If you are looking for an inexpensive facility to experience Haitian reality while at the same time supporting a program for 20 former homeless street children, then St. Joseph's Home for Boys is the place to stay.
A five story building with tiled floors, brightly colored walls covered with Haitian art work, tastefully furnished and a beautiful root top terrace with rattan furniture, potted plants and a view of mountains in the distance, St. Joseph's Home for Boys is a gem of a place. Situated 25 minutes from the airport, off Delmas 91 near Petionville.
The facility is run by Michael Geilenfeld, who formerly worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. In 1985 Mike, who had worked in Haiti previously, returned with $1,000, rented a four room house and invited six boys to be part of a family. The rest is history. Today 20 former homeless street children staff the hostel doing the cooking, cleaning and marketing. While living in community they attend classes, learn job skills and usually by age 18 are independent. Since the program stated 117 children have graduated.
Cost and Services: $25.00 (U.S.) per day, includes breakfast and dinner -- food is Haitian/American style, vegetarian meals provide upon request; bottled drinking water, laundry service three times a week; money exchange service provided on premises; security provided 24 hours a day with a room available to lock up valuables, passports, etc.; also willing to facilitate hiring transportation. Services provided at additional cost include hiring guides and translators, Creole language lessons and pick up and return to the airport.
Rooms: Two bunk beds per room with one room available with private bath for couples. Overhead ceiling fans in rooms and a TV on premises. In keeping with a commitment for a simple lifestyle and to be in solidarity with the poor in the neighborhood, bathing in showers is done Haitian style with buckets of water. Five bathrooms, capacity for 36 guests.
J. David Lyall has photographs and more details on his site.
For more information contact:
c/o Lynx Air
P.O. Box 407139
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33350
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