God bless you for your interest in traveling to Haiti with HTH
~ you will be blessed in ways never imagined ~
Below you will find details of trips conducted by Hands Together for Haitians (HTH). We make every effort to travel and work in a way that is culturally sensitive to the lives and ways of the Haitian people; respecting their culture, their lives, their misery and their dignity. And so, we ask you to please read the following information over thoroughly….
Next trip: JUNE 15 - 22, 2019 (Saturday - Saturday)
Our medical mission trips are in February and June. These trips accommodate 20-30 people coming from the U.S. and are comprised of medical personnel (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, etc) as well as many non-medical personnel. There is work for everyone on the team!
We fly commercial (usually American Airlines or JetBlue), taking an early morning flight from Fort Lauderdale into Port au Prince. Upon arrival we might travel around Port au Prince for a couple of hours, depending on the political and social situation at the time. We leave the city by noon and head out to Jeandenis, a 3 hour drive north of PAP, where we will be working for the week.
PASSPORT & FLIGHT INFORMATION
Passports are required and the expiration date must not be within 6 months of travel. We will inform you of the flight information several months in advance of the trip. We MUST ALL be on the same flight to Haiti since transportation in and around Haiti is not easy.
GIVING OF GIFTS & MONEY TO THOSE WHO BEG…..
There is often times a great desire for visitors to give candy, money and other ‘gifts’ to children & adults when traveling in a 3rd World Country like HAITI. As difficult and uncompassionate as it may seem, we greatly discourage this behavior. Giving of money and gifts teaches recipients to beg and it is unfair to give to some who beg and not to others who know it is not right to beg. It also creates a ‘begging’ atmosphere for the next group that visits this village. Your giving actions can be resented, especially by adults, who work very, very hard for their money and who may earn less than what their children are given. Giving money diminishes the value of their efforts and also affects the ‘solidarity’ efforts of the groups, creating a ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ atmosphere. There will be opportunities to bring items for the school and the parish; however it is a much better practice to allow the local leaders, i.e. the Parish priest or religious, who know the needs of the people, to distribute these items. If someone asks you for something, all you have to say, politely, is ‘no’. This does NOT mean you cannot talk or be friendly with people. Not at all!! A smile is universal and speaks volumes. If ask for something, it is best to say “no” and then continue to talk or interact as though that was done and you move on to the next topic.
We urge great senstivity when taking pictures. Most people we see live in situations that cause them misery, grief, shame, & embarrassment; and so to have someone take their picture could humiliate them even more so. Therefore, we discourage picture taking unless you have approached the individual and have ask them if it is Ok to take their picture. Pictures of the country and those taken from a distance are ok, if discretion is used. We encourage everyone to place themselves in the shoes of the person on the street – how would we feel?
COST OF THE TRIP
Our mission trips are intended to be self-supporting; in other words we do not use general donations to HTPB to support our mission trips. Each traveler is ask to purchase their own airline ticket, and in addition, $800 per traveler. This additional fee covers the cost of: transportation while in Haiti, gas, room and board, 3 meals a day, as well as helping to cover the cost of holding clinic. A deposit of $300, along with a completed application, will hold your spot for a particular mission trip. Click on the link at the top of this page for the application.
While in Jeandenis, we stay at the Notre Dame du Rosaire parish rectory; sleeping in rooms and on the upstairs outdoor patio on mats and almost always under mosquito nets. Most people prefer to sleep outdoors; enjoying the breeze and the star-filled sky. Everyone is encouraged to bring a small battery-powered fan for the night, especially during the summer months. Electricity is not always available during the night. There are 4 modern bathroom facilities; 2 inside showers with flushing toilets and 2 outside showers. It is important to remember that conservation of water and electricity is very important in a country where few people have these luxuries.
Haitian cooks prepare three meals a day for the guests, all Haitian cuisine. Travelers are also welcome to bring snacks/food of their choice. We encourage travelers to keep the dining area clean and neat, so as to help the staff in small ways.
Hep A & B: highly recommended – at least get them started prior to the trip. This is especially important for those working in the medical clinic.
Typhoid: REQUIRED (oral pills available - should be taken at least a few weeks before traveling)
Up-to-date Tetanus: REQUIRED
Malaria: highly recommended: 2 OPTIONS: 1) Chloroquine 1 PER WEEK starting the week before we leave, during the mission week, and x 4 weeks upon our return OR 2) Doxycycline 100 mg EVERY DAY x 6 weeks, starting the week before we leave.
Dress can be very casual – make sure you are comfortable. T-shirts are fine with skirts/pants. Jeans are Ok but they are hot! Men can wear shorts or light weight pants, however if you plan to go to church, shorts are not allowed for men or women. For security purposes and also ‘image’ we want to appear as missionaries, not tourists. Please dress conservatively. Bring your swimsuit as we may have an opportunity to visit the beach. The only access to washing clothes will be while you are taking a shower. Hat and/or unscreen is recommended. You will want to bring very comfortable shoes for clinic. Crocs are GREAT for clinic, showering, walking around town.
CONTACT #'S IN HAITI
Nancy Anderson: changes - will provide # prior to trip
Laveaux Narcisse: 011 509 3691 9020 - speaks English
TRIP & EMERGENCY EVACUATION INSURANCE
HTPB does not require trip or emergency medical insurance. However, travelers are encouraged to check with their local travel agency or on the Internet and decide for themselves if they want this kind of insurance for the various possible events that could occur on a trip. If you choose to get insurance, it is recommended to do so at least two weeks prior to your trip.
SAFETY & SECURITY
We are often asked if it is safe to travel in Haiti. Safety is always a serious issue when traveling in a 3rd world country. We take many precautions which you will not be aware of, however there are also steps you can take. Be careful NOT to pull out your wallet in public, even at the airport – make sure you have $1 bills easily available (for tipping) – keep big bills out of sight. Please wear only very simple jewelry. No electronics please – such as I-pods, fancy cameras and videos. We also tell people the following:
we spend very little time in Port au Prince where most crime or disruptions occur
we have taken many trips to Haiti over the past 10 years and we have never had a security incident. We do not recommend anyone wander off on their own and we expect everyone to comply by the recommendations of the HTPB team
Haiti, like the U.S., has criminals; we are cautious and ask travelers to do the same, regarding your own safely
We will register our team with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti - and will provide the team members with the U.S. Embassy's contact info prior to the trip.
We will do everything in our power to ensure your complete safety
IN CONCLUSION, we are thankful that you are considering a trip to the beautiful and intriguing country of Haiti. We have no doubt that you will be moved by the lovely and spirited people of Haiti. We at HTPB are blessed to be doing the work that we feel is the call of God and we are also blessed in that we are able to share these blessings with many of you. A trip to Haiti is a life-changing experience; from the mouths of those who have traveled with us in the past we can say that, most likely, ‘YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME’.
May God bless you as you consider traveling with us in the near future……
Nancy Anderson, President