Haiti: Elevate Haiti Volunteer Trip


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.

Community Partners:

Elevate Haiti works with the following organizations on Ile-A-Vache:

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. www.edem2.org

One Square World - a non-profit dedicated to help  groups of people build thriving, vibrant communities that empower and benefit all community stakeholders. www.onesquareworld.org

Volunteer Projects

Our destination is Ile-a-Vache, a paradisical island off of mainland Haiti. Alongside the beauty of the people and land exist poverty and unaligned development efforts. Our goal is to support the community of Ile-a-Vache in developing leadership and capacity to power their development and create an Ile-a-Vache that benefits all.

Major needs in Ile-a-Vache revolve around access to jobs and education. At the same time, we want to emphasize the unique gifts of Ile A Vache and her people. On this trip we will be focused on supporting women and youth to develop the assets that they hold to become successful leaders, entrepreneurs and stakeholders of their futures and that of the island.

Activities will include:

  • Leadership courses (utilizing art, music and collaborative exercises)
  • Place-based education and asset mapping to discover the island’s and each individual’s unique gifts
  • Sustainable infrastructure development
  • Entrepreneurship and business training
  • English courses to support jobs in sustainable tourism

All volunteers will receive training in the months preceding the trip to help them develop their own capacity to teach, learn and share their unique gifts.


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.

See the video that our 2014 volunteers created in Haiti:

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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