College L’essor du Cap-Haitien, a school in Cap-Haitien where several students caught loa, or spirit, in October 2023, witnesses said. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times

CAP-HAITIEN—Amilcar Jean-Pierre’s 14-year-old daughter started crawling while in her classroom at National Mixed School of Bel Air in Cap-Haitien and asked for water. For many observers she was possessed, she caught the Lasirèn, or The Mermaid loa

Jean-Pierre’s daughter was heavily embarrassed after the incident that happened in 2022, so he had to uplift her, by repeating that Vodou is part of her culture.


Vodou has manifested itself as eminent in Haiti in recent months locally and internationally as a growing number of students have been catching loa in schools and countless ceremonies have been held near the canal to keep the Dominicans away.

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.