Chòtdeben means swimsuit in Creole.
We had taken the girls of OJFA swimming at Hotel Oloffson a few times before, but they always swam in their underwear.
Not a big deal in Haiti where public bathing, public defecation and general lack of clothing leave residents showing more than they might care to show.
HOWEVER. I could never photograph the girls swimming because I couldn’t bare to trade their dignity for capturing a few digital smiles.
A swim team in Orinda, Calif. donated these swimsuits and Project HOPE Art friend Alex Mace brought the girls their own chòtdeben for the first time.