I am meant to travel to Haiti next month to do some filming in Torbek and Las Cayas. We are flying into PAP and then taking some kind of "grey hound like bus" out to the country. I have a few questions about this that maybe you can answer: 1. Is this bus safe? I have read a few different posts about people taking busses from the DR into Haiti which say that that is really safe, and I kind of was under the impression that this was the same sort of a thing, but i have no idea, frankly. 2. I have been reading up extensively on Haiti for this trip and the media makes it sound like it is basically a country full of people who murder and kidnap and pickpocket people. This can't possibly be conpletly true. We are being picked up at PAP by a a trustworthy local (a partner in this project has been to haiti 6 or 7 times and has met him before) and then escorted directly to the bus. How much danger do you think we will really be in during this time? I appreaciate any answers you can give. Thanks.
By all reports it is independent, unescorted travel around PAP which poses the most danger – especially in the makeshift camp sites dotted around the capital, and extra especially (if that’s a word) after dark. The safest (note I said safest not ‘totally safe” way to get around is with an escort, particularly someone who understands the situation).
It appears that the situation is worst in PAP (because that’s where the population was the most concentrated, and therefore the devastation had the highest impact). Outside of the capital crime is less omnipresent. Check with trusted locals about where you can go safely... And if they say you’ll need an escort, take their advice.
I suppose I’m saying the same thing as the US State Department advice for Haiti: “Travel fully supported by organizations with solid infrastructure, evacuation options, and medical support systems in place is recommended and preferable to travel in country without such support structures in place. U.S. citizens traveling to Haiti without such support have found themselves in danger in the past.”
Does a “local friend of someone who’s been 6 or 7 times” qualify as “fully supported”? You have to make the judgement call on that. Maybe you should ask some more questions about the level and type of security provided for the places you're going.
You say you’re going on a “filming project” - which seems to suggest that you intend to travel to places where there is still significant damage and deprivation from the 2010 quake. These are, of course, the most dangerous places in Haiti. Consequently I suggest you need to treat this trip as a serious and potentially dangerous enterprise, and need to plan accordingly. Think about an emergency exit plan. If you decide it is too dangerous for you how will you get out?
Also, you need to check with your travel insurer if you’re covered for this.... Deliberately putting yourself in harm’s way could affect your right to make a claim (or get emergency help) if you need it. Give them a call.
and check out our haiti travel tips here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/safetyhub/country/93/Haiti
Phil almost 7 years ago