Haiti has been in the news lately due to the escalating political situation the past few months. In February, the country was on “lockdown” for about a week when widespread protests broke out in the capital and near other main cities. Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church (Atlanta) had a Mission Exchange Team preparing to go to Haiti that very week. Based on the recommendations of our in-country partners and staff, the CMPC trip was put on hold. On February 15th, the U.S. State Department raised the travel advisory for Haiti to its highest level, Level 4: “DO NOT TRAVEL”.
Haiti H2O does not endorse team travel during a Level 4 Advisory. So, the other four teams that have been planning to go to Haiti with us this summer have been put on hold. Each team has a deadline to determine if the situation has changed or improved, based on the date of departure for the individual trips. We are praying that the Haitian government will make positive moves that will benefit the country politically and economically, and that the U.S. State Department will lessen its travel advisory. Because the situation in Haiti can change quickly, our staff monitors the news daily and we rely heavily on in-country partners’ input regarding the situation on the ground.
Both the protests and travel advisory are having a devastating impact on the nation’s economy. Rapid inflation and increased scarcity of food and basic goods make it even more difficult for Haitians that were already struggling under the heavy burden of extreme poverty.
The good news is that, thanks to our partners in Haiti, the community projects can still move forward without the American teams there to do the work. The structure of Haiti H20 allows for hands-on visionary leadership. Our partners are not limited by the challenges of travel, since they already are living within the communities they serve. However, resources from U.S. partners are still needed to move these projects forward. Haiti H2O is inviting Mission Exchange Teams to continue fundraising and if the teams are unable to travel, to consider sending what is raised to help our sisters and brothers continue the work on much-needed projects this summer. Even while we do not send teams during Level 4 travel warnings, the work in these communities is not suspended. We will continue to support and move forward with projects such as the Corn Grinder Micro-business in Bassin Caiman, homes in St. Martin, a medical clinic in Plain Matin, and a school in Meloniere.
Please pray for peace, justice, and resolution for Haiti. And for God’s provision and safety for our Haitian brothers and sisters as they weather this most recent “storm”.