In Haitian Voodoo, “Poto Mitan” is a term often used to describe the value of a mother in a family. The Poto Mitan is the center pole in the architecture of a Voodoo temple; the skeleton of the edifice.
“At Pure Water for the World, we are a family,” says Laura Guerrier, Accountant, PWW Haiti office.
And Madame Mariette Jean, one of PWW’s oldest employees, is considered by all of the staff to be an icon…a symbol of a Mother…the Poto Mitan.
“She is a mother for me. She is joyful, and one of the most interesting people I know,” Laura says. “I will miss her. She has always done things way above what was expected. She is very special.”
“We are close friends,” Jean-Pape, PWW Chief Project Coordinator in Haiti, says about his relationship with Madame Mariette Jean. “She is always in touch with me, calling me even if I am not working at the office. When there is a party at the office, and I am not there, she will for sure save my part of the cake. She is friendly, has a good heart, and loves her work. She is a strong person, full of discipline. She is always pleased to serve. She works from her heart.”
Madame Mariette Jean, PWW Haiti’s long-standing housecleaner, is 70 this year. She has been with PWW for 10 years. Madame Mariette has reached the point where she is ready to move into retirement. It is not easy for the PWW Haiti team, who have each grown to love and cherish her as their own mother…their Poto Mitan. She will be missed.