Living in Haiti
Haiti offers diverse cultural and leisure activities for individuals and families living and working in Haiti to enjoy. The country moves from cultural event to cultural event throughout the year. Although the February carnival is the main attraction, other popular annual events like Haiti Fashion Week and patronal festivals such as Fête Gelée similarly mark visitors’ and residents’ calendars. Additional music, art, and dance performances happen throughout the year, and combine to keep life in Haiti extremely rich and active.
Myriad options for more active pursuits also exist: within an hour and a half drive from the capital, one can be hiking in the refreshingly cool mountains, sunbathing on pristine beaches, diving in coral reefs, or swimming under Saut-d’Eau (a large waterfall and important location for Voodoo pilgrims).
Over a weekend, one can visit the city of Jacmel, Haiti’s artistic capital, the historic sites surrounding Cap-Haïtien, or even the Dominican Republic or Miami.
Numerous gyms, pools and sports facilities are also available, as are hiking and running groups, and even an Ultimate Frisbee group. For dining, there is a wide variety of restaurants available, ranging from Haitian food to high-end European and Asian options. For cooking at home, the modern supermarket facilities conveniently offer a very wide range of local and imported products.
As these examples illustrate, Haiti can offer a high quality of life, providing those who live and work in the country with diverse opportunities to engage in rich cultural experiences and enjoy some of the Caribbean’s best natural assets.
A number of healthcare options are available in Haiti. Hospital facilities are being upgraded to bring Haiti up to high standards internationally. Two examples include:
Hospital Bernard Mevs is a 50-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince offering a series of specialty services including adult and pediatric intensive care units, a 24/7 emergency room and three state-of-the-art operating theatres. The hospital is rapidly expanding to meet the demand of the more than 65,000 patients who come through its doors every year, adding a private ward and more intensive care unit (ICU) beds in 2015. The hospital’s longterm relationship with the University of Miami and Project Medishare engages numerous foreign staff in training and residency programs to further build capacity of specialty staff in Haiti.
National critical care and trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince
Once operational, this new project will provide critical care and trauma services with equipment and services not yet available in Haiti. It has received funding from the Haitian government and the private sector, and will be located near the airport in Port-au- Prince.
There is also an organization, called Haiti Air Ambulance that can transport patients in critical condition by helicopter to the most appropriate facilities available in Haiti. They also arrange transfers to U.S. or Dominican hospitals for care when required and feasible.
Hospitals and doctors offer care to all patients; while all services are paid in cash, many international insurance plans will reimburse expenses.