Seeing is believing — at least that is often the case in a world where there is so much deception. We invite all of our supporters to see for themselves how their financial and prayer support helps exemplify the love of Christ in providing for the basic needs of the poor. If you decide to come and visit us in Fond-des-Blancs, we assure you that you will return with an expanded perspective and deeper understanding of Christ’s words: “Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25:40) Check the calendar and send us an email about the timeframe of your preferred visit. We’ll work with you to ensure that your visit is one that will be a life-changing experience.
Call someone who understands your questions and can help provide more information: Cheri Lane, HCDF Board Member and Communication Consultant: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 563-380-1194.
- Room and Board in Fond-des-Blancs (sleeping facilities with bunk beds plus an evening meal): $15/per person/per day
- Ground transportation to, from, and around Fond-des-Blancs: $150/per person (it is recommended to fly in or out of Fond-des-Blancs with Mission Aviation Flights one way in lieu of driving to see the country side from both overhead and ground level, if you are comfortable flying in small planes; more information follows below); the current cost per plane (5 person) is $375 (subject to change by MAF) one way and 900 total pounds with luggage and people.
- Ministry contribution (usually for supplies for the work week): $100/per person
- Airfare will range in price depending on your point of origin, but the average cost for flights from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to Port au Prince is approximately $400.
Once you have calculated the estimated cost of your stay with us, please send a check to our Florida office to finalize your reservation. Make the check payable to Haiti Christian Development Fund and send it to:
Haiti Christian Development Fund
Post Office Box 934696
Margate, FL 33093-4696
The trip to Fond-des-Blancs by vehicle will take around three to five hours, depending on the traffic getting out of Port-au-Prince. By plane, it is approximately a half hour. There is only one main road and at times it can be quite congested. Supplies and personal belongings are usually transported in an open bed truck (even though some of the young people prefer to travel in it also) and a couple of 4×4 jeeps depending on the number of people.
Mission Aviation Flights flies from Port au Prince to Fond-des-Blancs; the current cost per plane (5 persons plus pilot) is $450 (or $90/person for five people) one way. You may contact MAF directly for reservations: email@example.com or +509-3791-9209 or +509-2941-9209. MAF websites: www.mafhaiti.org | www.maf.org
Arrival at the Airport
When you arrive at the airport, be prepared for a congested situation. You will be perfectly safe, but it can seem a bit chaotic. Upon entering the airport you will have to go through Haitian immigration. You will have been given customs cards to fill out on the airplane. Have these ready along with your passports. You should indicate on the customs cards that you will be staying with Jean Thomas in Fond-des-Blancs, Aquin. You will be given a stamped immigration form. Place this in a safe place; you will need it when you leave Haiti.
Next, you will enter the baggage claim area. The bags come on a carousel but are often picked up and deposited on the floor in no particular order. You will have to be very observant and perhaps patient. Carts are available to help you get your bags to the custom agent. After finding your bags you will have to take them through customs. Chances are you will be waved through, but don’t be surprised if they ask you to open your bags for inspection. It is probably best that, as people in your group find their bags, they wait until all of you have retrieved your bags so you can go through customs as a group, with one spokesman. If you are going to need help carrying your bags outside, you should choose a person wearing a red cap to help you. There will be several of them offering their services. You should get one and only deal with that one. He will only take you to the curb. Another group of helpers will want to help you get to the parking. If you need help, just choose one person. Don’t give up your bags to anyone else and keep a sharp eye on your bags as they are carried to the parking lot. Stay together in a group. Look out for each other. There is no danger here, only potential aggravation. Outside of the terminal you will walk through an iron gate, then across the street and through another iron gate into the parking lot. Jean Thomas or someone from HCDF will meet you there if you are using the HCDF ground transportation services.
You will be staying at the HCDF guesthouse. It can accommodate approximately 16 guests. There is no air conditioning, but it usually cools down nicely in Fond-des-Blancs in the evening. Bed linens will be provided, but if you want a pillow, you will need to bring one along.
Safe drinking water is carried daily from the capped spring to the guesthouse. There is a well at the back of the guesthouse property which supplies water to holding tanks atop the guesthouse for showering and flushing the toilets. There is no hot water for showering, but the water in the tanks is always as warm as the air – consider it to be refreshing.
The guest house uses solar panels that are connected to batteries for electric lights each night until about 10:30 p.m. A gasoline powered generator is used for backup power. Additionally all electricity is standard US 110 volt. You have the option of spending the last night in Haiti in Port au Prince; hotel accommodations there range around $75.00 a night plus food. However, rather than overnighting in Port au Prince, we generally recommend leaving early from Fond-des-Blancs in the morning for am flights.
Generally, work will begin around 9:00 a.m., lunch taken about noon, and supper around 5:00 p.m. Evenings are spent in fellowship and recreation. A basketball court is on the guesthouse property and more than likely, local teens will want to engage visitors in a game. Next to their lot is a soccer field. They also have a ping pong table–with some very competitive games to be offered. Walking is the primary means of transportation in Fond-des-Blancs and you might want to plan some evening walks for your own exercise. There will also be plenty of time available to talk together about the work in Haiti and about your reactions to the experience. A day at the beach day is usually possible during your stay. Haiti has hundreds of miles of undeveloped, pristine Caribbean beaches; we go to one of the prettiest.
Casual work clothes are appropriate. Women can wear shorts while working, but should plan to wear skirts when in public (at church, in town for market). Also, women should wear tops that cover the shoulders when in church. Nice dress shirts and slacks for men are preferable for Sunday worship, although ties are definitely optional. Be sure to bring your swimsuit and a beach towel. Sunglasses and hats are recommended, as well as sunscreen.
We have had very few cases of sickness among visiting groups. There is a medical clinic in Fond-des-Blancs in case of an emergency. Please check with your local medical practitioners for more information for recommended meds or precautions.
Fond-des-Blancs, Haïti, is a small rural town located in the southern peninsula of the country, approximately 70 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Driving time from the airport can be anywhere between three and five hours.
General Construction: HCDF always has opportunities for anyone interested in experiencing the mission field to participate in a number of ministry activities; the simplest being providing their labor for ongoing construction projects. Technical assistance: there are a number of areas where HCDF is attempting to make a difference in the town of Fond-des-Blancs. Your particular skill could be exactly what we need and would be more than happy to help coordinate your skill set with a need in the community.
Historical Site Visits
Haiti has many historical sites dating from the early 1800’s. A major tourist attraction is the Citadel built by King Henri Christophe. It is located on the northern coast of Haiti. A trip can be arranged to this location. Some extra cost will be incurred.
Anyone coming to Haiti cannot help but be impacted by the poverty that is so evident. The result is usually an increased appreciation for the blessings of life in the USA and a heart of compassion for those less fortunate.
A major contribution to an ongoing ministry
Your visit is a major encouragement to other fellow believers in that community. Whether sharing in evangelism, presenting a seminar, or hammering a nail, you are actively contributing to the growth of this ministry.
A view of the third world that can only be appreciated through personal experience
There is no other place in the western hemisphere where someone can get a very sharp contrast between the developed and the third word than Haiti. It is close enough to the US to be easily accessible and far enough economically to be a dramatic contrast.
There will be numerous opportunities to worship with the believers in Fond-des-Blancs and participate in evangelistic activities.