We have received an important update regarding travel in Haiti from Ronda Cordill, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) jurisdictional coordinator for the Western Jurisdiction. The message originated with the mission volunteer coordinator for the Methodist Church in Haiti, David Draeger.
Draeger reports that Haiti is experiencing serious disruptions in travel due to political demonstrations. Roadblocks spontaneously emerge at many locations, he says, so the UMVIM guesthouse is minimizing travel when necessary. So far, Draeger says, transit to and from the airport has not been a problem since the team has allowed extra time for each journey and utilized back streets.
However, “It is okay for incoming teams to keep their itinerary and schedule,” adds Brulan Jean-Michel, the guest house manager.
Draeger says he receives multiple daily updates from the US State Department and is staying in touch with Jean-Michel and other staff at the guesthouse, who he says are experienced in dealing with such situations.
“For all of us on the [Methodist Church in Haiti] staff, your safety and security is of utmost importance,” Draeger says. “Be assured that if your safety or security is compromised, I will contact you and alternate plans will be initiated.”
Currently no California-Nevada UMVIM trips to Haiti are scheduled, but Haiti is a recurring ongoing project location for the conference.