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Community Engagement & Service

Reconsidering International Development in Haiti

Haiti alt break

The Program:

We will explore the effects that international aid organizations have had on the overall public health in Haiti, what grassroot organizations are doing to counteract this effect and what can be done in the United States to make international aid more sustainable and effective.

Tentative Itinerary:
We are always on “Haitian time” and “go with the Haitian flow” 

Day 1: Flight & arrival to Haiti. Spend night with community partner. Day 2: Orientation Day.. Creole & culture lesson. Homestay at night. Day 3: Learning day; Discussion lesson on U.S. role in Haiti. Travel into city to see Western influence. 
Day 4: Travel day; Travel to community partner #2. Stop at waterfall along the way. Discuss Haitian mistrust of foreigners and community partner #2. 
Day 5: Social determinants of health lesson with community partner. Public health survey, exploration of the community. Tour of clinic. Influence of Voodoo religion on Haitians. 
Day 6: Day with community partner. Discussion on international roles in Haiti. 
Day 7: Day with community partner. 
Day 8: Travel back to Port au Prince.. Stop at farm, other stops applicable to topic- pending on further discussion. Visit local college. Concert with community partner. 
Day 9: Departure

Quick Facts

Destination: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Cost: $1,850

Dates: Spring Break

Faculty Adviser: Elizabeth Lang

Cost includes: Airfare, lodging, meals, guides, ground transportation, admission fees, travel insurance, administrative fees

Cost does not include: immunizations and visa

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Meet Your Student Leaders!

Zainab Haiti co leader

Zainab Mirza: Born in Jersey, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland I am a sophomore at AU who studies International Relations and Environmental Science. I was itching to travel to Haiti since I began volunteering with a non-profit that seeks to send Haitian students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to school. AU Alternative Break offered the opportunity to study about international aid and thus sparked my interest and participation in the 2017 program. Falling in love with the Haitian people and their devotion to their country, I am ecstatic to work with the Alternative Break Office, my co-leader Rani and our future participants throughout the year!

Rani Zierath

Haiti co leader Rani



Originally from Dallas, Texas. AU Junior, Biochemistry major, Public Health minor. Pre-Med student who currently works for the American University Chemistry Department doing research on alternatives for fuel cell catalysts. I was able to attend the Spring 2017 program to Haiti, and am specifically interested in learning how grassroot organizations function in comparison to large international aid organizations, specifically in the public health realm.

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