Ever since my first trip to Thailand with CISV - IPP to work in post-disaster affected communities, I try to take time within my travels to explore, learn, and understand through social projects.
Leaving my comfort zone and being in a new environment, language and culture allows myself to focus on empathy and gather enough information to develop new projects with long term sustainable goals. In the next year, I want to return for a longer time and not only share with others this awareness but to also leave a footprint that is timeless.
EIM is a wonderful organization lead by Haitians in Port-au-Prince to teach adults English. Currently taking their TOEFL exams in the end of the year, these students are eager to develop their english in order to find better jobs, become stronger leaders to their communities or find a way to communicate with the transit foreigners that inhabits this magical island.
I cannot describe what a beautiful and inspirational time I had. As always, it is people's relationships and exchange of human energy that no matter where you, it is something more than special.
Breaking your everyday routine and taking a pause to "look, stop and think", is what makes every trip a changing moment, no matter where you go.
As a designer and builder, my mind was constantly moving, thinking of things to do, being inspired. In the area of design, the craftsmanship and tradition in the arts got my mind wondering. The abundance of strong pastel colours, the intrinsic details or metalwork, the opportunity of recycling and designing new ways to re-use trash. From the painting in the tap-taps to the voodoo influenced crafts, there was always something that catches your eye and radiates its unique beauty.
While teaching, we visited incredible organizations that are doing lots of positive work for its community and environment. One of the things I noticed, perhaps it was just a mere coincidence, was the overwhelming percentage of young foreign women that were leading the many projects in PAP. Empowering to say the least, it was beautiful to see how many incredible and strong women were pushing the limits of their life experiences and awareness by initiating studies, projects and trips in this unique city since 2010.
Below are some of the projects we visited. For and non profits, these organizations empower Haitians with education, job training and education.
English in Mind Institute (organizes short and long volunteer trips while supporting adult English education)
Apparent Project (Arts and Crafts)
Rebuild Globally (Awesome sandals made out of tires, super beautiful)
Tikay Haiti (providing free medical care to patients with TB and HIV in Haiti)
Haiti Communitere (our lovely base camp during our stay)
This community is a hug for in transit and permanent visionaries that are working towards building a stronger Haiti.