Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The population is over 9 million people. The unemployment rate is over 60%. There are an estimated 700,000 orphans in Haiti.
Average temp is 77 to 93 F in the hottest month, July, and 68 to 88 F in the coldest month, January.
Once you exit the airport area, you will be struck by the busyness and congestion of Port au Prince. There will be people wanting to help carry your baggage so that they can be tipped. We will be met by some of our Haiti staff and they will take care of this. Please follow their instructions. You will have about a 3 hour drive from the international airport to Gonaives, our home base for our time in Haiti. If we arrive too late to make it to Gonaives, we will stop off at the Kaliko Beach Club about an hour north of Port au Prince and drive to Gonaives wary the next day.
The Paradise Village Inn in Gonaives is where we will spend most of our nights in Haiti. It is owned by a Haitian-American couple who operate the inn as a means of income to support their school, The Belle Angel School in Gonaives. Our last night will be spent at the Kaliko Beach Club.
You will enjoy rice and beans in different ways. Most of the food/meat is fried. Meat: Chicken, goat, turkey, fish.
Do not drink tap water. Fill your water bottles for brushing your teeth. Carry your water bottle at all times. Bottled water will be plentiful.
The people are very friendly. You will be staying at the Inn, where it is safe to walk around the complex area with other team members.
IMMUNIZATIONS & MEDICATIONS
You should see a medical professional to make sure you have all appropriate immunizations and medications for this trip to Haiti. Consult your physician. For the latest and most complete information on vaccines and medications go to the CDC web site - http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/haiti.aspx. We recommend that you visit your county health department or Walgreens to get the necessary immunizations. Check to see if your health insurance covers immunizations through Walgreens.
You will need updated shots. Consult your physician. Many people include the following:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Malaria medication (ask your doctor for the appropriate prescription for malaria medications)
Each group will be assigned a team leader who will schedule a conference call, keep you updated and help you prepare for your trip. They may also suggest more specific items for you to pack.
You must have a valid passport. Please make sure that it is valid for a minimum of 7 months (from date of trip), as they will not let you leave the country or return if it expires in less than 6 months.
WHAT TO BRING (In Your Carry on Bag)
- Reusable water bottle
- Spending Money (You may want to bring $50 -$100 spending money for Haitian souvenirs)
- Medicines (Tylenol, Band-Aids, Benedryl, Pepto, anti-diarrheal, personal meds, etc)
- Clothes for Men – long pants or shorts and short-sleeved shirts, Sunday church (collared shirt with tie, no jeans, no need for a jacket), PJ’s (comfortable T-shirt and shorts)
- Clothes for Women – short-sleeved shirts and pants. Please only wear skirts or capri pants (In the Haitian culture it is offensive to wear shorts in public). Sunday church clothes (dress or long skirt), shirt that covers the shoulders, PJ’s (comfortable T-shirt and shorts)
- Shoes- shower shoes, dress shoes, sandals and tennis shoes (The terrain can be rough so you will want sturdy walking shoes)
- Toiletries – Bring your own soap, shampoo & conditioner, toothbrush & toothpaste
- Bedding is provided (Bringing your own sleep sack is optional)
- Camera and memory cards, batteries, and charger
- Glasses/Contacts (even if usually only wear contacts bring prescription glasses)
- Jacket – light weight jacket and rain coat or poncho
- Bug Repellent. We often recommend Off Deep Woods Sportsmen (30% deet). See HERE for more info.
- Hand sanitizer
- $10 US cash to enter the country. As of July 2014, Haiti collects $10 from each non Haitian entering the country.
Please remember if you are carrying any gels, liquids, etc. they must be 3.4 oz. or less and put into a quart-size zip lock bag; one quart-size zip lock bag per carry-on. When you get to the airport at the security check-in they will ask that you take out liquids for inspection.
Each person is allowed to check-in one 50 lb. bag at no cost in addition to their carry-on. A 2nd bag will cost. The bag(s) should be packed with items for the children. We ask that you pack one 50 lb. bag per person. Your trip leader will also let you know in advance if there are particular needs to meet with your check-in bag(s). NOTE: WE WILL LET YOU KNOW PRIOR TO THE TRIP WHAT ITEMS ARE MOST NEEDED.