An Opportunity to Bring Sustainable Change
Haiti has long been the poorest country in the western hemisphere. In a country with few building inspectors and poor construction techniques, it was only a matter of time before tragedy struck. When that tragedy appeared in the form of the January 2010 earthquake, the results were devastating. Thousands of buildings collapsed, killing 200,000 people and leaving well over a million people living in tent camps. Today, relief efforts are behind them and long-term development is sorely needed, with permanent housing as one of the country’s greatest needs and, perhaps, opportunities.
We are proud of the work we did in helping to build over 150 simple, yet beautiful and safe homes for Haitian families in the communities of Lambi and Croix-des-Bouquets as a response to the earthquake. (Meet some of those families here.)Now, we are focusing increasingly on long-term development issues rather than disaster response.With a new project in northern Haiti in the town of Pignon, we are building homes that families pay forward on terms that they can afford — a no-profit and no-interest loan.
House sponsorship costs – Pignon – $5,000 Donate to this Covenant Partner
Learn the Basics – Area Info
Pricing – What’s Included
Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click Join to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here. Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.
|City||Team Leaders||Dates of Trip||Cost||Status|
|Pignon||West Lawn UMC||October 8-15, 2016||Full|
|Pignon||Steven Rossini||October 22 – 30, 2016||$1,100||Join|
|Pignon||Kaye Hooker||January 14 – 22, 2017||$1,080||Join|
|Pignon||Mike Oliphant and Connor Ciment||February 18-26, 2017||$1,150||Join|
|Pignon||Main Street United Church of Christ||March 18-25, 2017||Full|
More Info – Learn about the project
Pignon is a community of about 30,000 located in the Central Plateau of Haiti, established by a French tradesman in 1699 as on outpost on the border between the French controlled west and the Spanish-controlled east. Renowned for the beauty of its hillsides, it is yet in one of the poorest regions of Haiti. Families traditionally survive and earn income by traveling to their nearby fields, where they grow their own food as well as sugar cane for selling. We also build for families with underpaid professionals like teachers and nurses.
Many of these families own their own land and begin purchasing materials like concrete blocks in order to build their home over time, but need a helping hand and opportunity to expedite the process for them and their kids. The Fuller Center will help by constructing simple, decent affordable homes with families based on their needs and income, repaid on a no-profit, no-interest basis. The repayments are used to help more families in the community. Families are also taught basic financial management skills and construction. In addition, we are in the process of opening a local materials supply store to make improving one’s home more accessible for everyone in town.
The impact of our work in Pignon is striking:
Be ready to be flexible! Schedules can change quickly in Haiti. Rain storms, communication, material supplies and more are unpredictable. We work hard to consider all the possibilities in order to plan for an enjoyable and productive work week. All trips will last one week, typically Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday. Sunday offers a chance for attending a Haitian worship service. Saturday or Sunday afternoons there will be opportunity for some of the limited R&R available in Haiti, which must be coordinated in advance.
During work days, a typical schedule will look like this:
- 6:00am – Devotions (optional)
- 7:00am – Breakfast
- 8:00-12:00pm – Worksite
- 12:00-1:00pm – Lunch (on site)
- 1:00-4:00pm – Worksite
- 6:00pm – Dinner
Type of Work
Come ready for anything. Work could include laying block, clearing rubble, applying stucco, cutting rebar, mixing concrete, or other tasks. Every job is important. Expect it to be sunny and HOT. Shade is limited. Heavy water consumption is a must all day long. You may want to bring electolyte replacement powders.
Food and Lodging
Food and water must be handled carefully in Haiti, and so whether from reputable hotels or cooks whose standards and methods we are familiar with, we work hard to ensure that groups will have safe and nutritious, albeit fairly simple, meals. At both locations we provide three meals per day – typically breakfast and dinner where you are staying and lunch on the work site. Purified water is also always available and provided, usually in five-gallon containers, so you will want to bring your own reusable bottle.
We rent transportation to get the groups to and from the airport. During the work week a vehcile is generally not needed as the worksite is within walking distance of the Guesthouse. Pignon is 3 1/2 hours from the airport so it is important that flights are coordinated with the team leader to ensure that they all arrive together or at least within 90 minutes of each other. All participants should arrive before 1:00pm to avoid being on the road at night in Haiti.
Rest, Relaxation, and Sightseeing
Sunday is a non-working day. If coordinated in advance, a group may want to set aside one day for R&R. If desired, we can help arrange for the group to attend Haitian church services. R&R opportunities are limited in Haiti, but there are a couple of options: Groups can visit Bassin Zim, which contains waterfalls, coves, and caves. Groups can also visit the local school to spend time with the children and play a game of soccer or basketball. Groups could also choose to fly out of Cap Haitian when it is not rainy season. This would give groups the option to visit the beautiful Sans-Souci Palace and Citadelle Laferriere.
The costs for our trips to Haiti will be about $980 – $1200, which include lodging, local transportation including airport pick-up, three meals per day, bottled water, security guards, travel health insurance, and a contribution toward building materials. Since factors like group size help determine the cost, we will work out a more accurate price after you submit your trip proposal. Trip
Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip
What happens after the trip?
A look back: Our disaster response legacy
We are proud of the work we were able to do together as a response to the 2010 earthquake. We are currently wrapping up these projects as we shift the focus to projects that include the Biblical model of no-profit, no-interest loans that ensure building will be sustained. We know these projects will be a blessing to the families for the years to come. (Meet some of the families.) Please see the video to the right and the information below to learn more about the Lambi community, and read on below to learn more about the permanent homes we rebuilt in Croix-des-Bouquets.
Lambi -This is our self-sustaining community located in Gressier, near the epicenter of the earthquake and not far from Port-au-Prince. We partnered with Grace International to form a Covenant Partner called Grace Fuller Center for Housing as way to help families move out of tents and into permanent houses. At the Lambi site, we used 7 acres of land to build 58 homes in the form of 29 duplexes. In addition to housing, we worked to provide improved water, sanitation, job opportunities and civic space. The project had several partners, including Grace International, Lott Carey and the American Baptist Mission Collaboration.
Croix-des-Bouquets In this community just east of Port-au-Prince, we built small, economical homes in partnership with Homes from the Heart, whose founder Michael Bonderer also has built homes in El Salvador and neighboring countries. The homes are typically about 16 feet-by-16 feet, depending upon the sizes of the lots, which varies. “The recipients of these homes really like them, but they’re not fancy,” Bonderer said. “But they’re shelter and a secure house for people to live in.”