What I’ve Learned While Working in Haiti

When I tell people that I moved back to Haiti for work, I get either one of these reactions: That's awesome! or Are you crazy?

As you may (or may not) know, I have been working in Haiti for the past 4 years. I grew up in Haiti and moved to the States when I was fourteen. However, I consistently traveled home for the holidays to visit friends and family. I always wanted to move back home. In fact, I never even considered working in the States ( my perspective has completely changed since). Perhaps it had to do with staying in my comfort zone and being around what was familiar. Part of me also felt like my knowledge could be put to better use back home, where people didn't have the opportunity to get the training that I did. Everything I learned in school, I thought about how I could implement in our school system back home. Ten years later, when the time came for me to make the transition to start working in Haiti, it was actually harder than I thought. I had built a life in the states filled with people that I love, and leaving them behind was hard! But I knew that I had a purpose, and sometimes, fulfilling our purpose requires sacrifices. As I had promised my self, I packed my bags and started my very first job in Haiti, which came with lots of responsibilities. 

I am writing this post because a reader asked me my thoughts about moving back to Haiti, and wanted to know my experience working there. I've put a lot of thoughts into this post, and here are the main things that I learned from working in Haiti.

Do keep in mind that no matter where you live or work, there will challenges, and you will have to take the good with the bad. What you can handle, or are willing to sacrifice is entirely up to you. 

Everyone's experience is different, and this is just my experience, from my point of view.

Comparison is The Thief of Joy

When I moved to Haiti I had to stop comparing my life in the States, to my life in Haiti. 

Vacationing and working in Haiti, are two completely different experiences! Oh how I miss the days where my trips to Haiti were all about fun, beach, and food!

One of the factors that completely shocked me was the cost of living. Everything in Haiti is  priced in US dollars. With the dollar depreciation that fluctuates on a daily (today the currency is1 USD = 68.8900 Haitian Gourdes), everything in Haiti is doubled, or tripled the price of what you would pay for in the states. Anything from rent, groceries, shopping for clothes and shoes, cable and internet, are all overpriced compared to what I pay for in the States.

In Haiti, a brand new Toyota is priced at a based model BMW in the states. You will easily be quoted $200 USD for an oil change and tire rotation at a dealership. Your gym membership in PV will cost you between $60-$75 USD a month (my membership at LA fitness costs me $30/month). Dinner in most restaurants in Petionville will cost you on average $50 USD. Your expensive meals unfortunately does not come with a side of customer service. Last december, I had the worst customer service experience at a very well known restaurant in PV. We made reservations for a table of 4, and when we arrived we were taken to a high top table in the very back of the room, under the booming speakers. This was a dinner party with DJs playing. When we noticed that we were probably the third group of people present, we asked to be moved to another table, as there were still plenty available. The server insisted that they were all taken. I then asked to speak to the manager. After we've insisted, the server assigned us to another table. So we proceeded to have our very expensive dinner, ($300 USD for 4 people... This would make more sense in South beach, then a dark room with high top tables!). Right in the middle of dinner, our server came back and requested that we return the table and move back to that table in the back of the room, because the owner of the restaurant wanted to sit at our table. I was in shock! And still did not move.  Of course I made sure I finished my dinner first, because I was not about to leave my plate to move to another table. We paid for our meals and left, frustrated and disappointed. Rest assured that I will no longer return to that restaurant.

Parties in Haiti during the holidays are also overpriced. If you're able to get in at all, (because some clubs in Haiti are "exclusive" and only allow certain people to get in. The only criteria is your looks, your skin color too probably) The entry fee is often starts at $80 USD, and you get the same Djs, the same venues, and the same people, at all of them! The social life in Haiti is  more about social ranking than anything else. Statistics show that the average population lives on less than $2 USD a day! So parties and events are priced based on the crowd that they want to cater to. 

With prices so steep, and people stuck up on prejudice, I try my best not to compare, the quality and quantity of things that I could get in other countries, spending much less!

PS: I cannot vouch for other areas because I spend most of my time in Petionville. I am almost certain that the prices aren't the same in all areas. 

 

 

There Are No Guarantees

There are No guarantees when you live in Haiti.

  • There are no guarantees that you will get the services that you pay for (cable, water, internet).
  • There are no guarantees that your paycheck won't decrease, and your bills won't increase due to the currency depreciation. 
  • There are no guarantees that you will get the job that you qualify for without cutting corners.
  • There are no guarantees that another political crisis won't set you back. 
  • There are no guarantees that you won't get attacked leaving the bank.
  • There are no guarantees that the doctors won't be on strike when you have a medical emergency.  

There just are NO guarantees!

Stay Prepared

Preparation is key! Not only in Haiti, but no matter where you reside, you must stay prepared. However,  because  of  political instability, which has resulted in a constant state of political and economical crises, staying prepared in Haiti is imperative! That means always having a valid passport ready, especially in case of a medical emergency.  Planning  out your budgets for months ahead, making sure that you have enough to cover your expenses for a couple of months, in case of a crisis that might affect your ability to go to work or income. Believe it or not, once a year you might miss out on a whole week of work, because of a  political crisis. This will affect your paycheck, and if you run your own business, it will definitely affect your profit, sometimes for months. So think ahead, and stay prepared. 

Although you may have no control over the events or things that are happening, you can, and should always plan ahead and have yourself covered in areas that you can. 

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

If you grew up in Haiti, you'll know that having "connects" is how everyone gets things done. In fact when people meet you they want know who your parents are, and what school you attended. This is usually how they figure out what social class you belong to. Ridiculous, Right? Your name, who your parents are, and who you know, can be the key that open many doors. This is a good thing for some, and very unfortunate for others. 

 Regular things as getting your passport done and getting your car registration, work faster when you know people. 

In the States you're taught that your education is the key to open any door, in Haiti who you know is  your key. It really bothers me when I hear about people who are educated and well trained, but aren't able to lend a job, when people with as little as a high school degree can get some of the positions that they no where near qualify for. Or someone with less experience getting paid more, than other people who work in the same office, with a higher  degree because of their last name.If you don't belong in Haiti's elite list, some things are automatically much more harder for you to have access to. 

You may have all your requirements, and meet all the criteria,  but if you don't know the right people, there are just no guarantees. 

This should't stop you from going after what you want though, if anything it should be your motivation. You can still be successful even if you aren't part of the elite. My parents are proof enough!

Find Your Tribe

Having a group of friends that have your back is important in life. Making real friends anywhere nowadays is hard. Real is so rare. If you're gonna move to Haiti, I suggest that you find people that you know and can trust. I'm not telling you to be naive and trust the next person you meet on social media and make them your bff.  I'm thankful for my small group of friends that I have in Haiti. They are people that I've met back in middle school and stayed friends with, hence people that I've learned to trust over years and years of friendship.  You should always try to make and keep meaningful friendships, with people who you can call when you have an emergency, or when you need something taken care of. Think of the few people that you know will pick up call at any given time of the day and night. That you can confide in and won't betray you. That will give you constructive criticism and not bash you or talk behind your back.  Those are the people that you need to keep around and nurture.

However, be warned that making new friends in Haiti can be tricky. Let's just say that people aren't as nice and warm as they appear to be on social media. Just because you get a like on IG does not mean that you'll get a HI in person. There is also the whole "talk behind your back, gossip and pretend they like you type of high school behavior".  Which is why it's important to know who you're "hanging" with, and keep in mind that if they can gossip about someone else behind their back, chances are they will do the same to you. 

So find your tribe, and stick with them!

Do Your Best

If you grew up in Haiti, you've probably heard that "You are the future", "You are the one who's going to bring change", "The country needs you"...yahdee yahdee dah...

Here's the truth: You aren't changing a darn thing, the country will be the same with or without you, and sometimes there's nothing you can about it!

This was my biggest disappointment when I started working in Haiti. I was so determined to make a change, and wanted to "give back". That quickly got old. 

There are just too many boundaries that will stop you from doing the things that you really wanna do. You have no control over the government, the people or the system. You can only control what you do, and that's what I did.

I try every day to give my best. It isn't always rewarding, You won't always get recognition, or a "thank you", but do your best anyways. You owe it to yourself to give your best in everything that you do. If you aren't going to give it your best, then don't do it at all. If you are going to put your time, and effort into something, do it with all you've got, for your own self satisfaction. 

It’s All Mental

You can't control what happens to you, but you can control how react to what happens to you.

Haitians are resilient! 

Both of my parents have been attacked in the past. For some reason I felt like I took it harder than they did. When you've survived an attack and wake up the next morning going about your routine like you didn't almost lose your life, to me that's resilience. Resilience is losing everything that you've build in 15 years in an earthquake, and have the courage of starting all over again, despite your loss. Resilience is what I see in Haitians every single day!

If you aren't mentally strong, Haiti isn't the place for you. Things will happen to you and around you, and there's nothing you can do about it, unless you lock yourself inside your home, which still doesn't guarantee your safety. 

People have different ways of preparing their minds to handle the stress and tension that comes with living in Haiti. Some say that they aren't afraid of death, others say that they are always prepared to attack back, some rely on their faith in God. You just have to find what works for you. 

Personally, I find that prayer is really the only way I can keep my mind at ease. Knowing that nothing will happen to me if God doesn't allow it. I also do my affirmations, in order to keep a positive mind. 

If you aren't mentally prepared, you will not be able to live successfully in Haiti, and you will be paralyzed with fear, so prepare your mind. 

Take a Break

This is a biggie for me!

I believe that a break is the only way to stay sane! Especially in a country as stressful as Haiti. 

Thankfully, Haiti has plenty of resources that can cure your aches and pains,  where you can relax and recharge. I always recommend that people take the time to rest, and reset when necessary. When you are worn out and tired, you aren't able to function at your full potential. So go hiking in the mountains, spend the weekend at the the beach, take a drive to the country side and bathe in a waterfall, visit a province that you have never been to, chat with the locals, drink some coconut water and stay hydrated...You will never run out options and the experience is never dull. Whatever your preference is, find a way to replenish your soul, and rest your body when it is needed. 

 

Is It Worth It?

Taking the decision to work in another country should be well thought of, and planned out, especially if you haven't been offered a job position ahead. Before you make the move, consider weighing your pros and cons. That is usually a good way to make any decisions. You should also do extensive research and have an action plan. Find out what your budget will be and have enough funds to cover the first few months up front. Do some research about what your income will be, and decide whether that will cover your expenses, and also find out if it's worth moving to another country. For instance, I wouldn't advise a physician to quit their practice in the states, and move to Haiti where I know their income will be much less(I would advise on taking mission trips instead). So compare both incomes before making the decision. If you have children, find out what school they will be attending and how much tuition will cost. Find out what quality education your child will get. Find out what extracurricular activities they will partake in and how much that will cost. 

If you plan on starting out your own business, find out how much you will need and what the process of getting a loan might be if you'll need one. Research the area, and the demand for your business. Starting a business requires a lot of planning, especially in Haiti. So do your research.

Lastly, do not let anyone influence your decision. This is a decision that you should make for yourself, by yourself, unless you are married of course. But, because everyone's experience is different, try it out for yourself. 

I know a lot of people who have made the decision to move, and never had any regrets. Others came, and left. For me, working in Haiti has been a positive experience, despite the many and many challenges. It has taught me leadership skills,and the importance of having a product of quality. I enjoy learning from my mother, who is the best mentor that I could ever have. I have an amazing staff and love my job! I won't lie to you and say that it's a piece of cake because it's not. But I do believe that you can do anything that you set your mind to, if you have a purpose. 

So, If this is something that you've been considering, by all means do it, but do it with your eyes and mind open. After all, experience is the best teacher. 

If you have lived in the States, or another country and had the chance to work in Haiti, Please share your experience with me! I would love to hear different perspectives. 

Picture taken at Royal Decameron Resort in Haiti

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Laura

I am an early childhood educator who has fallen in love with the life that I have been given. I am inspired by the beauty in everything that surrounds me to live my best life, loving my hardest, and traveling the furthest possible. Join me on my adventures through life.

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67 Comment

  1. I got extremely emotional reading this. Four years ago, my plan was to go back to Haiti. Despite the challenges you mentioned, my dream was somewhat similar to yours. I wanted to go back! Then, my mother got really sick and I had to stay and be her caregiver. I do not regret it a bit as she is well after getting the heart transplant she could only get here. I am forever grateful and glad that I made that decision; however, this blog got me………

    Anyway, great blog! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

    I hope your next one doesn’t get me so emotional :).

    1. Yielleen, I’m so happy to hear that your mother is doing well! I’ve seen your posts about her health updates on fb, and God has truly been good to her! He is faithful!
      Moving back is something a lot of us have considered or have done because of the attachment to our home, and because of the conscious help and effort that Haiti needs. I just hope that people know upfront that it takes a lot of courage to work or live in Haiti. However, we also know that any little help matters, so I try to do my small part, that is more than enough for some 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. I took the time to read it all, and i think you said it all, everything i always think about and face when i go to haiti, he is sad, i love tourism, this is my career and i start question myself how i will make my way in that jungle? What can we do to change this. What can i do to promote the real sostenible tourism in haiti if everything is expensive, and wrong.

    Keep writing Laura, im following you and share you passion. I will send you something i wrote while i was in haiti soon.

    1. Hi Gaelle, start by doing some research and finding people that are currently in the tourism field. They can be a great help with finding some of the things you need. You’ve gotta have thick skin and a strong mind to make it there, but it is entirely possible. I can’t wait to read your piece 🙂

  3. Very insightful post! Love your perspectives!

    1. Thanks Vanessa!

  4. This post stirred a lot of emotions in me, especially the parts concerning the cost of living, social rankings and who-you-know nonsense. I guess not much have changed since I’ve left, smh! But man, I applaud you for following your calling to exercise your knowledge and experience in Haiti. You may not see it now, but there’s a generation that will be soooo grateful for your sacrifice (great example: my generation & YOUR MOM). Some much truth in this post, great advice and as always, great read! Blessings to you and your fam 🙂

    1. Sadly, not much has changed! If anything they have gotten worse. But my soul encouragement is knowing that I am valuable in my work or field, and that is satisfaction enough for me. Thanks for your encouraging words!

  5. Bherma T. Preval says: Reply

    This post is truly inspired. It was well written and very profound. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great post and good advice about the planning and the thinking part of moving to another country. I relocated 3 times in my adult life to a different country and the transition can be hard at time. Awesome post again, keep them coming

    1. 3 times! you’re a risk taker! I love it! I’ve always wanted to live in different places and travel the world. I know I would enjoy teaching in different countries. But you’re absolutely right, getting used to another country, culture, and lifestyle, can’t be easy.

  7. It’s for the first time I have spent my time on in reading something so long like your experience to Haiti,everything you said it’s true there is no lie in every word you write.Thank you so much for sharing those infos with us and thanks again for the advises.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read Georges!

  8. Ghislaine Saint Hilaire says: Reply

    What types of work you do in haiti??

    1. I’m an early childhood educator and curriculum instructor.

  9. I read your post, it is so true. Living and working in Haiti is so tough, keeping up with everything is also a challenge as well. I am just surprised that things are so expensive. I remember growing up in Haiti and it was not this expensive at all. Actually, things were so inexpensive that when you came on vacation a $100 U S could last you more then two months. There was food all over the street, when you bought fried pork, plantain and fries for $1 U S , you and your 5 others friends can eat and be filled. At the time, street food was better and tasted better then restaurant food. Entering a club or a party you paid 4 Haitian gds. There was coconuts and mangoes overflowing the streets, actually people gave them out for free. Best way to live in Haiti is to live off the land like the Dominicans do If you are turning to places like Petion Ville and trying to keep up with that lifestyle, you will end up broke. Thanks to the influence of the west making a beautiful place like haiti lose all of what it was worth in the past. Haiti needs to back to the way it was,” eating AK 100 than eating corn flakes, ” eating rice and beans than eating pizza and hamburgers…

    1. Wow! I’m envious of such a time! I’m afraid that my generation did not get a chance to know the country you knew. If my job wasn’t in Pap, I always say that I would live in the country side where it’s cleaner, safer, and cheaper. But such is life and you deal with the hand you were dealt. I do hope that things will get better in the future. Perhaps I’m being unrealistic, but you can’t stop a girl from dreaming!

  10. Very well written Laura. Your post is pretty accurate and gives the readers the choice to decide without much influence. Moved back about 8 years ago and I am doing so much that I find joy and satisfaction in what I am doing. Now, it is true that you cannot fix the system but I am positive that little by little we’ll get there. It might take years but we will. What I like about working here is the fact that every little effort/project you implement can make a huuuuge different (temporary or permanently.) Keep it up!

    1. HI Rom, it’s great to hear from your perspective. As I’ve mentioned on my blog, if you have a purpose, and you give it your best, your work and sacrifices will be rewarded. Working in Haiti has been a positive experience for me as well despite the challenges.

  11. maryel…….

    what did u EXPECT on prices…???we just import and produce nothing….the big majority of non educated people will pick up the tab for sure……

    the way of life is getting down….and we are dreaming on how it used to be………it is a choice and we make the best of it…

    1. I agree, Haiti is definitely mind over matter! If you can’t deal you just take it elsewhere. That’s very unfortunate.

  12. Winy Antoine says: Reply

    Let me start by saying you have an amazing blog. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I truly believe it is tough to live in Haiti. Despite the challenges, that is a move im strongly considering. I was born in Haiti and moved to the states at the age of 12. My dream is to improve Haiti’s economy and bring innovation. Not that i think it will be easy. What ever change you want to make in Haiti, i want to remind you that you can do ALL things through Christ. And if you believe all things are possible. Nothing was said about the level of difficulty that you will face. Your faith just makes it possible. Just don’t give up on your dream of contributing to change in the country. Work hard and apply faith. I just want to thank you again for your experience. Don’t give up on change.

    1. Hi Winy, I encourage everyone with a goal, and a purpose to take their expertise to Haiti, and make a change where they can. Being a woman of faith, like my self, you know that staying anchored in Christ is the only way to make it through the tough days. Thank you for your encouragements, and I wish you success on your journey ahead.

  13. Juslene Lamour says: Reply

    Hi my name is Juslene! You are so right, everything you said it’s true. I am preparing for couple years now to move to Haiti, I vacation there every year some times twice a year I love Haiti,and I think if you have a plan you can make it.I am a planer even when I am going in vacation I plan my self financially, mentally , and I don’t trust people over there i have to keep my eyes open. Any way I like reading your blog, I probably be moving next year my place have to be finished first. Thanks again.

    1. Hey Juslene, what a great news that you are preparing your move back home, I am pleased that you found this post useful. Good luck on your journey back home, I wish you success!

  14. Patricia Valbuena says: Reply

    Keep on writing. I enjoyed your experience and your views about Haiti!

    1. Thank you Patricia!

      1. Hello Laura, My name is Sandra and less than 30mnts ago a friend of my sent me the link to your blog. Thank You so much for sharing it. I needed to read that. I left Haiti when I was about 13 and tentatively moved back in 2015. I’ve been away from home for more than 25yrs. Needless to say, Am still trying to adjust. Everything you mentioned are so true. Who you know and having a few good friends around you plays a big part in Haiti. Wish I knew before what I know now. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and some of experiences with us. By any chance, any advice of how to meet/connect with other ppl like us? What I mean is, ppl that have been away from Haiti for years and recently move back.

        😊

        1. Hi Sandra! Thank you for reading and reaching out! Experience is the best teacher, and sometimes we learn best as we go along. I find that social media is the best way to connect and reach out to people lately with everyone’s different locations and work schedules. So maybe you should think about creating a social club for young professionals who have moved to haiti recently and want to connect. I personally think that would be a great idea. Something to think about 😉

  15. Hello, my name is Neissa and I really love your post. I’m currently getting my BA in Political Science at American University and I’m also planning on getting my MA in Education for International Development. I have so many projects in mind for Haiti that I don’t even know where to begin. Haiti is and will always be my safe haven. I really want to go back and work for my country, which is one of the reasons why I’m a Poli Sci major. When did you know that you wanted to go back and work in Haiti?

    1. Hi Neissa, I guest I never fully detached my self from Haiti when I moved in the States. So all throughout college I always said that whatever I learn here, I will go back and implement back home, because that is the only way that I can help and give back. I went into the field of education, and fell in love. My mother has a school in Haiti that has been around for 21 years now. It was just the perfect opportunity for me.

  16. Hi Laura, our experiences are parallel in terms when we left Haiti and coming back. I have been back for five years and my wife and daughter joined me four years ago. I share your experiences and indeed the ride can be rough at times but it has been the right decision for us. I smiled at your reality check about changing Haiti because i still hold the dream that i can help in the effort to change Haiti.

    In fact, i am making the case that those of us who have had the opportunity to experience what normal life could be like (not necessarily in the states but the way Haiti back in the days) but more importantly those of us who are educated and working professionals have an obligation to help change things. It can be done in big ways but mostly in small ways, like not accepting the mediocrity, like speaking up when we see someone being abused, not accepting bad services (some things i would just do without). I am very realist about what I can change but the hope to make Haiti better is what sustained me.

    I appreciate your blog and encourage you to keep sharing. I work in the field of leadership development and we are always looking for positive people, especially women to give talks to the young people we serve. Haiti is small so I hope we can connect and interest you in our work.

    1. Hi Johny, I’ve had the chance to visit your page, and the work that you are doing is awesome! Yes, indeed, hope is all that keeps us going. I believe that knowing your purpose and being determined, is the key that will help us achieve our goals and plans successfully. Thank you for reaching out. Feel free to message me if you are interested in doing a colab.

  17. Hey Laura,

    Was nice to read your blog page as I moved to Haiti about 3 years ago and had my load of experiences.
    I opened a small bar-restaurant in Jacmel with my wife Cathia.
    We settled in Jacmel and we love it there. It can be “tet chaje” sometimes and sometimes it’s all “tet fret” so.
    You be welcome anytime, life’s a little different down there.
    You should come over and visit us sometime !

    Cheers

    Nicolas

    1. Hi Nicolas,
      How fortunate and lucky you are to be able to experience the lifestyle outside of the city, in the beautiful country side. I’ve had the chance to visit jacmel in the past, and it was lovely! It’s comforting knowing that it’s not all bad, everywhere.
      I would be more than happy to pay you a visit next time I’m in town!
      Thanks again Nicolas!

  18. Oh girl you are so right !!!! We should meet and have a drink. My tribe wants to meet you!!!!

    1. Lol You never know Franckie! Haiti is a small place 🙂

  19. Evelyne Frage says: Reply

    Awesome, Awesome, I love it. I wish you the best and thanks for sharing.

  20. I resonate so much with what you wrote. There is something magical about Haiti. However, everything isnt always rosey…but it comes with the package. I grew up in Chicago (coincedentally it was founded by a Haitian) but always knew that I needed to make my way to Haiti somehow. It was this strong desire that I cant explain. And yes, when I told people I was moving to Haiti after the earthquake (it was my first time ever permanently living there) 9 times out of 10, I would get the “Are you crazy” look. And in my head, I would think, “Are you crazy?”for thinking I am crazy? I see the beauty on this island underneath the chaos. Haiti…or I will take one step further and say Quiskeya (because its really one island) is so powerful and has the ability to make one really grow on all levels-spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. As much as this island can at times make me want to pull my hairs out, I am so greatful and blessed that I incarnated into this 3rd dimensional period with ties to Haiti. Haiti can bring you so much if you are willing to look at it from a higher perspective. I too was one of those people who were full of positive energy with a set mission to make this country change. But as the years rolled by, I umderstood that this country will always remain beautiful in my eyes however, Ive accepted the fact that there are certain parts (mentality, division, greed, corruption, ect.) that may never change in my lifetime. It is what it is. But I can do my part in adding a little light, in the best way that I can. Those that will vibrate will vibrate. The rest will continue on being and arent ready yet…..Acceptance is the key. I never write comments on blogs but for some reason, I felt compelled to write a little note. You did an amazing job at sharing your perspective and I can totally relate, as Im sure many others can too. The tribe is growing….keep on shining!!

    1. Thank you for sharing your powerful words and positive experience in our motherland! Knowing that there are still people willing and determined to make some changes is really comforting! Thanks again Valerie!

  21. Wow 🙌🙌
    Amazing blog!!keep it writing Sister
    Thinking to comeback soon!!

    1. Thanks Laurheen!

  22. I enjoyed your words, albeit on the conservative and sugarcoated side, I really enjoyed the reading. Keep doing it. I subscribed. at first I thought you were a journalist, maybe that’s your true calling?

    1. Hi Alex, Thanks for reading and reaching out! Although I enjoy writing, I believe that people can have many callings, but my passion truly lies in educating, which is somewhat what journalists do as well right?
      Thanks for subscribing!

  23. You have a courageous and adventurous spirit…….you are a pioneer….. Keep up the good work….Haiti need more people like you!!!!

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words Mara!

  24. Junior Ridoré says: Reply

    All the sentences you used are true!!! I like your post…

    1. Thank you Junior!

  25. Hi Laura. Coincidentally, I am reading your post on a bed in Haiti. Just last month, I was so close to packing everything, selling my car in the States, leaving my suburban life to work in Haiti for some time. I listened to friends who urged me to try it out first and not make such a drastic change right away. I am traveling around, staying at family/friends houses around the country and I am experiencing exactly what you and some other readers are describing. I am glad to see that other people are thinking of have considered the same thing. Thanks for the post and the work you do. I am writing of my experience on my own blog GROWwithDJ.com. Feel free to check it out. I am writing almost everyday but haven’t had a chance to publish yet due to traveling and unreliable internet. Thanks again

    1. HI Duckenson, I have visited your blog, and enjoyed reading the few posts that you have published. I can absolutely relate to not being able to publish more frequently or on a timely manner, I go through the same thing when I am in Haiti. I think your friends are valuable and honest, and have given you a great advice. Testing the waters is definitely a good way to see how much you can handle, and whether moving to Haiti is the right decision for you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your stay. I hope to read from your updates in the near future.
      Best wishes!

  26. I am only here to attest that everything mentioned in your blog is true. I was born and raised in the states to Haitian parents. I came here drooling over the Marchands of how beautiful they are to wanting to run them over and any Haitian ( of any social class), that looked my way. Then slowly I learned how to RESPECT their resilience. I am also learning (after living here for over 10years) how not to pity but understand their circumstances based on their history and social environment. They can b so rebellious at heart- to the very core, and Sometimes I try to emulate their courage, but it’s hard when u lived in a bubble for over 25 years. These days I look at the beautiful country keep my head up to the mountains and check myself when I lose my temper. I’ll keep this short: it’s hard out here for an American Zoe. However if u can make it out here in the jungle boyyyy u can make it anywhere dammit 🙂

    1. I couldn’t agree more Katy, If you can make it in Haiti, you can make it anywhere! Only the strong will survive!

  27. Hello guys I congratulate all of you- I am a physician here in ga- and I am determine to help change the fate of our country in the future- join the mouvement – haitilevepr-
    Michel jeannot md

  28. Hi Laura, this is the first time I’ve ever read your blog and saw the post on Facebook. It reminded me of my experience and reconfirmed my decision to move out of Haiti. However, I thought of another reason why many young adults HAVE to go back to Haiti when they do not want to-the passport. Sadly having a Haitian passport means that many doors will not be open to you. And some of us face that very reality after living abroad and opening yourself up to so many possibilities. Then the day comes that you have to move back home because you may not have the opportunity to get a residency somewhere. What is also equally hard after working in Haiti is re-intergrating to a first world country. In some industries, your experience in Haiti can be seen as worthless and then you start all over again because you have to prove yourself. Moving back to Haiti is not easy and leaving Haiti is also not easy; whether you are part of the Haitian elite or not.

    1. Hello and thank you for reading and reaching out! There are lots of truth to what you’ve said. It is so unfortunate that those who have no choice but to return to Haiti are faced with these issues and have to deal and accept them, especially when they have been exposed to another realm of life. Some of us are fortunate enough to have to leisure of choosing where we live and work. But those who don’t, and for those who deliberately choose to go back, it is a hard pill to swallow indeed.

  29. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.This gave me chills. You are an amazing person who will inspire others to do great things so keep up the hard work and words…

    1. Thank You for your encouraging words!

  30. You described exactly what most hard working professionals go through and feel while in Haiti and I can totally relate and agree with your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. Keep doing your best.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth!

      1. While I’m reading your blog I imagined what I’ve been experienced during the days when I’m in haiti..I’ve been there not to work but to be with my husband, he assigned in PAP, all you shared was totally true, cost of living there is very expensive, I’ve learned that I am lucky, eventhough my country is not rich, it is much fortunate compare in haiti, there’s no so much place you can go

        1. Hi Donna! Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Where are you from? You mentioned that your country is more fortunate than Haiti.

  31. Good Read!

  32. Nice to read you Laura 🙂

  33. Thank you Laura for sharing this. I, too, have considered going back home to Haiti to work. Your insight have helped a lot, I hope you share many more of your experience with us. However, I want to ask you what is it that you do in Haiti? You also mentioned you have a staff, is that something you can share with us or elaborate on? Further insights would especially, thanks!

    1. Hello Stacy, I am an administrator at a school in Haiti, and I am also a curriculum instructor. I train educator and write the curriculum for social studies for the elementary grade levels.

  34. Hi Laura,
    I’m a Canadian and I moved to Haiti 5 years ago with my husband. The first years were so difficult that I often thought of moving back to Canada. I was pulling my hair out almost everyday. It’s been really frustrating to adapt to the culture, the mentality, the relationships with people of ALL social levels (which in most countries doesn’t even exist anymore, everybody is the same, AND who cares !!! ), the super expensive cost of living, and adapting to a place where being nice and kind is taken as a weakness…plus consistently lowering my standards to understand mediocrity; I felt like living in Haiti had taken me back to the 1800s. My dream has always been to move to the Caribbean, so that I can take my kids to the beach every weekend. Reality hit me hard when I realized that going to the beach is so freaking expensive, and that I don’t have a rich family who owns a waterfront property. On the other hand, my husband who’s Haitian and lived in Canada for 10 years, lived an experience similar to yours. Full of hope to change his country and so positive….but he realized quickly that the country he grew up in is not the same anymore, and most of his dreams were shattered. Some people who he was friends with in Canada, didn’t even say hi to him in Haiti, depending on the setting. Anyway, in those 5 years we had 2 kids, and made a choice to stay, because we invested so much and moving a family is not that easy. One day a friend told me: be patient, moving to Haiti is just like starting a SME, it takes 3-5 years. And indeed, the 5th year is much easier than what I had envisioned. Life is getting better, and I know now what to care about and what I choose not to do, and what to let go of. I wish I could be so much more positive about Haiti, because I love this country and there is so much potential….À suivre…
    Thank you for your blog, so refreshing to read someone REAL.

    1. Tania, Thank you for your sharing your experience in Haiti with me, and for your encouraging words. I absolutely agree, it does get easier. It is also an emotional cycle, where we feel like we are getting the hang of things one day, and defeated the next. As I mentioned on the blog post, it’s all mental! you gotta be able to roll with the punches and take the good with the bad, but we’re humans and we adapt. I am blindly hoping that things will get better.

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