Ranmase is not a place, it is a concept. In the Haitian Creole language, ranmase means "to pick up," "to collect," or "to gather" . This simple concept merits further explication. An adult woman, for example, having determined that the coffee beans she spread out under the sun are fully dried, may direct a child to pick up the coffee beans and place them in a container. Ranmase can also be used in the sense of welcoming or receiving into the fold someone who has been absent or lost for a protracted time.
Thus, the intent of the Ranmase Transitional Village is two-fold. Firstly, it is intended to help those Haitians whose world has been turned upside down to be given a secure place for each individual or family to begin picking up the pieces of their shattered existence and start rebuilding their own lives. Secondly, this housing design is deliberately communal - encouraging a cooperation with neighbors that will lead to a more efficient rebuilding effort and more rewarding lifestyle as they transition from emergency shelter into permanent housing. As devastating a disaster as this has been, it is also an opportunity for redemption. It is our hope that this island nation will be embraced and encouraged by the international community as it works to make a future for itself that is brighter than it's past.