Headed to Haiti? It’s not a destination that all your friends have been to, but it’s one that’s certainly worth your while. Here’s how to make the most of this trip of a lifetime.
Meet the Locals
Don’t just stick to your travel companions or your fellow hotel guests. Meet some of the locals as well! Get out of your comfort zone and learn a few words in Creole. If you’re respectful and polite, you’ll see that the Haitian people are more than welcoming and ready to integrate you into their social interactions.
Get Out of the City
Get out of the urban areas of Haiti and into the beautiful natural surroundings. From mountains to the water to beaches, you’ll find wonderful spots to hike, take some nature photography, swim, and lounge on the beach. Better yet, all this beautiful space hasn’t been overtaken with tourists, tourist attractions, and boxy resort properties. You’ll have a lot of the most breathtaking sites all to yourself.
Be in the Moment
Being in the moment is vital to navigating this foreign setting, but it can also be rewarding and personally enriching. Being in the moment and thoroughly observing your surroundings can help you to fully see all of Haiti. You’ll see not only the barefoot children playing in the street, but also the smiling parents in the distance. You’ll see not only the ramshackle hut juxtaposed against the wealth of the upper class, but how some of their inhabitants are members of the very same families. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the country itself, as well as a richer gratitude for your own lifestyle and the benefits afforded to you by birth.
Eat the Food
Haiti has a food culture that you might not expect. Skip the options that might be more familiar to you and try some of the local favorites. Visit a Haitian market, where the commerce is key to the local economy. Try the local produce, fresh breads, sizzling meats, rice dozens of ways, soups, stews and more. Whatever your pick, you’ll be glad to see that everything is extremely fresh, thanks to Haiti’s heavily agrarian economy. And it’s not just street vendors and holes in the wall that have great food – there’s fine dining to be found as well, and, just like in its many Caribbean neighbors, plenty of rum.
Enjoy the Art
Haiti boasts some incredible artists. From the street art to the local mosaics, to paintings and drawings you can purchase and take home, there’s a little bit of everything. Sculptures? Got it. Wood carvings? Sure! Even the local public transportation is often covered in some sort of artwork. You can find galleries throughout Haiti’s capital as well. See Haiti’s art scene and learn how this impressive part of the population pours their life experiences into inspired artwork.
Join Restavek Freedom
Join Restavek Freedom and learn how we are ending the restavek system in Haiti, a socially accepted form of systematic slavery that forces children into a cycle of poverty. With outreach in both Port-au-Prince and Port Salut, you can join our efforts, helping us to make Haiti an even more amazing destination.