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Hunger in Haiti

Source: Jan Sochor/CON / Getty

With glitch fares gracing more social media feeds these days, everybody and their mommas are traveling. And while seeing the world is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give yourself, there are certain precautions you should take before visiting certain places around the globe.

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Our beautiful world is tainted with hate and violence, so before you go to book that ticket, be fully aware of what is going on in the world.

 

Haiti:

Even though it’s been five years since the earthquake devastation that leveled most of Port-au-Prince, Haiti is still struggling to recover. Haiti has been a common destination for many, including Haitians visiting family, volunteers with aid organizations, and missionaries traveling with church groups.

However, their medical facilities are still not operating at full capacity. Some U.S. citizens injured in accidents and others with serious health concerns have been unable to find necessary medical care in Haiti and have had to arrange and pay for medical evacuation to the United States. We strongly encourage visitors to Haiti to obtain evacuation insurance.

There’s also the threat of being robbed in Port-au-Prince, particularly after leaving the airport. Reportedly, there were 64 cases of robberies near the airport, three of which resulted in the death of U.S. citizens. If you are to travel in Port-au-Prince, have your host meet you at the airport. Robbers sometimes follow people coming from the airport, so be aware of that if you rent a car. Renting a car is the most effective way to travel as it’s suggested that travelers avoid using public transportation.

The Haitian law enforcement has a limited ability to respond to emergencies and sometimes response is non-existent. U.S. Embassy personnel are under an Embassy-imposed curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. and must remain at home or another safe facility during curfew hours. This may constrain the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Port-au-Prince. Honestly,if anything happens, there is a chance that no one will be able to do anything to help you.

There are several infrastructure issues in Haiti, making travel difficult. There’s bad roads, a lack of streetlights and traffic lights, as well as aggressive motorcycle and taptap drivers. It’s suggested that you rely on a trusted driver until you have been in the country for a while and can navigate alone.

Stay away from areas with large crowds or political demonstrations and avoid confrontations with local citizens.

Make sure to ask about the traveler’s insurance policy held by your group or organization. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Haiti are urged to review their Country Specific Information page

Dominican Republic:

Honestly, if you haven’t cancelled your ticket to DR yet, we’re judging you. Or maybe you haven’t seen the awful tactic going on there right now called Ethnic Cleansing, where they are considering Haitians to be the dirt in DR, so they’re pushing them out and brutalizing them. There’s a long history of this type of colorism and DR and the hatred-laced exclusivity is back.

The Dominican government was expected to round up Haitians — or, really, anyone Black enough to be Haitian — and ship them to the border, where they will likely be expelled. There have been mass sweeps reportedly happening in certain poor neighborhoods, whereby dark-skinned people have been harassed, detained and occasionally released.

While DR is a stunning island, we can’t ignore the hatred and violence around colorism and DR shouldn’t benefit financially from tourists.

Cuba:

It’s easy to fall in love with Cuba’s nostalgic purity. It’s the shortest distance you could travel to feel like you’re no only in different world, but a different time period as well. “People-to-people” trips are required if you’re visiting Cuba from the U.S. These are trips that allow you to spend the day involved in taught cultural activities with the purpose of conforming to U.S. regulations.

So as long as your trip is education-based, you’re good. Don’t forget to document all the things you learned on your trip and keep that journal with you for at least five years after the trip, just in case.

There is now a Carnival cruise ship (Adonia) that goes to Cuba. It docks in the port of Havana and lasts about a week.

American tourism to Cuba remains illegal under U.S. law, although rules have been more relaxed in recent years to allow ever-greater numbers of U.S. visitors on cultural, academic, religious and other types of exchanges considered “purposeful travel.” Or if you’re Beyonce and Jay Z, you can go when you please.

Under current regulations enforced by The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), all licensed travelers to Cuba who are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are permitted to spend a maximum of $187 per day. If you’re traveling on an inclusive tour, nearly all your expenses are pre-paid, hence a majority of your limit is accounted for. Travelers will be able to spend approximately $70 – $80 per day on non-included souvenirs, like clothing, trinkets, and beverages. Although there are monetary limits set for some items, there is no spending limit on books, art, sculptures and paintings.

Cuba is a beautiful place that you must-see, just know there’s plenty of rules that you must follow as well.

Africa:

There’s a large myth surrounding travel to Africa and that’s that it’s not safe, whether it’s about violence or disease, the world is wary of booking tickets to Africa.

In South Africa, crime is prevalent and people (tourists mostly) are the subject of muggings. You just have to be smart with how you carry your valuables and avoid looking like a tourist.

Terrorist acts have taken place in some of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations namely Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. With Boko Haram killing and kidnapping hundreds at a time in Nigeria, you should likely avoid it there.

What places are you planning on visiting?

 

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