Les Cayes, located on the southern peninsula of Haiti, is four hours away from the busy streets of Port au Prince. The region historically a rum port is full of quite households and friendly fishermen. Nestled within the hills are small cottages and family homes. Volunteers get the opportunity to go hiking up the many hills surrounding the city, exploring the hillside and catching glimpses of some of the best views in Haiti. Volunteers stay in a small house residing deep within the hillside where they are given the opportunity to go camping in tents, watch the sunrise and set over the ocean, do yoga on the hillside, and take leisurely walks through the community. Volunteers also have the opportunity to visit Port Salut, quoted to be one of Haiti’s most beautiful beaches and Ile-a-Vache, a relaxing island located a short boat ride from the town’s center.
Port Salut- Port Salut is long quoted to be one of Haiti’s most beautiful beach towns. The white sand beaches stretch for several kilometers along the quite country road. Palm trees and white sand line the Caribbean side of the sea. Volunteers get the opportunity to lounge on the beach, splash in the relaxing waters of the sea, and eat some of the best seafood in the Caribbean.
Ile a Vache- Ile-a-Vache otherwise known as the “island of cows” is accessible by boat and is located about 20 minutes from Les Cayes city center. Historically the home of pirates the island today is home to fishermen, fruit farmers, and some beautiful and virtually empty beaches. Volunteers have the opportunity to spend the day on the island, eating French-influenced cuisine and sea food, taking a walking tour of the island, swimming and lounging on hammocks along the beach.
Jacmel: Jacmel, an artisan city located about three hours south of Port au Prince is known for its French influenced streets, community of artists and artisans who produce hand painted souvenirs ranging from wall decorations, carnival masks, sculptures, and paintings.
Bassins Bleu- located across a shallow river and deep within the mountains just north of Jacmel’s city center is a serious of three deep blue water basins linked by a series of waterfalls. Bassin Bleu or “blue basin” is known for having some of the most beautiful deep blue water for swimming. Volunteers get the opportunity to hike up the mountain to reach a series of waterfalls, jumping along rock trains, wading through shallow rivers, and finally descending into the waterfall by using a rope secured along the rocks surrounding the basin. There are a series of rock jumps into the water from the waterfall and a shallow swimming area for those who simply want to wade in the water and bask in the waterfalls splendor.
Kenscoff- up in the mountains looking over the capital of Port au Prince is the village of Kenscoff. An area rich in agriculture and home to environmentalists its climate is drastically different from that of the sweaty city at the foot of its mountains. Temperatures range in the cool 60s and there’s always a cool breeze refreshing volunteers as they hike up the hills. Volunteers get the opportunity to visit the Wynn farm and meet one of Haiti’s most famous and active environmentalist. They visit a farm and sustainable agriculture center exploring alternative approaches to agriculture and learning about what environmental efforts work in Haiti. Then they get the opportunity to hike up to the top of the farm, catching some beautiful views of Port au Prince and exploring the hillside farms along the way. Volunteers then eat lunch in the village refueling themselves with traditional Haitian cuisine after a long day of hiking.
Port au Prince- Haiti’s capital and most populated city Port au Prince is home to the white house, Haiti’s governmental buildings, historic sites, and the countries commerce. Volunteers get the opportunity to take a tour of the capital city, driving through busy marketplaces, passing colorful tap taps (the countries primary mode of public transportation), and witnessing the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake of 2010. Volunteers are taken to the steps of the white house, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake and has remained to be repaired. They are also taken to the historic cathedral, once Haiti’s largest home to practitioners and worshipers now lies in ruins after the earthquake. Finally volunteers are given the opportunity to visit Haiti’s historical museum, view artifacts and collect stories on the countries struggles and successes since before independence to the modern day.
Beach Trip- Get the opportunity to see a side of Haiti not shown in modern media. Haiti, located in the Caribbean Sea is home to some of the most beautiful and unpopulated beaches. Volunteers get the opportunity to spend the day at beaches rivaling those held by resorts in places like the Dominican Republic. The day is spent basking in the sun, swimming in the calm Caribbean waters, and eating fresh seafood while taking in the picturesque scenery of the Caribbean island. Taking a beach trip is a great way to remind volunteers of all the beauty the country has to offer and allows for a relaxing break away from service projects and volunteer assignments.
Agricultural Organizations- HAC is located in “La Plaine” otherwise known as the breadbasket of Haiti. Much of the area surrounding the compound is farmland. Farmers cultivate sugarcane, mangos, bananas, and countless other crops. Several organizations both international and local are working hard to train local farmers in better agricultural techniques and farming practices so that they can scale up their farmland and increase their yearly yeilds. Through our agricultural excursions we take volunteers to visit these organizations, tour the farms, and meet some amazing individuals changing the way people eat in Haiti.