SACRED JOURNEY to HAITI


 

A Sacred Journey of mutual exchange to Haiti


What is a sacred journey?

A Sacred Journey is an adventure to a place in the world that connects you with humanity and the sacredness of life. It brings you heart to heart with new friends who are living in impoverished conditions. While you will offer hands-on service and be a compassionate presence in the midst of intense suffering, the deeper agenda of the journey is to have your own heart broken open and a new perspective gained.


Learn More about Bryan

Click here to watch a short video
to investigate Haiti Allies further: 


Haiti Allies video

Haiti

Our journey will be to the amazing country of Haiti. This journey is happening in collaboration with Haiti Allies, a Madison based non-profit started by Perennial member Bryan Sirchio in 1999. Bryan is the spouse of Perennial’s founder, Meg Sirchio, and he has been working with grass roots organizations in Haiti since 1990. Bryan has traveled to Haiti over 70 times and has led over 40 groups to this incredibly rich and intriguing country. Haiti Allies refers to these trips as “journeys of mutual exchange” in order to underscore the priority placed on being open to receiving the many gifts the Haitian people and culture offered to those who venture to this beautiful island. We will of course offer gifts of service ourselves, but the overriding experience of most travelers on these trips is that we inevitably wind up receiving so much more than we give.

The Journey...

After arriving in Port au Prince, we will begin the journey with a brief tour of the capital city and then travel to a small mountain village outside Port au Prince where we will experience the gentle rhythm of rural life, receive a cultural and historical orientation, and enjoy the hospitality and warmth of the people in this village.  This is a restful and slow-paced time in which we will get to know some Haitian people, learn some basic Haitian Kreyol phrases and customs, catch up with our own hearts and minds, get to know each other, hear Haitian music and drumming, and maybe even learn a few Haitian songs and dances.  Activities in the village vary from trip to trip, but often include making coffee from scratch as rural Haitians do, making peanut butter, and learning about Haitian voodoo.  The accommodations will be rustic, but we’ll be safe and welcome and experience the authentic and healing magic of Haitian hospitality.

After this initial orientation, we will return to the city and move into Walls International Guest house, a modest but secure and friendly guest house that will be our home for the remainder of the journey.

Our daily activities in Port au Prince will include a number of different adventures and experiences.  Haiti Allies’s methodology always involves a combination of working with our hands, hearts, and minds.  The hands on/service component of the adventure will depend in part on the skills and interests of our group and also on what’s happening in the country when we are there.  But these experiences typically include volunteering at an orphanage run by the Missionaries of Charity (the sisters of Mother Teresa), volunteering at a hospice-like facility also run by the Missionaries of Charity called the “Home for the Dying and the Destitute,” and volunteering at a school supported by Haiti Allies in one of Port au Prince’s most impoverished neighborhoods.  Most evenings we will also have meetings with Haitian friends and leaders who will teach us about various aspects of life in Haiti.


What You Can Expect

In addition to opportunities to serve and be a compassionate presence, we will spend time together as a group each day processing and reflecting on what we are seeing and learning.  These are powerful heart-opening trips that often lead to profound personal insights.  There will be space open in our agenda for journaling, resting, and meditation.  We will touch and be touched by a number of painful and heartbreaking realities connected to the extreme material poverty of Haiti, but group members are almost always inspired and deeply moved by the joy and hospitality and grace of the Haitian people.  

While the focus of the trip will not be yoga classes, there will be opportunities throughout the journey for yogis to practice asana (postures) led by Meg Sirchio.  But the most intentional connection between yoga and this trip is that the entire journey will be an expression of karma yoga—opportunities to serve and practice loving presence and compassion in the midst of a reality of grinding poverty and material destitution.



How It All Comes Together & Your Costs

Group members will make their own travels plans to get to our departure city in Florida.  While there will be a nucleus of folks from Wisconsin, there are typically participants from other parts of the U.S. who will meet us at a designated hotel in Florida.   

Cost: $1,850 (this includes your airfare from Atlanta or Florida to Haiti)
You need to make your own round trip arrangements from your home to/from Atlanta/Florida.


Included:
Lodging - you will be sharing a room with another group member. Single occupancy is an additional expense and based on availability
Meals
Ground Transportation in Haiti
Admission Fees/Ticket Purchases

Not Included:
Souvenirs
Voluntary tips or donations


Next Step If You’re Intrigued

The group will be limited to 15 persons including the leaders. Please be in touch as soon as possible with Bryan Sirchio if you are interested in learning more about this adventure and discerning whether or not it’s the kind of trip you’d love to experience. Perennial is excited about this collaboration with Haiti Allies and are hoping that this will be the first of many trips together! 

Click here to send Bryan an inquiry Email Bryan

 

 




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