Volunteering in Haiti at the FOTCOH clinic isn’t only about the work to we do with the Haitian people to bring them healthcare. Getting the chance to travel to Haiti allows you to have an amazing experience in a beautiful country full of rich history and culture. Consider these top reasons to visit Haiti with FOTCOH:
1. The people – The Haitian people are incredibly welcoming of visitors from all over the world to come and enjoy what their country has to offer. Some of the friendliest people in the Carribean, when visiting Haiti, you will encounter children smiling, and happy men and women eager to give you a special experience. Despite the widespread poverty and the desperation of many of the country’s residents, Haitians are resilient and happy, and ready to show you a wonderful time.
2. The culture – Haiti is full of culture – from Voodoo ceremonies to art, to iron sculptures in the streets, and colorful taptaps (Haitian taxis) and loud music filling the streets, Haiti is like no other country when it comes to having a good time.
3. To give back – One of the best ways to help an underdeveloped country is to spend foreign dollars there. When you visit Haiti and support local businesses, you are giving back to people in a way that is changing their lives drastically. And, of course, when you volunteer with FOTCOH, you are giving back to the Haiti community with your time and resources!
4. Food – A mixture of French, African and Spanish, kréyol is the traditional Haitian cuisine. With most meals served up with diri kole ak pwa, (rice and beans) you’ll find anything from poulet with kidney bean rice, (chicken & rice) to poisson frit et sauce ( fish in creole sauce). Flavourful and not too spicy, Haitian cuisine has its own Caribbean – European flair that you won’t find anywhere else in the region.
5. Beaches – Haiti has some beautiful beaches, as well as some secret bays and coves that are simply out of this world (such as the Cyvadier Hotel Cove), and the best part is that crowded. Close to the FOTCOH clinic there are many beaches, include Ti Mioullage Beach, that are secluded and offer a great way for volunteers to take a break after a long day at work.
6. Adventure – Exploring hidden waterfalls in Jacmel such a Bassin Bleu or go surfing at one of the many beaches in Haiti – wherever you are, there is an adventure waiting in Haiti.
7. Work alongside great volunteers – This is our favorite reason to visit Haiti! Working at the FOTCOH clinic is a life-changing experience like no other. You will be amazed at the incredible people you will meet that have also decided to dedicate their time and energy to help in Haiti, and those friendships are ones that last a lifetime.
8. History – A country with a tumultuous and fascinating past, Haiti is overflowing with interesting tales. Where it’s rare to find a Caribbean country with such a rich history, this is something in which Haiti is definitely not lacking.
9. Natural Beauty – Despite the poverty, and the unfortunate trash that collects on the streets in large cities in Haiti, there is a lot of natural beauty in the country and the beaches are kept clean as many of them are untouched by tourists.
10. The art – A way for many Haitians to make a living, but also some of the best art in the Caribbean. Raw, real and authentic, whether it’s Voodoo, sculpture or brightly colored canvas, having a piece of Haitian art in your home is a great way to remember your trip to this incredible country.
How can you get involved in helping children and adults in Haiti?
You can help us provide life-saving support to the Haitian population in and around our medical clinic in a few different ways.
One way is by becoming a volunteer. Volunteer teams from the U.S. travel to Haiti to provide support for the most impoverished people in Haiti, who otherwise would have no access to medical care or wellness education of any kind. Team volunteers work side-by-side with experienced FOTCOH personnel, treating people who otherwise will go without any medical attention. All volunteers return home with a sense of experience and satisfaction unmatched in other endeavors.
Another way is by donating to FOTCOH. FOTCOH provides life-saving support to over 15,000 Haitian patients every year. We bring doctors, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists and non-medical volunteers to our clinic to triage injuries, treat illness, offer prenatal care, perform major surgery, and offer nutritional support. We also teach WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) practices to educate the Haitian population about the importance of handwashing and clean water use. In doing so, we create economic opportunity by training and employing a Haitian staff. Funds go to purchasing medications, surgical supplies, and supporting our Medika Mamba program for malnourished Haitian children.
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