the well Bill taking care of a cut on Jilbert's leg Serge and Ernst meeting with the school's principal Bill and Serge getting interviewed for the local radio station The Marigot ALC team The school's outhouses Serge putting a cistern on the bathroom roof so the student's can use the indoor bathrooms Pamphlets on Moringa nutrition taped in newly working bathrooms stalls Ilnord reading the pamphlet on Moringa Jilbert collecting Moringa after reading about its nutritional benefits Part of the ALC team in front of the basin