Actionist: Petrus Cesarion

Run, Petrus, Run!

I want to show that there is a lot of hidden talent in Haiti.

Here is a young Haitian man literally running for a good cause. When you first meet Petrus Cesarion, you are surprised by his diminutive size and quiet nature. However, you are soon taken in by his hip-hop influenced fashion sense, and even more so his driving passion for running for a cause close to his heart: to help the people of Haiti. At the age of 22, Petrus stumbled into becoming a marathon racer. Never having run in an organized race before, a friend of his convinced him to run a local 4 mile race based on his runner’s lean frame. Doubtful, he decided to trust his friend and entered the competition. Wearing an old pair of tennis sneakers, Cesarion blew past all the other contestants to become the first place winner. As they say, the rest is history.

Having acquired this new exhilarating experience, the runner’s high, he decided he liked this feeling and wanted more of it, but with an altruistic bend. Today, at the age of 28, Cesarion is one of 5 Haitian runners sponsored by J/P Haitian Relief Organization (HRO), a charitable organization by Hollywood actor Sean Penn set-up after the 2010 earthquake destruction. Cesarion came to America to race in the New York City Marathon on November 6th 2016 in a “Long Run for Haiti” effort for an even better feeling: the feeling you get when you help out your people in your homeland.

What does he wish to accomplish? “Even though I know it is difficult a lot, I would like to be number 1, and I want to show that there is a lot of hidden talent in Haiti. If they had more support they would uncover a lot in the field of running, dancing, and also sports like basketball and soccer.” Haiti wants to change and grow, and it has a perfect advocate in changemaker Petrus Cesarion, who runs for Club Haiti En Course (CHEC). Let’s see what this actionist and running phenom is all about!

  1. My nickname is: Michael, because I could dance like MJ, and sing. Also Twenty, because the area that I lived had 20 blocks and I represented the 20.
  2. The first thing I do when I wake up is: I dress to get ready for training and running a marathon.
  3. Things that I do not like to do: is be in any type of structured system, like school.
  4. My superpower is: Helping people.
  5. I can’t live without: My caps.
  6. A project or accomplishment that I consider to be the most significant in my career is: They choose me to represent Haiti for the NYC marathon.
  7. A time when I almost gave up, how did I feel about that, and what I did instead of giving up? When I am running and I want to give up at a certain point, I feel very tired, but I just keep going. 
  8. Everything tastes better with: Haitian epis (Spice)
  9. If I only had $10.00 I would: Eat a little bit from it and save the  rest of the money.
  10. In the event of a zombie apocalypse I would: never leave my   house, I would just stay inside.
  11. My favorite quote is by: Jaden Smith, “Never say never.”


Photo via JPHRO
Priscilla Brissault

Priscilla Brissault

Ah, poor Priscilla. The only Haitian American girl in her West Philly class who still till this day has no clue what an African booty scratcher really is. So instead she focused her average brainpower on romance books, Horror / Sci-Fi movies, and art. When she is not teaching ESL to her students in South Korea, she is traveling the globe culturally exchanging, making jewelry, creating art in its various forms, and just generally being a kickass ninja at night.

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