Will I be able to call home?
There will be a cell phone at the Joshua House. If you desire to make calls from this phone you should plan on paying the host to purchase a calling card in Haiti for you. They will buy the card and then add the minutes onto the phone for your team to use. The cost is about 25 cents a minute to call the USA. This is the cheapest way to call home.
You are free to bring your own cell phone but please check with your service provider on their international rates and plans before you travel to Haiti. The phone system in Haiti operates on GSM technology and you will need a phone that uses this technology. Most carriers in the USA use GSM except Verizion. However there are several Verizon phones that have duel CDMA/GSM technology and will work in Haiti if the international plan is activated before your trip. Service is limited based on your cell phone provider.
Power and plugs are the same as in the U.S.
Will I need a Passport/Visa:
You will not need a visa to travel to Haiti however a passport is required. The application may be obtained at most local post offices, however an appointment is needed in order to process the application. Apply as soon as possible to make sure that you have this document. You will NOT be permitted to travel without it. It takes several weeks up to 12 to get your passport, apply early. Go to the following link to get more information:
If your passport is within 6 months of expiring we ask that you get it renewed.
How will I get there?
Your group will be responsible for booking their own flights to and from Haiti. We will assist you in this process as we have many groups that we work with that can help lower the costs for you. We are providing the link below for your convenience. We suggest using American Airlines (AA) if possible. They are the easiest to work with and the cheapest way to get in and out of Cap Haitian. Please note that if you fly with IBC Airways you will be responsible to pay a $60/person exit fee in cash when you are leaving Haiti. Missionary Flights International (MFI) included this in their price and pays it for your group.
What Immunization will I need?
Consult your family physician as soon as possible. The following are suggested you receive prior to the trip:
Heptatis A & B
Adult Polio Booster
Some of these shots need to be done weeks in advance and cannot be obtained by your physician. You will need to visit a travel clinic or county health department to get them.
What about Health Insurance?
Most US health insurance companies do not cover expenses incurred on an international trip. You group will be required to purchase a short term health insurance policy for each person on the team that includes medical evacuation. IMG global has great prices (see link below) but your team is free to purchase from any provider.
What is the weather like?
Haiti is in the tropics and it is very hot in the summer and warm the rest of the year. There are two rainy seasons (spring and fall) when it might rain in the afternoon. For details on the weather for your trip please go to:
Once you have determined the weather forecast during the time of your trip please advise your team to pack appropriately. In general no heavy clothing will ever be necessary, please see the rules for appropriate dress. Modesty is the norm throughout the Haitian culture. Please try to understand you are visitors to a different culture and must respect their way of life in all regards. Again we urge you to complete the cross cultural training for which we provided the link.
What will we eat/drink?
Your team will mostly eat American style meals while you are in Haiti. Your team will be given a menu that they can adjust according to need and/or dietary restrictions. We will ship in a lot of food from the USA but we will also buy as much food in Haiti as possible. The food we get in country will be treated so that it is safe for consumption. We will also have access to clean drinking water and will be able to mix it with powered drink mix. Please note that the meals are meager by American standards, take snacks/protein bars that are individually packed for evenings. Also, please be advised that chocolate will melt. Our recommendation is to bring nuts, trail mix, or other high protein snacks that can be easily transported.
What will we do there?
Some teams will have an agenda and work projects on their own, but others will need some suggestions. The Joshua House is working with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation to strategically invest in the community in and around the IDADEE orphanage. There will be various projects that we can connect you with while you are staying at the guest house. We also have connections with many local pastors who are always looking for people to do VBS for kids, help with construction of schools and churches or help people from their congregations.
How much will is cost?
There are several factors such as airline prices and the project that your team chooses to fund that will determine the final cost of your trip. The average cost of a trip from Pittsburgh has been around $1500. Please note that you will have to pay a $10 cash fee when you arrive in Haiti. This is a new requirement that all tourists must pay upon arrival at Cap Airport.
What is included in my stay at the Joshua House?
A host family
Generator for power
Bathroom with shower in each bedroom
Kitchen with stove and refrigerator
Safe drinking water, fans
Linens (sheets and towels)