Frequently Asked Questions

What will I do when I am on the trip?

You will be visiting and providing public health services to impoverished Haitians living in bateyes (former sugar cane work camps) and extremely poor Haitian communities. The type of public health services you will provide depends on the needs of the population during your visit. Some examples of past activities include general health and hypertension screenings, providing parasite control medications and general health education.

What are Bateyes?

Bateyes are extremely poor communities of former sugar cane workers and their families. The bateyes are typically cement barracks and tin and cardboard shacks without potable water or toilets. Those living in the bateyes have little or no access to schools, health care or social services.

What are the living conditions for the students?

Housing conditions are adequate but not luxurious. This is no or limited air conditioning. Generally, this is not a problem due to the trade winds and temperate climate. However, in the summer and spring it can be extremely hot in the bateyes where we often work in small airless churches or schools. When it rains, the paths in the bateyes turn into muddy rivers. There are no toilettes in the bateyes and the facilities we use at gas stations cannot be spoken highly of. In addition, there are bugs and other pesky creatures associated with tropical climates.

How often is the trip offered?

The trip is currently being offered once a year during the Spring semester.

What is the cost of the trip?

Students pay tuition for the course as well as the costs of airfare, room and board. These costs vary by trip. Airfare ranges from around $500 to $700 depending on the season and time of ticket purchase. We typically take a direct flight with a flight time of just over 3 hours. Housing costs are approximately $150 to $170 for the one week stay. Students may purchase and cook their own food or go to local restaurants. Students typically bring $100 - $200 US.

Are there any prerequisites for the trip?

Students must receive permission from their faculty advisor and the course directors prior to registration. In most cases, completion of the majority of MPH core courses is a prerequisite for enrollment. The class is limited to 11 students.

What do I need to do to prepare for the trip?

To prepare for the trip, students should do the following:

  • Complete the required readings as outlined in the course syllabus
  • Review and complete the tasks outlined under enrolled students
  • Participate and plan for the implementation of public health interventions in the Dominican Republic.
  • View the documentary of our students at work made by Hazel Gurland.
How can I donate supplies to the project?

If you wish to donate clothing, school supplies, medicine or other articles to the project please contact us. As we get closer to the next student trip, a more complete list of needs will be posted.

Can you provide examples of past student projects?

Examples of past student projects can be found on the Experience webpage > >