I just got back to my apartment a couple of hours ago, and I’m still on a high from Haiti. Even with the cold and rain that greeted me when I finally stepped outside of the airport, I’m still trying to savor every bit of my experience before the strict routine that is my week begins!
To sum up my experience, I LOVED ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK (ASB). I cannot even tell you what the best part was because everyday of the 8 days I got to personally know Haiti through exploration, team work, service and eating! Yes, eating. What better way to get to know a culture but through gastronomy! Food is life.
A little background on the trip; a group of 15 undergraduate, graduate and professional studies students were specifically chosen to stay at the compound (volunteer facility that doubles as a school) of Haitian American Caucus’ location in Croix des Bouquets. The interdisciplinary representation was as follows: 2 med students, 3 speech language pathology students, 3 clinical lab sciences students, 2 dental students, 2 pharmacy students and the remainder was a mix of theology students, political science and education. The Haitian American Caucus is an organization that was established months after the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. It aims to empower the community through “education and comprehensive community development.” Their programs include: Ecole Shalom (the primary academy/school), an English language program, literacy program, a microfinance program, and a women’s empowerment group just to name a few. Our group was given the opportunity to serve in any capacity we felt lead to. HAC was our home base, but throughout the week we also got the opportunity to leave HAC and visit other grassroots organizations doing great and necessary work in Haiti.
About Croix des Bouquets
- Is pronounced Kwadèbouke (sounds like Quadebookay) in Kreyol
- About 15-20 minutes North of Port-au-Prince, 15 miles east from the airport
- According to Wikipedia, Wyclef Jean was born in Croix des Bouquets and lived there until he was about 9 years old.
- Most of the families living in Croix des Bouquets are devoted to agricultural work such as growing beans, sweet potato and corn.
For the next week, I will be posting a photo a day and will be sharing the story behind the photo. Please stay tuned!