We stay in safe, gated, and guarded locations. You will have an interpreter for the duration of your stay, not only to help you interact with locals but also to offer you insight into the culture of Haiti. Safe drinking water will be provided throughout your trip by both large bottle jugs as well as the ServeHAITI Gift of Water filter system. Internet access is limited to the two evenings in Port-au-Prince, so you truly get to disconnect during your stay.
We fly as a group, leaving on a designated flight with a trip leader, to start our adventure. After landing in Port-au-Prince airport, we are picked up and taken to a guest house for the night. The next morning, after last minute errands including a stop for snacks at the supermarket, we start our 3-5 hour ride up the mountain to Grand-Bois.
After driving through the market in La Twason, we arrive at our home for the next 5 nights, the St. Vincent de Paul Health Center. The Health Center occupies the first floor with the second story used as housing for the staff & volunteers. Men and woman have separate, dorm style rooms with a bed for each volunteer. The clinic has running water and private bathrooms. Meals at the clinic will consist of delicious Haitian fare prepared carefully (washed and well cooked) by our clinic cooks, as well as a suitcase of staples such as tuna fish, tortillas, peanut butter and jelly, beef jerky, and other snacks you may have brought in your luggage. Our Haitian cooks are very proud of their culinary abilities and they love to hear wonderful comments about the superb cooking!
On Sunday you have the option of going to Catholic Mass and the Sunday market. We spend the rest of the day unpacking the medications and supplies that were brought in the checked luggage and getting acquainted with the clinic, the staff, and setting our plan for the week. Every evening, the volunteers gather on the balcony to share their reflections from the day. We believe that you will find this time cathartic and uplifting. Some of what you will witness in Haiti can be heavy and surprising. We want to make sure that all volunteers seek out help if they need to talk about what they have observed, whether it be to one individual, your trip leader, or the group as a whole.
Each day will be different. We may spend the day visiting homes with Community Health Workers (CHW’s) or Gift of Water Technicians, observing clinic operations, accomplishing a task, or even playing soccer with children.
Here are some examples of things you may be asked to help with on your trip:
- Packaging pills for the pharmacy
- Painting rooms in the clinic/painting waiting room benches
- Minor maintenance jobs at the Health Center (i.e. sanding down railings, cleaning the volunteer room, etc.)
- Taking photographs of specific projects/people
- Gathering data
- Interviewing locals
- Assisting with pharmacy inventory
- Recording dictated measurements for the optician
- Helping to serve food to Haitian Teachers during training sessions
- Let us know if you have a skill we haven’t listed!
The week will fly by and you will likely be sad to leave on Thursday. We leave after breakfast, back to Port-au-Prince for the night. On the way, as long as time permits, we will stop at a fair trade market and restaurant before ending up at our resort for the evening so we can experience the unique tourism business of Haiti. Friday we fly out back to home, having made new friends and powerful memories.
Interested? Join us! Click here to view our Calendar of upcoming trips.