Haiti’s 500 year history revolves around epic stories of tragedy and hope, full of heroes, villains, triumphs, and loss. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of its population living in abject poverty, it's no secret that life has been difficult for Haiti. Political unrest, mudslides, flooding, tropical storms, and on top of all that, the 2010 earthquake, have continually made life challenging and painful for many Haitians. During your time with us in Haiti, you will be learning about how poverty affects a nation at every level and how you can be a part of the solution. As a team, we will be working alongside of a local Haitian organization, supporting them in their vision to help their community shape a better future for themselves and their children. You will come to Haiti ready to help out, but you will leave here knowing a new reality in the world: one that will inspire you to continue to change the world for people you will now count as friends.
Trip Dates and Applications
Foreign to Familiar by Sarah A. Lanier and Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.
Payment and Donation Log - Must accompany all payments and donations.
*Prices listed may be subject to extra fees. See application for full pricing and package details.
**Dates subject to airline availability
You are going to fall in love with Calvaire!
Located on the edge of Cap Haitien, this small mountain side community of 1,000 people seems to face endless challenges. The average income per family is $2 - $3 dollars per day, and life is never easy - yet they continue to push forward, one day at a time. We believe one of the keys to breaking the devastating cycle of poverty is education, and this is especially important in helping a nation where the majority of it’s population is illiterate (almost 50%). Live Different is honoured to be able to work in partnership with a registered Haitian organization who have a great deal of love and vision for their community, and together with our Hero Holiday volunteers, we are starting to see how different the future can look for Calvaire. Many of Calvaire's children have never had the opportunity to receive an education - partly because of the transportation costs to get to the other schools, and partly due to the cost of uniforms and books. Building this school has been a massive challenge, due to its location, yet we know that it is greatly needed and will be used for years to come for the children and adults in Calvaire. Our goal is to support this Haitian community in the healthiest and most sustainable way possible, and that starts with helping them to get educated.
Itinerary is trip specific, check out the "details page" of the specific trip you're interested in participating in for more information.
- Team meets in Santiago, Dominican Republic (Cibao International Airport - STI). Please arrange for your flight to arrive before 3:00pm. A Live Different Staff member will meet you at the airport. An airport shuttle will be provided.
- Spend the night in Santiago.
- Cross the Dajabone border and drive to Cap Haitien, Haiti (approx. 4 hour drive).
- Settle into our hotel, Royal Residence.
- Awareness tour. You will learn about the city and the local community where we will be working. You will also develop an understanding of some of the factors that affect the people of Calvaire.
Day THREE - SEVEN:
- Project days. Get ready for hard work and rewarding moments!
- On one of these days you will see two worlds collide as you visit Labadee Beach, home to a Royal Caribbean cruise destination.
- Morning - Visit to Haiti's historical site: Citadelle
- Afternoon - Community Party!
- Evening - Preparation for what is next. Live Different Hero Holiday is going to be one of the most intense and life-changing experiences you will ever have and we want to help you prepare for your return home. We will have a final debriefing on this day and you will be equipped with some important personal strategies to integrate this experience into your life back home.
- Drive back to Santiago and spend the night.
- Fly home out of Santiago, Dominican Republic (Cibao International Airport - STI).
- Airport shuttles provided. Please aim to fly out of Santiago before 3:00pm.
We will be staying in Cap Haitien which is a city of about 190,000 people on the north coast of Haiti. The hotel we will be staying at is called Royal Residence which is approximately 15 minutes up a mountain that overlooks the city of Cap Haitien. It is within walking distance from the school where our building projects take place and close to the nearby community, Calvaire. It's a small hotel with rooms that can sleep up to 4 people. At Royal Residence, there is 24 hour security on guard to ensure our safety. This hotel has one pool, dining area, and a hangout area for guests.
Staff / Security
Since 2005, the climate of safety in Haiti continues to stabilize. Canada is playing a big part in this with our RCMP and the UN working together to train the Haitian police and military in proper procedure and effective governing of it's citizens. In saying this though, we do still recognize that there are areas of uncertainty and as an organization we consider the following precautions. All volunteers, including staff, will be at our accommodations before dark, the group will always be in numbers no smaller than three and this number will include an experienced staff member, and we will be working with a proven and trusted Haitian Logistic's Specialist, Frantzo Begin. This will be the sixth year that Frantzo has worked with us in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He is extremely reliable, very organized and well connected. He is fluent in Creole, English, French, and Spanish. Frantzo also runs a NGO that works to educate children and provide relief for families in need and and we're glad to have him as apart of our Live Different team.
All of our staff are very passionate about what we do and we believe that we all have a responsibility to help those in need and to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Hero Holiday maintains excellent community relations and works diligently alongside of community leaders, other NGO's working in the area, and often government officials in each country that we work in. Safety is always our number one priority. All of our key staff are first aid certified and we always have access available to quality medical attention (if needed) in all countries that we work in.
Before a Hero Holiday begins, all parents are given contact numbers and emails for Hero Holiday Trip Host(s). We are available at any time for parental concerns or emergencies. Our staff also works hard to keep families and friends back home updated on a daily basis with stories and pictures on our website and Facebook of what is happening with each particular group.
"Despite going on several volunteer trips previous to my trip to Haiti, I never could have anticipated how much Haiti would affect me. From the struggles that are still so obvious throughout the country, to it's incredibly beautiful landscape and people, Haiti was an overwhelming experience I will never forget. Haiti has so much potential and an unbelievable will to overcome all that they have been through. It is so exciting and hopeful to feel a part of realizing that potential and I would encourage anyone to join in."
-Alex, Haiti May 2012
"I expected to travel to Haiti and help build a classroom onto a school in Cap Hatien with Live Different. What I did was just that as well as gain unparalleled volunteer experiences, build lasting relationships with locals and fellow volunteers alike, have the opportunity to explore diverse regions of the areas we volunteered in, and be inspired by the Live Different staff who were with us and always led by example."
- Neetu, Haiti May 2012