Peer between palm fronds to see a few kids from the orphanage asking if you’ll take them to the beach today — an afternoon splashing in nearby Caribbean waters with an armful of your favorite neighborhood kids is something you can’t say no to.

Haiti’s bright culture and friendly attitude certainly pairs well with the warm sunny weather in this country, all but covering up the poverty-stricken and natural-disaster-ravaged nation. Not that you’d be able to tell based on the massive smiles of the kids you’re teaching. You’ll have a hard time saying goodbye to sipping out of fresh coconuts, tropical weather and impromptu dance parties with the kids you live with in the orphanage, that’s for sure.

City: Saint-Marc

Service: Haiti is one of ILP’s Humanitarian programs. You will serve extremely underprivileged children in an orphanage by helping them (and other children in need in the community) learn English through the ILP method. Because you live with the children at the orphanage, you will have other opportunities to spend time with them and make a difference outside of the classroom as well.

Life Abroad: Live at the orphanage with your fellow volunteers, eat typical meals of rice, beans, and pasta (especially spaghetti!), and practice your French and even learn some Creole.

Semesters: Fall semester is August – December. Spring semester is January – April. Summer semester is April – August.

Group Size: About 7-9 volunteers.

A Country Rebuilding

Haiti is a country that has unfortunately seen more than its fair share of destructive natural disasters for hundreds of years. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, mudslides…you name it. You’re probably most familiar with recent events like the devastating earthquake in Port-Au-Prince in 2010 that caused world wide relief efforts and has left the people still attempting to recover. Even as recent as Fall of 2016 we watched Hurricane Matthew rip through the Caribbean hitting southern Haiti especially hard and moving up through Cuba and the southern States. So many Haitians have been left with nothing and you will find that your efforts are much needed here.

Making a difference in Haiti

The mission of ILP is always to provide you with opportunities to serve communities around the world, and this is especially true in Haiti. You get to live in the orphanage with the children you serve which puts you in a great spot to spend quality time with them every day. Teach them, get to know them, and be a positive impact in their life. If your primary goal for a semester abroad is to make a difference, Haiti is the right spot for you!


While traveling throughout Haiti is a bit limited because of a lack of infrastructure and roadways, there are several spots that volunteers love to see during their semester – you actually live so close to the turquoise blue water coast that you can visit any weekend! We also recommend heading over to neighboring Dominican Republic for a week long vacation.

  • Les Cayes, Haiti Head southwest to get away from the city noise and relax on the much less crowded beaches. Go snorkeling, swimming and discover a more tropical part of Haiti.
  • Cap Haitien, Haiti Up north discover a more affluent city of Haiti with beautiful architectures and of course…the beach!
  • The Caribbean Take a week long vacation to explore other parts of the Caribbean like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and of course…The Dominican Republic! Ask any ILP volunteers who live in the D.R. and they’ll tell you you have to check out the Dominican.

This experience has changed me in so many ways...

I think the thing I will miss the most about Haiti is the simplicity of life here. These people don’t have a lot, at all, but they have everything they need and they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. I envy them for that. I wish everyone could experience a third world country to make them really appreciate and realize what they have back home” -Emily Edgington @emyjo3