Service Learning/Study Abroad in Haiti

Hello all! My name is Kelley Roberts and I am currently a junior in Agronomy: Crop and Soil Management with a Horticulture minor. I went on a 10 day study abroad/service learning trip to Haiti through the College of Ag (title of the trip: Engagement Methods for International Food Security) over winter break 2018-2019. We had prepared for this trip by taking a fall semester long course that met once a week for 2 hours. During this class time we worked in different groups of 4-5 people (I was in the Crop and Soil group) and focused on different topics, important to Haiti. Other teams included a Poultry team focusing teaching the Haitians how to make their own chicken feed, a food team which touched on methods of meat preservation mainly through dehydration, and another team of local extension educators who talked about goal setting and planning. Since we were the Crop and Soils team, we researched Haiti’s agriculture production and thought of ways that we might be able to help mitigate some of their problems. We chose the topic of seed germination and focused on growth chambers. This would allow for the growers in Haiti to minimize seed loss and hopefully maximize the germination potential of their seeds. We also prepared posters, a presentation, handouts, and a lab to go with this and presented it at a symposium in Haiti. About 70 or so students from different universities around Haiti participated in our morning presentation and afternoon lab session. You could really see how interested they were in what we were teaching them which made everything so worth-while!!

The Crop and Soil group with translator Bernadin

Other things we did while in Haiti included visiting farms, talking to Haitians about their agriculture and certain issues they may be experiencing, relaxing at the resort, riding a horse to the Citadelle, and much more. This was a really exciting trip that was beneficial for both the Haitians and us. As said countless times in Haiti “we are here to provide them with ideas and resources, we are not here to cure or solve all their problems.” This is very true. There are many problems that Haitians are facing and there is no way that we can solve everything. The best we can do is provide them with resources and ways that they can improve things on their own. I am so incredibly grateful for this experience and the people that I met along the way. I could go on and on about the trip and Haiti itself. It’s an area that is rich in culture and the people are incredibly genuine. I cannot stress enough how important it is to consider studying abroad because you don’t really know what’s out there until you go out and EXPERIENCE it!! I have attached a video that I made about this trip, please feel free to check it out!

If you have any questions about Study Abroad or Purdue in general, feel free to reach out to me @

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