Volunteering in Haiti

An Elevate Destinations volunteer and student playfully interact in Haiti. (Elevate Destinations / May 13, 2013)

Vacation in Haiti?

Yup, that’s what Elevate Destinations is offering those who may be looking for what the company calls a "transformative summer experience."

Here’s the scoop:

Travelers will be based on the island of Ile a Vache, a 30-minute boat ride from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Elevate is partnering with the Edem Foundation -- a nonprofit group supporting the education of children in Haiti and community economic development -- to run a Children and Youth Leadership Workshop (similar to a summer camp) in which trip participants share their expertise.

Elevate officials said the workshop is focused on bolstering young people's leadership and English skills. Participants range in age from 5 to 25.

Activities and lessons will be determined by the skills of the volunteers and can be anything from kids’ yoga to poetry reading and writing. The Elevate team works with each trip volunteer to develop a class and curriculum based on the participant’s interests and skills, and teacher training for volunteers will be provided before the trip.

Trip participants will also get a chance to “get their hands dirty” by working alongside local community members to build a new school. But it won’t be all work. During down time, volunteers will be able to explore and enjoy the beautiful Haitian beaches and do a little island hopping.

Info: Accommodations include an eco-friendly B&B on Ile a Vache and at the Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince. Trip dates are July 28 to Aug. 5. The cost per person is $2,500, plus an encouraged fundraising donation of $500 that will go to the Ile a Vache community. For more details, go to elevatedestinations.com/itineraries/elevate-haiti-volunteer-trip/.

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