The curatorial team will be staying at the Florita. Please come to see us if you have any problems
Tel (509) (Digicel)
Tel +447958566791 (WhatsApp)
Tel (509) 3742 1367 (WhatsApp)
Haiti is affected by Mosquito borne diseases like Malaria, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. The most effective way to avoid infection is to make sure you do not get bitten. Please bring sufficient supplies of tropical strength insect repellent. Tuberculosis is prevalent in Haiti so check to see that you had your BCG vaccination in the past. If you are worried talk to your doctor concerning health related precautions related to Haiti. Bring sunscreen as you will probably be out working in the sun so you need to protect your skin. A hat is advisable too. The public health service in Haiti is unreliable and the private service expensive and we advise you all to take out travel health insurance before you come.
Shopping and Money
Be aware the supermarkets, hardware stores and pharmacies are far and few and may be limited in Jacmel. But there are a large number of vast informal markets, street vendors and street kitchens. Buying specific things can be complicated, so try to plan ahead and bring the things you really need with you. And be prepared to improvise once in Haiti.
As ATMs are sparse, maybe broken so try to bring sufficient US dollars in cash in range of small units. Smaller dollars notes are great for tipping.
You can change US dollars into Haitian Gourdes at bureau de change in Jacmel. If you run short of cash friends can send via Western Union or MoneyGram.
The official currency in Haiti is the Gourde. Currently you get approx. 140 gourdes to the US dollar. There is a 5-gourde coin, and 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 gourde notes. Get in the habit of asking for low denomination notes as there is always a shortage of change in circulation.
There is a virtual currency, the Haitian Dollar. When the US invaded Haiti in 1915 they fixed the gourde to the US dollar at the rate of 5 gourdes a dollar. This has led to a 500-gourde bill being referred to as 100 Haitian dollars, a 100-gourde bill referred to as 20 Haitian dollars...and so on. This can be very confusing and lead you to be vulnerable to hustles by money changers in the first week. So, concentrate, count your money carefully and make sure that when asking a price to clarify if they mean Haitian or US dollars when discussing prices in dollars.
Arrival in Haiti
At the airport, when you filling out your landing cards, you will have to pay 10 US cash upon arrival. They also accept euros but be sure to have the cash ready.
When filling in your reason of travel, we recommend putting leisure/tourist as otherwise you may get all your bags checked and may be charged an import tax.
PAP airport is a very hectic place. Try to stay calm and ignore anyone who approaches you to help. Do not give your bag to anyone to carry for you as they will possibly charge heavily once you are outside. Go straight through to the main exit doors and look out for someone who will be holding up a sign with your name. They will drive you to the domestic airport next door but if there are several participants arriving at similar times they might ask you to wait there, so they can collect someone else.
Most artists will stay at the Florita Hotel - the Ghetto Biennale will arrange all the room bookings
On the Streets
When walking through the city, be mindful of the poorly paved roads, holes and gravel everywhere. Especially at night.
Please be aware that this is a country of great poverty and inequalities and don’t offend people by insensitive behaviour as in waving your possessions around. Parading your phones, photographic equipment or laptops publicly could be dangerous. Be discreet about it and never film or record anything anywhere without prior permission. To get permission you are likely to have to pay a little cash especially during the carnival. We always recommend teaming up with one of the local artists to collaborate on the organisation/realization of your project but be aware they will often require payment.
Walking around on foot during the night is something we do not recommend. Especially alone and unaccompanied without a local artist.
Probably best advice is to bring an old mobile and buy a Haitian sim card such as Digicel.