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What exactly is an "alternative" spring break? Better yet, what can you do?

  1. Note: This program was established in 2005 and since the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010...your group should consider extending the volunteers' schedule to full days vice half days in order to respond to the overwhelming need for social services in the Aquin-Zanglais area.

What do you think of when you hear someone say “let’s go on spring break? “

Hitting the beach in Daytona Beach, Panama City, Cancun, Mexico or Kingston, Jamaica? Or snowboarding down the slopes in Colorado, Vermont or New Hampshire?  Drinking yourself into a stupor or participating in risqué behaviors…?


Fortunately for other more mature and responsible students, spring break means something totally different: social activism with "maybe" some fun on the side!

YES, it its true and it can be done thanks to a program called:

Alternative Spring Break Haiti.

 The Haitian Flag

"Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

 



Getting “there from here” is somewhat of a challenge, but what is life without challenges? Besides, you’re college students!


Flying to Miami or Fort Lauderdale or from JFK or Newark (EWR) can be accomplished using a number of different airlines…and this portion of your alternative spring break adventure will be the lion’s share of your expenses…this is because everything else will be very reasonably priced!

If you fly from JFK it’s a 3hr 15 min direct flight…and if you go through South Florida, either through Miami or Fort Lauderdale it’s only a hop-skip-and-a-jump to Port-au-Prince, just about two hours away…for example:

 

AMERICAN AIRLINES flight #1291

depart MIA Miami  9:40 AM

arrive PAP Port-au-Prince 11:45 AM



"Behind mountains, are more mountains"(Derrier morns, c'est morns)

The basic itinerary...(yours will be adjusted based on your group's interests and preferences) This program can only be accomplished with groups of eight (8) students or more. Otherwise the basic cost of ground transportation cannot be supported.

Monday - A.M. Depart from your home location...
    (*everyone in the group on the same flight)
    Arrive Port-au-Prince – Mid-day - Time TBD
    Met by Driver and Tour Guide.
    Windshield tour of devastated area around Port-au-Prince as you drive to lodging location 'Jardins sur Mer" near Aquin…about 3.5 hours away...

Tuesday -  Breakfast + “volunteer activities” + lunch + "volunteer activities" + dinner

Wednesday - Breakfast + “volunteer activities” + lunch + "volunteer activities" + dinner
 
Thursday - Breakfast + “volunteer activities” + lunch + "volunteer actitvities" + dinner

Friday - Breakfast + “volunteer activities” + lunch + "volunteer activities" + dinner

Saturday - A.M. - Breakfast + Drive back to P-au-P airport and fly back to Miami/Fort Lauderdale/New York JFK and onward to your final destination....


Note: Additional volunteer opportunity details provided at time of booking based on particular group’s interests…
                                                                                            Young boy running on the beach near Aquin

Total cost for the week per participant is $460 excluding airfare.
A $100 deposit via PayPal is required in advance prior to arrival with the balance of $360 due upon arrival in Haiti.
Groups of 8 or more are required to confirm this weekly program. 

Activities, Guided Tours & Special Excursions…that might be available to be scheduled...for a small additional cost.

Snorkle with local spear fishermen

Explorer Macaya National Park

Climb a mountain or two, there are plenty

Tap-tap your way from Zanglais to Les Anglais

Discover the Wednesday or Saturday market day

Picnic on Gross Caye or La Trompeuse islet

Beach volleyball tournament

Sea salt flat excursion

Visit a flibustier island  (link)

Soccer practice with area students

Witness a voodoo ceremony

Local gecko..."zandolit"

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/501372

If your major is…you may be interested in...

Business…setting up some micro finance opportunities in the market place

History…studying firsthand how the world’s first Black Republic came to be

Social Science/Sociology…conducting a survey on a topic of your choice

Education…shadowing a teacher or co-teach a subject for a week

Psychology…learning how mental illness is viewed/treated in Haiti

Nursing…volunteering at a clinic with immunization programs

Communications…helping students publish a newsletter or setup a yearbook project

Biology…dissecting a frog or piglet with a science class

Civil Engineering…building an outhouse or digging a well

English…teaching English grammar/conversation to the staff and faculty of a school

Computer Science…bringing the Internet to a school, NGO, or government office

Architecture…renovating/preserving an historical “gingerbread” building

Medicine…assisting the doctors at the local hospital



Students on their way to school, Gross Roch/Zanglais area near Aquin

Public Administration…spending quality time in City Hall with the “Prefet”(Mayor)

Law…witnessing a “Juge de Paix”(Justice of the Peace) in action

Marketing…getting familiar with the intricacies of “Madame Sara” system of distribution

Sports Management…organizing an area wide soccer tournament

Pharmacology…learning the little known benefits of local plants, roots, seeds, and herbs

Archeology…exploring the remnants of any number of revolutionary war fortifications

Religion…exploring the relationship between voodoo and other religions

Marine Biology…studying the local habitats of sea turtles, langostinos, shrimps and whales

Criminal Justice…patrolling with local Haitian police (PNH) or MINUSTAH peace keepers (Link) http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/minustah/

Visual Arts…teaching a basic photography class and/or learning from a master painter

Music…sharing your knowledge of your favorite instrument

Water management…investigating sea salt flats and provide new sources for usage

Dance…learning the various Haitian folkloric dances and demonstrate  Jazz, Tap or Ballet

EVERYONE…setting-up age appropriate experiments in a school…launch rockets or build a volcano!


Volunteer projects and activities you & your group could participate in:

Paint an orphanage

Teach English for a week

Volunteer at a clinic

Repair a church

Build an outhouse

Teach First Aid

Dig a well

Plan/Harvest some crops

Document unique wildlife

Deliver school supplies

Plant trees on a mountain side

Install a solar oven

Bring the Internet to a school

Attend a lecture in French

Live on $1 for one day...


Continental, Air France, American, Spirit, and other airlines all provide commercial flights

Available Spring Break dates in 2012
 

Week #1         Feb      13 – 18

Week #2                   20 – 25

Week #3           "       27 – Mar 3

Week #4         Mar      5 – 10

Week #5                   12 – 17

Week #6                   19 – 21

Week #7                   26 – 31

Week #8         Apr        2 – 7

Week #9                    9 – 14

Week#10                  16 – 21

Week#11           "        23 - 28

 

Other volunteer opportunity weeks available throughout the year upon request...and not just for students either.

Contact: socialactivismhaiti@gmail.com


                                                           Market days Wednesdays and Saturdays...in Aquin


Aquin, Haiti (Lat 18°16'N, Long 73°24'W)
Aquin is a medium-sized town in the "Sud" (South) department of Haiti, it borders the Caribbean Sea, and through which Route National #2 passes from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes. Amazing beaches are found 5 miles to the west at the location where you will be staying. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Aquin is about a 3 hour drive or 80 miles/130 Km from the capital Port-au-Prince.
 
Current weather in Aquin:link

                                                                        "Jardins sur Mer" kitchen and bar

Continuing the legacy…after your departure from Haiti

-Arrange to sponsor a teacher you met in Haiti to travel to your college, university, or hometown for a short term course of study for certification or continuing education credits…

-Provide a scholarship to a deserving graduating senior (Rethoric/Philosophy candidate) to study at a community or junior college near you…

For more info on cost for students contact: alternativespringbreakhaiti@gmail.com