Frequently Asked Questions
|Q:What does my money go towards?
Q: What shots and medications do you take every time you go?
Q: What do you pack?
Q: Can I drink the water?
Q: I want to bring XYZ to Haiti. How can I get it there before I arrive?
Q: I want to go, but I don't have any skills, can you still use me?
Q: Can I get people to donate money for my personal costs?
Q: How do I get people to donate money for the overall project costs?
Q: I have prior commitments on the main departure dates , are the Travel dates flexible?Q: Why are you starting a new 501(c)3?
|Q: What does my money go towards?
||All the funds that you pay for your trip to Haiti go towards your actual incurred expenses In other words, we don't take any part of your fees to offset trip coordinator costs or other similar expense. The trip fees are determined by making the assumption that you will stay the whole length of the trip so there is a potential discrepancy of per day costs between someone staying the whole time and someone staying a shorter time. The reason for this cost is two fold. Pragmatically, we aren't a travel agency and trying to figure the differences in expenses based on small differences in trip duration would be difficult. Secondly, most of the expenses are determined by the days during the trip when we have the most people in country. We rent cars, pay interpreters and other similar items by the week and the number of those things that we need are dictated by the amount of people we have going. For example, we can't prorate our car rental because it has fewer people in it because someone's trip duration was shorter than the main group. However, there are some types of expenses that are prorated and could potentially be refunded to you (i.e. hotel and food expenses). Any additional funds that these unincurred expenses may contributed to the trip are used to pay for emergent or unanticipated costs during the trip.
|Q: What shots and medications do you take every time you go?
||There are number of websites that give information on this question. The best one is Center for Disease Control
Please check with your doctor for the latest recommendations.Typically, we get typhoid vaccinations (either once every 2 years or once every 5 years depending on dosage), pills for Malaria, and Hepatitis vaccinations.
|Q: What do you pack?
||I try to pack as light as I can. Two special things to note. The first is that you only get 70lbs (between two bags) of stuff to carry over on the flight . Domestic flights allow you 100lbs so pack accordingly. The second, you only get 50lbs of stuff for the return flight. Most people leave clothes and shoes, but bring up souvenirs. On to my list:
- One pair of light-weight Khaki pants
- One nice outfit (in case we get invited to have dinner with visiting political dignitaries which happens from time to time)
- 2 pairs of cargo shorts (wear one, wash one, repeat)
- Swim suit
- 3 work tee-shirts
- 3 short sleeve-button shirts (for wearing around the hotel.)
- 2 pair work gloves
- Lots of purell
- Leatherman (actually a cheap knock-off, not needed for the medical team)
- Pocket knife (not needed if you have a leatherman)
- Camping towel (mostly just to wipe off dirt and grime)
- Washcloth (the hotel just has basic towels)
- Camelbak backpack (or cheap knock-off)
- Computer (They have wireless Internet at the hotel, so I bring my PC.)
- GPS unit
- Pepto bismo (big bottle)
- 1 long sleeve work shirt
- Hat (visor really)
- cheap sunglasses (there is a good chance that you will ride in the back of a pick-up sometime during the trip, and the sunglasses will keep the dust out of your eye)
- Jogging shoes
- Work boots
- Sandals (for hanging out at the hotel)
- Water bottle
- Money (it costs $32 to exit, no real costs there but I'll bring maybe a total of $100 for myself)
|Q: Can I drink the water?
||The Hotle (The Mont Joli) provides drinkable water for us in the rooms. The water served at dinner is also safe for us to drink. We stop and get Gatorade at the local covenience store and you can buy bottle water there. Water at the work site (that we don't bring with us) is not fit to drink, but can defintely be used to cool yourself off. The medical team provides water for the folks working in the clinic.
|Q: I want to bring XYZ to Haiti. How can I get it there before I arrive?
||There are a number of ways of bring stuff to Haiti. The easiest way is to just pack it in your luggage. But if the items you want to bring with you are too big or too heavy we suggest you ship them. The prefered method is to ship your items via Fed Ex, USPS, UPS or any other method you like to Carribean American Shiping Corporation (CASCO). Their address is: 1801 S.W. 1st Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315. Please address the package: Bernard Guiles in Cap Haitien. If you have any questions on how to ship to Bernard in Cap Haiten, please callCASCO [(954) 525-1717]. While they won't know Bernard, they will understand what you are trying to do. Bernard is one of our contacts in Haiti and will pick up your package and make sure it gets to the Mont Joli storage area. It gernally take 3-5 weeks for packages to make the trip from Fort Lauderdale to Cap Haitien. While you may luck out and have a package get there in less time you risk your packages not being there for you when you arive.
|Q: I want to go, but I don't have any skills, can you still use me?
||There are so many ways that you can help out that we don't exclude people because they don't have any "skills." A large portion of our activities are just to show the children, orphans, and other people in Haiti that they are not alone and that people care about them. Basically we are saying that we can use anyone and that you will feel like your time has been spent wisely, and that you have contributed.
|Q: Can I get people to donate money for my personal costs?
||If you want people to make a tax deductible donation to cover part of your expenses that is perfectly accepatable. While we try to get people to raise funds for the projects that we are going to while we are in Haiti, we certainly understand that the cost of the trip may be prohibitive for some people. All that is needed is to have the donor put your name in the memo line of their check. It is helpful if you let us know before hand about their donation so that we can be on the look out for it. As we mentioned before, we also hope you try to raise funds for the trip in general and not just your personal expenses, but it is not required.
|Q: How do I get people to donate money for the overall project costs?
||We will provide a list of the projects prior to each trip, plus an template for a letter or email that you can send to your friends, family or coworkers. We are always looking for personal and corporate sponsors. We understand that there is lots of competition for people's dollars. While the situation is dire in Haiti, that's not the reason why people should give. People should give because it takes so little to have such a profound effect.
|Q: I have prior commitments on the main departure dates , are the Travel dates flexible?
||Yes dates and time are flexible. While we don't want to go to the airport everyday to pick up new arrivals, we will do everything we can to faciliate your participation in this effort