Haiti: Elevate Haiti Volunteer Trip

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Elevate Destinations has been committed to supporting the people of Haiti since the January 12, 2010 earthquake shook the country mercilessly. Over 200,000 deaths resulted, as well as the displacement and destruction of thousands of families and lives. More than three years later, human resilience prevails as Haitians continue to strive for a new life out of less than the little most people once had. After our involvement during the emergency stage, the long-term rebuilding continues. The future of Haitians, as for all of us, lies in their children. Ensuring they have the resources for education is one of the critical tenants of long-term rebuilding.

This journey takes you to Ile-a-Vache, a beautiful island off the coast of Haiti’s southwestern peninsula with high hopes for a sustainable future. Stand by Haitians as they start anew.

An additional 5-day volunteering extension is also available for travelers that wish to spend an extra week in Haiti.

Volunteer Project and Community Partner:

Elevate Haiti works with the Edem Foundation – a non-profit supporting the education of children in Haiti and the development of economic activities in Haiti by working with local communities. The organization also works to empower local communities in Haiti through small enterprise development and sustainable activities.

Children and Youth Leadership Workshop:

Elevate Destinations has developed a youth leadership workshop focused on bolstering young people's leadership and English skills. Activities and lessons are informed by the skills of the volunteers. We encourage volunteers with different skill sets to share their expertise, as relevant, during the workshop. Teacher training for volunteers will be provided before the trip.

Elevate Haiti volunteers will also help build a wind/solar system to supply electricity to the community.  This will be an opportunity to join youth leaders in a team building event while learning about renewable energy.

See the video that our 2014 volunteers created in Haiti:

Fundraising:

To make our volunteer trips as impactful as possible and to ensure that the Edem Foundation is able to carry on their good work after we have left, we require that each volunteer fundraise at least $500 prior to their trip, to be paid directly to the Edem Foundation.  We have had volunteers fundraise much, much more than this in the past and are happy to provide ideas and support.

Past Travelers' Experiences:

I am so happy to have found Elevate Destinations. I really appreciated the "structured" freedom in my volunteer work which allowed me to choose what I wanted to teach while also being guided by a schedule. It was so great to be with so many amazing, worldly, and intelligent people that I left feeling part of a family.

-Leighann Adelizzi, 2014 Volunteer

"Elevate Destinations provided me with both a diverse travel experience and a fulfilling volunteer project that inspires me to seek out further adventures and service!"

- Nic Johnson, 2012 Volunteer

"When my daughter and I signed up for this trip, I truly felt that I was doing this for her. As it turns out, she got a lot out of this experience, but so did I. She went from a 17 year old girl who insisted that she was afraid of little kids to a girl who was happy to be surrounded by children while sharing her love of painting and art with them. Pretty amazing for 5 days. I went from someone who was along for the ride to someone who cares very much about the children and adults on Ile-a-Vache."
-Michelle Campbell, 2014 Volunteer

 

Learn more about how we do volunteer travel right at  The Huffington Post

July 10: Port-au-Prince
Le Plaza Hotel

After landing at Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, you will be picked up and transported to the Le Plaza Hotel in Haiti.

At this time you will have the opportunity to meet the rest of the group, receive an overview of Haiti and relax from your journey.  Depending on what time your flight arrives, we can arrange for a tour of downtown Port-au-Prince in the afternoon.  The hotel also has a lovely, verdant central courtyard and pool if you want to take it easy this first afternoon.

July 11: Port-au-Prince
Le Plaza Hotel

Today spend a full day touring Port-au-Prince with a guide learning about the history, art and culture of both the city and Haiti.  In the morning, visit the national museum, the Champ des Mars, and the Iron Market.  After lunch you will go to Croix des Bouquets - a village outside of Port-au-Prince known for its artistry, especially in metalwork. Here you will have the chance to support Haiti’s local economy and bring home souvenirs for your family and friends.

July 12:  Port-au-Prince to Ile-a-Vache
Village Vacances

Today you will travel to Ile a Vache via land and a 35-minute motorboat ride to the island, in all about a five-hour journey.  You will receive an orientation about the volunteer project you will be participating in to help the Edem Foundation.  This afternoon is free to settle in and enjoy the breathtaking beaches the island has to offer.

Village Vacances is a very basic, charming, Haitian style hotel located right on the water on Ile-a-Vache.  Locals live on either side of the property and the hotel serves a something of a community center, helping you to jump right into life on the island.  The food is also amazing and features lots of fresh seafood caught right offshore.  Of course, however, they can also accommodate any dietary restrictions.

You will have the chance to spend the evening relaxing with new friends.

July 13: Ile-a-Vache
Village Vacances

Today you will begin your volunteer work and start getting a real sense of the community in Haiti.

July 14-16: Ile-a-Vache
Village Vacances

Volunteer work continues through the week. Each evening ends with downtime on the beach and activities with the kids that will benefit from your work.

July 17: Ile-a-Vache
Village Vacances

By Day 7 you will see the results of your labor! At the end of this day, the volunteer portion of your journey is done.

July 18: Free day on Ile-a-Vache
Village Vacances

A free day to enjoy beaches and excursions on Ile a Vache.

July 19: Ile-a-Vache to Port-au-Prince
Le Plaza Hotel

This morning is free time to soak up the island before your return to the mainland.  Lounge on the beach, visit the local villages, or go into the centre-ville.  After lunch, a boat will take you back Les Cayes where your driver will be waiting to take you back to Port au Prince.

July 20: Port-au-Prince (departure)

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight out after an amazing and intense experience in Haiti!

 

 

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