Through his passion for both the language and the people of Haiti, Carlo created a language education business that promises to alter the face of the nation’s ongoing redevelopment efforts.
“Whether teaching a live group Creole class or designing an online resource, helping people learn the language so they can do what they do better is what gets me up in the morning.”
In 2007, Carlo Diy’s fluency in French and interest in Haiti’s colonial history drew him to the country to volunteer with an NGO that supports an orphanage and pediatric mission hospital. He spent 18 months working in the community and developed a profound connection to Haiti and its people. After returning to the States, Carlo started working on HaitiHub, an online course with a goal to teach cultural fluency and Haitian Creole.
Five weeks later, a historic earthquake nearly destroyed Haiti, causing Carlo to put the business on hold in favor of offering direct assistance in the disaster relief efforts. When Carlo finally returned from aid work, his inbox was overflowing with emails from people wanting to learn Hatian Creole. “After a year and a half of working on HaitiHub as a side project, it was time to make the switch from a free service to a self-sustaining venture,” he says. “It was a tense day and a half after launch until the first paying student signed up. But with that first taste of earned revenue, I knew we were onto something.”
Through new online learning modules, Carlo has evolved HaitiHub’s offerings to better facilitate his ongoing mission of granting Creole-fluency to the largest players in Haitian development – primarily leaders of NGOs, doctors, and volunteers. “What we’re doing with Haitian Creole is certainly creative and entrepreneurial, but I’m first and foremost an educator. Helping people learn the language so they can do what they do better is what gets me up in the morning.”
Carlo’s long-term goal is to expand HaitiHub’s language resources beyond Creole, to serve the “long tail of orphaned languages,” as he puts it. “These languages are not served by the big names in e-language learning and are often spoken in countries that share many of the development challenges present in Haiti.”