Mission Haiti Inc. Immersion Trip FAQ
What is an MHI immersion trip?
An immersion trip is a short-term, structured experience to witness the unique life and culture, poverty and injustice, and resilience and strength of Haiti. In addition to touring MHI-supported schools and projects, we will visit a variety of places in and around Port au Prince which may include projects of other organizations, cultural or historical sites, an artisan village or co-op, and more.
By joining an immersion trip, you are responding to a call to enter more deeply into the lives of the poor. Our trip will provide a cross-cultural experience that will show you a land of beauty, as well as a land of pain and suffering. You will see poverty but you will also see efforts underway to change it. You will come to appreciate these beautiful people who live in hope and faith of a better tomorrow.
Is it safe to travel in Haiti?
Safety should never be taken for granted while traveling in Haiti. Though Americans are less likely to be targets, political violence and crime is high in Haiti. Consult the US Department of State country informaion on Haiti to learn about current travel warnings and for advice on staying safe.
Though there are no guarantees, MHI has been working and bringing travelers to Haiti for over ten years. We have trusted friends and contacts who advise us on travel. We will do our best to make sure that you are safe and that your trip is rewarding.
Do I need vaccinations?
Vaccinations are not required to enter the country but vaccinations are recommended for most people before visiting Haiti or other third world countries. Please consult with a travel clinic or your doctor at least 6-8 weeks in advance of travel, and consult the Center for Disease Control web page, "Health Information for Travelers to Haiti" for current information on vaccinations, and staying healthy and safe.
What should I expect?
Expect most things to be different than in the United States: climate, culture, poverty level, infrastructure, how people live, transportation, etc. Most people do not understand English but speak Creole. The things we take for granted in the United States, like clean tap water and electricity 24/7 are not available in Haiti. The rule is: expect the unexpected. The best things to bring on the trip: patience and flexibility.
Can I drink the water?
NO! Tap water is not safe to drink or to use for brushing your teeth. Most guest houses will supply clean water in coolers or bottled water.
What about showers?
iIt is generally safe to shower as long as you do not drink the water. There may or may not be hot water for showers. Clean water is scarce; be mindful to use as little as possible.
Can I eat the food?
Yes and no. Do not eat unpeeled raw food, undercooked food, or food that has been washed in tap water. Guest houses and restaurants typically prepare food safely for travelers but since GI distress is commom, it is best to exercise caution.
Do I need to exchange money?
No. Goudes (HT) is the official currency of Haiti but US$ are accepted nearly everywhere.
Is there wifi?
Wifi is available at most guest houses and in some restaurants but is often limited to certain areas or numbers of people using it at the same time. Do not expect wifi access everywhere.
What should I keep in mind while traveling in Haiti?
It is a privilege to visit Haiti. We are the guests. Like most everyone, Haitians appreciate respect and kindness, and are proud of their country.