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Elevate Haiti: Volunteer Trips to Help Rise Above the Rubble

logo_elevateDestinationsThe January 12, 2010 Earthquake shook the already frail country of Haiti mercilessly. Over 200,000 deaths resulted as well as the displacement and destruction of thousands of families and lives.

Months later, human resilience prevails as Haitians move to pick up the pieces, making a new life out of less than the little most people once had. The emergency stage is over, and now the long-term rebuilding begins. The future of Haitians, like for all of us, lies in their children. Ensuring they have the resources for education is one of the critical tenants of long-term rebuilding.

This trip places you in the middle of rebuilding efforts. You will volunteer to build a computer lab for a free community school in Jacmel and part of a home for abandoned boys in Port-au-Prince. At the same time, you will work and live among Haitians, learning about a culture that will captivate and elevate you forever.

Stand by Haitians as they start anew. This journey is for those of you who are moved into solidarity and action by the events of January 12.

Jacmel Community School Volunteer Build-out

August 15 – 29, 2010 and November 21 – December 5, 2010

This journey takes you to Jacmel, Haiti, a beautiful port town known for a vibrant art scene and elegant townhouses dating to the 19th century. Jacmel experienced significant damage during the January 12th earthquake. Approximately 70% of buildings were damaged, with the most severe damage in the poorer neighborhoods of Jacmel.

Volunteer Project: Though St. Joseph Family's Trinity House did not sustain significant damage, all development and construction ceased in order to deal with the emergency. Trinity House was in mid-construction of classrooms and a computer room for their free community school when the earthquake hit. During your 14 days in Jacmel, you will make this computer lab and classroom a reality.

14-Day Jacmel Itinerary:

After arriving in Haiti and spending a night in Port-au-Prince you will travel to Jacmel by van. You will be welcomed to Trinity House and receive an orientation of the volunteer project you will be participating in.

You will spend intense days volunteering, and each evening you will spend relaxing, writing in your journal or playing with the Trinity House children. You can even join the children's folkloric dance classes that take place Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays.

Additional activities include:

· Tour of downtown Jacmel and the chance to see the pretty seaside town as well as the aftermath of the quake.

· Outing to Bassin-Bleu, a series of natural waterfalls and basins in the hills above Jacmel. Known as one of Haiti's natural wonders, Bassin-Bleu is a must-see.

· Beach day at Ti Mouillage, a beautiful local beach where you will enjoy gazing out at the Caribbean Sea, eating barbecue from local vendors and swimming in the clear blue waters.

· Outing to Croix des Bouquets - a village outside of Port-au-Prince known for its artisanry, especially in metalwork.

By the end of the trip, you will see the finished results of your volunteer efforts, support Haiti's local economy and educational initiatives and experience Haiti to the fullest.

Port-au-Prince Boy's Home Rebuild

August 15 – 23, 2010 or November 21- 29, 2010

This journey takes you to Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti and the center of Haitian urban activity. A gritty, very poor city to begin with, Port-au-Prince was severely damaged by the January 12th quake with over 230,000 estimated dead and almost a million people believed to be displaced.

Volunteer Project: St. Joseph's Home For Boys was devastated by the earthquake. Currently the boys are occupying a house next door to the ruin that was once their home. During your 9 days in Port-au-Prince, you will begin to rebuild the home that will meet the needs of the countless children that will be served by this home today and in the future.

9-Day Port-au-Prince Itinerary:

Arrive in Port-au-Prince and be welcomed into the St. Joseph's Family home. You will have the opportunity to get to know the St. Joseph's kids and learn about Haitian culture.

Each day will include intense volunteer efforts and each evening you will have the chance to spend the evening relaxing, writing in your journal or playing with the St. Joseph's children.

Additional activities include:

· Journey to downtown Port-au-Prince to experience the extent of damage made by the quake with your own eyes.

· Outing to Croix des Bouquets - a village outside of Port-au-Prince known for its artisanry, especially in metalwork. Here you will have the chance to support Haiti's local economy and bring home souvenirs for your family and friends.

· Overnight hike in the mountainous region of Seguin. Enjoy the natural sights of La Visite National Park that are a world away from the heat and buzz of Port-au-Prince.

By the end of the trip, you will see the finished results of your volunteer efforts, support Haiti's local economy and educational initiatives and experience Haiti to the fullest.

A note about the Volunteer Work:

The construction of new facilities is extremely physically demanding work. In addition to the physical demands of the work, on the ground conditions are extremely hot: work takes place under the burning Haitian sun. We ask that you realistically assess your physical strength, abilities and endurance before planning a trip to help with the construction work. There will also be opportunities to work with the children at Trinity House and Lekòl Sen Trinite, both in Jacmel. Volunteers can work within established programs, or better yet, come to Haiti with activities pre-planned for the children.

Partnering organizations

St. Joseph's Family - The St. Joseph's Family is an organization consisting of children's homes and programs in Haiti. They have two homes for former street boys — St. Joseph's Home for Boys, in Port-au-Prince, and Trinity House, in Jacmel. They also have a home for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults in Fermathe. The St. Joseph Family has several outreach programs, including Lekòl Sen Trinite, a school for the poorest children in Jacmel; St. Joseph's Arts Center; and the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti. Their mission is to empower children to empower others.

Make a Difference Now - Make A Difference Now is a non –profit organization that helps empower orphaned children and youth by providing programs and services that focus on education, health, job skill training and income generating activities at orphanages and community schools. MAD has developed a successful volunteer program to rebuild schools in Africa and India. MAD is using this model for this Haiti rebuilding project.

About Elevate Destinations:

Founded in 2005, Elevate Destinations is a leading global sustainable travel company offering customized adventures to travelers seeking to explore and impact the environmental, socio-cultural and economic conditions of the places they visit. Elevate Destinations offers travel to Africa, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and organizes donor trips for both profit and non-profit organizations. Every Elevate Destinations trip benefits environmental preservation and community development. 5% of each trip is donated to an NGO in the host destination.

For information or to register for a trip, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 617-661-0203.

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