There are currently only two ways to get to Gros-Mangles. The first is via boat from mainland Haiti to Anse-à-Galets and then driving over rocky terrain to Gros-Mangles. The other is via airplane from mainland Haiti with the newly installed airstrip close to Gros-Mangles.
Map of Haiti
Board of Directors
Blandine Mitaut, PhD
I teach French at Shippensburg University, and have been involved with Project Gros-Mangles since its inception with Jonas Celius and Dr. Agnès Ragone-Belval. It has been thrilling to see our small service-learning project grow into an actual medical facility that serves the needs of the Gros-Mangles community. It is an honor to collaborate with the amazing staff of the Centre de Santé Communautaire Belval de Gros-Mangles.
I grew up in Franklin County and now live in Adams County with my husband, Jonas and our children. I am employed by the Chambersburg Area School district as an elementary teacher. I earned my teaching degree at Shippensburg University as well as a Masters in Special Education and an ESL certification.
Project Gros Mangles has special meaning to me because it is in my husband’s hometown in Haiti. I have had the opportunity to visit Haiti several times and watch Project Gros Mangles develop and grow from the very beginning.
My special interests include, spending time with my children and grandchildren, cooking, gardening and canning, mission work and helping others.
CFO & Secretary
I am a Certified Financial Planner and I have my MBA in Finance. I've spent over 40 years in financial services.
I'm involved with Project Gros Mangles because Haiti has suffered so much and I believe I have a moral imperative to help those less fortunate than myself.
My avocation is music, both vocal and keyboard.
I have been married to my husband, Walt, forty-seven years. We have four adult children, three sons and one daughter, all married. We are also the grandparents of seven wonderful grandchildren ranging in ages from two to fourteen.
As an alumnus of Shippensburg University, I earned Bachelors of Education, Masters of Education, and Masters of Reading degrees. I was employed by Waynesboro and Chambersburg Area School Districts as both a Reading Specialist and primary teacher for twenty-four years and am now enjoying retirement.
Currently I spend a lot of time with grandchildren, deliver Meals on Wheels, help elementary students with online learning, and am active in my church. In my free time I enjoy reading, exercising, and backpacking and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
I became familiar with Project Gros Mangles through a teaching colleague and felt myself drawn to be part of a team to support this project. I am honored to be on the Gros Mangles Board.
I travelled to Haïti during each of my four years at Shippensburg, and was able to see the project grow into what it is today. I’m excited to be a part of the project as it grows into what it can be, alongside the people of Gros Mangles and La Gonave.
J. Christopher Kovats-Bernat, PhD
I was born in Philadelphia, PA and I currently live in Allentown. I received my B.A. from Muhlenberg College and both my M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University. I am a visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Ship and a lecturer of Public Health and Medical Anthropology at Rutgers University.
I first came to Project Gros Mangles after being invited by Dr. Mitatut to co-teach the study abroad courses for the proposed trip to Gros Mangles in 2019, but that trip never panned out due to instability in the country. Additionally, I have been doing anthropological fieldwork in Haiti for over 25 years and am excited to be a part of a worthwhile project in Haiti associated with the university at which I teach.
Fun Facts: I love to cook. I also love jazz and baseball. Go Phils!
I grew up in Boiling Springs, PA and I recently moved to South Carolina to work as an Auditor. I graduated from Shippensburg University in 2019, BA & BSBA, and 2020, MBA.
I first heard of Project Gros Mangles when I was in my high school French class. When I was finishing undergrad, I chose to do my Capstone Project on PGM. I completely redid the website, created a cohesive brand image, made social media pages, and wrote a business/marketing plan. Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Gros-Mangles, but I hope to go in the future!
My hobbies include creating art, hiking, kayaking, traveling, and harassing my triplet sisters.