The program cost to go to Haiti is $1,300 to be on a Medical Team, to participate in the Continuing Medical Education (CME) there is an additional $400 charge. To be on the Surgical team the cost is $1,450; CME is also an option for the same additional charge. Of that, approximately 35% is spent to cover room and board for volunteers and interpreters. 40% is spent on medicines that we hand out at clinic, 10% is spent on salaries for interpreters and nurses, 10% is spent on miscellaneous costs like diesel fuel and folks that help us out at the airport. 3% of your money is saved for things that come up during the trip, like a patient who needs urgent surgery, expensive medications, or inpatient treatment and 2% covers administrative costs. Volunteers can fundraise or pay for it all themselves. In addition, you will need to pay yourself for your airfare, Friday night Miami hotel, souvenirs, and spending money.

There certainly are parts of the capital city of Port-au-Prince that are dangerous. We stay away from those. In the rural areas where we work it is exceptionally safe. One of the benefits of going back to the same communities over and over again is that these people have become our friends. They watch out for us and make sure that we are safe. We also stay in close contact with a number of people in different parts of Haiti. That way, as conditions change we get the most up-to-date information from on the ground. We use this local expertise to determine if there is a real concern about security or transportation so that we can adjust accordingly if the need arises.

Medications and medical supplies are always needed for our teams. Donations can also go to our projects, such as Helping Babies Breathe, Gadyen Dlo, or the Recycling Center. If you have questions about donating specific items or toward specific projects, contact annie.vanderwerff@chihaiti.org.

You may have already received many of the recommended immunizations. It is recommended that you have tetanus, hepatitis B, MMR, diphtheria, pertussis, varicella, and typhoid vaccines. You may also consider meningitis and rabies. You should also have malaria prophylaxis. Visit cdc.gov for more information. See your healthcare provider or a travel clinic at least 2 months before your departure.

No, French is not necessary. The primary language of Haiti is Kreyòl (or Creole). We work with some of the best translators around. They speak English very well and do a great job of teaching Kreyòl. They also have a lot to teach about Haitian history and culture. We try and ensure that we have enough translators available that everyone has a chance to interact with patients.

We can always use help getting the word out about our organization. We also have a lot of need for people with marketing, finance, data entry, database management, grant writing, and other skills. We also can use a lot of help periodically with organizing and setting up fundraising events, moving things around our storage unit, and performing regular inventories of medications and supplies. Please email annie.vanderwerff@chihaiti.org if you are interested in getting involved. You can also Like! us on Facebook

Everyone on our teams has extraordinary value!

It takes people with all sorts of skills to make a trip run well. We need non-medical volunteers who can help with clinic flow, help organize the pharmacy, do data entry, serve food, take pictures, tell stories, teach people about handwashing and other basic skills, reflect on their experiences, and play with children. Additionally, each trip is different and we never know what people's needs will be until we get there.