1. Do I need a passport? Yes. The application may be obtained and submitted in person at your nearest Passport Office, US District Court, and at some Post Offices. Passports take between 4-6 weeks for issuance (for a fee, it can be expedited). Apply as soon as possible. Bring 2 photocopies of your passport with you on your trip.
2. Do I need vaccinations? Yes. Consult your personal physician or community health department 6 weeks in advance.
3. Do I need a visa? Maybe–check with us. If you are an American citizen, you do not need a visa.
4. Is it safe? Haiti is a country with a history of political and economic turmoil. However, Haitians love to show hospitality to visitors and North Americans are generally safe in Haiti. MH4H remains in contact with knowledgeable people in Haiti regarding the security situation; we take every precaution to insure the safety of our group members. Numerous groups have visited Haiti through MH4H in the past few years and there have been no incidences of violence. In certain rare cases, we will postpone the trip.
5. How much luggage may I take? Personal luggage is limited to 40lbs. Bring a small suitcase (preferably with wheels) or backpack. Essential mission items take precedence, so you may be asked to carry additional items with you.
6. What about laundry? We will do laundry, but there are no washer and dryers. All laundry is done by hand.
7. What are the accommodations like? We will be staying in the mission house or dorm, with beds or cots, fans, a shower and bathroom facilities. Sheets and pillows are provided. Bring your own towel if possible.
8. What will we eat? All meals are provided; some are simple, while others are festive. Rice and beans are the staples but items like peanut butter, honey, coke, and fresh fruit are available. Filtered drinking water is available.
9. What is the weather like? Haiti is in the tropics and is very warm all year long. The average temperature only varies by five degrees from winter to summer. Late fall and the spring are the rainy seasons. Bring a long-sleeve shirt or light sweater for cool nights.
10. Should I bring valuables? We don’t recommend it since visitors stand out as people who often have valuables. Cameras are an exception. Haiti has much beauty and you will want to bring plenty of film and extra batteries. Please be respectful and ask the native people prior to taking their picture.
11. Do I need insurance? MH4H provides short-term missionary insurance for international travel. This covers health and emergency medical evacuation needs.
12. What if my family needs to contact me? Your family can call several individuals in your Orientation Handbook to contact us by phone in Haiti.