Global Builders - Haiti
An Opportunity to Bring Sustainable Change
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
Lambi - $10,000
|Learn the Basics - Area Info
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.
||Dates of Trip
|Lambi||Joe McBride and Dave Dobson||October 11-18, 2015||$1100||Join|
|Pignon||Dave Cook||October 18-24, 2015||Full|
|Lambi||Kaye Hooker||January 10-17, 2016||$1090||Join|
|Pignon||Kat Williams||February 13-20, 2016||Full|
|Lambi||Midway Baptist Church||June 10-18, 2016||Full|
|Pignon||Allen Slabaugh||July 2-9, 2016||Full|
More Info - Learn about the projects
Pignon - 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:
The Pignon project is led and managed by a local group of dedicated Haitians who recognize the blessings they have been given and want to give back to their community.
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 56 homes in the form of 28 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. A few more duplexes may be placed onto the edges of the community.
Volunteer InformationTypical Day
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
7:00 - Debriefing
9:00 - Bedtime
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
Staff members pick up volunteers directly at the airport. For the Lambi project, we host volunteers in facilities with their own special security and hire additional security guards to be with the group during transportation and at the worksite. The extra security is not needed at our site in the small town of Pignon.
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.
We either borrow vehicles from Grace International, Notre Dame, or rent them as needed. We hire a driver to navigate the Haitian roads. Lambi is about 1.5-2.0 hours from the airport, so it is important that flights are coordinated with the team leader to ensure that they arrive together.
All participants to both locations should arrive before 2:00pm 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:
Pignon - 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.
Lambi - one opportunity is to visit a nearby Baptist Mission overlooking a valley, where there is a small zoo, garden area, and some shops. Groups can also travel to Jacmel where they can spend a day at the beach.
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.
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 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 to learn more about the Lambi community, and read on below to learn more about the permanent homes we rebuilt in 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."