Elevate Haiti

OK–this one has gotten hold of my imagination and won’t let go. My friends at Elevate Destinations are facilitating volunteer vacation trips to help the rebuilding efforts in Haiti. This is a 15-day trip in August or late November/early December, to do construction work at Jacmel, a port town where 70% of the buildings were damaged in the January quake. You’ll be doing construction work at a free community school, building a computer lab and classrooms. Conditions are tough, work is in the heat of the sun, accommodations are on the floor or in tents (or for an additional cost, at local hotels/guest houses), and meals are basic (peanut butter, bread, fruit, beans and rice. Grocery stores and restaurants are nearby), and the difference you will make is HUGE.

For a while there was no way for lay volunteers to be effective in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, if anything we would have been in the way during emergency rescue and recovery work, but the time has come for rebuilding and working alongside Haitians to recover and heal communities—an effort that will take years. This project, a blister-your-hands, exhaust-your-body, enrich-your-world, fill-your-heart work trip committed to the children of Haiti, is a chance to truly immerse yourself in service. Anyone who has ever done construction work knows, at the end of the day, you can look back and see what you created that was not there in the morning. At the end of these two weeks, there will be facilities that will be used by, and enrich the lives of, generations to come—because of you.

I’m already looking at trying to make my schedule work…shall we meet there?

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Mersmann, Andrew Mersmann. Andrew Mersmann said: Time for the rest of us to start making a difference in Haiti. https://changebydoing.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/elevate-haiti/ […]


  2. Posted by travelersphilanthropy on July 8, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    If foreign tourists arrived in the USA taking our jobs 2 teach, build & ‘help’ us would we call it Voluntourism ? ✔ http://bit.ly/dwLBzJ


    • Posted by Andrew Mersmann on July 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM

      Nope, we, as recipients of desperately needed help (in this hypothetical scenario), would call it lucky, and count our blessings.


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