I’ve had the incredible privilege of visiting Haiti twice in the past two years. My first visit to Haiti was similar to most other well-intentioned, short-term missionaries—overwhelming, to say the least. The drive out of the airport through Port-Au-Prince is one that I’m sure is embedded into most memories. The poverty is weighty and the spiritual oppression is heavy. My first return flight home was followed by some deep reflections and a certainty that Haiti just “wasn’t my country.” I swore I wouldn’t be back. “It’s too tough,” I would tell people.

But of course, like so many other things, life worked out differently.

Not even a year and a half later and I was headed back to Haiti. After the initial shock and stress of the uncomfortable living conditions escapes your memory, you are left with something rich, something deep. You are left with a joy that supersedes the physical.

There’s something captivating about the country of Haiti—the food, the people, the landscape.

My dear friend Ana Echezabal felt that same fascination upon her first visit to Haiti in 2011—so much so, that she decided to spend last summer in the country.

Amidst the poverty, there is something beautiful about the country that we should take the time to celebrate.

I’ve invited Ana to share some of her joyful experiences as we rejoice with Haiti together. Enjoy!


Video credit goes to my talented friend, Ralfy Araica. You can reach him on social media under @ralfy_palfy or through email at rafael.araica@gmail.com

Make-up was done by the beautiful Steff Peralta. Check out her site at www.steffperalta.com