Many UM Volunteers in Mission have journeyed to Haiti over the years and especially since the earthquake in 2010. Anyone with current plans to go there now should heed the UMVIM agency’s warning.
Due to ongoing anti-corruption protests in Haiti, UMVIM recommends that teams postpone travel to Haiti. Officials are in contact with Global Ministries, the Methodist Guest House in Petionville, and various local partners around the country.
The Methodist Guest House is still receiving teams and has not yet had any trouble picking them up at the airport or keeping them safe at the Guest House, though they acknowledge that the situation could change abruptly.
The U.S. State Department issued an evacuation order this week for children of U.S. embassy personnel and authorized a voluntary evacuation for non-essential personnel. Several VIM teams have cancelled trips to Haiti after conversing with their hosts, particularly in the area of Jeremie. Several other project leaders report that they are in lockdown mode.
Teams who choose to travel should know that travel medical insurance purchased through UMVIM is still effective unless the State Department raises the travel advisory from its current Level 3: Reconsider Travel to a Level 4: Do Not Travel.
Since conditions can change rapidly, updates will be posted weekly on NEJ-UMVIM’s Facebook page. Any teams planning travel to Haiti should be registered with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov) so they can receive updates and travel warnings.