All About Haiti
When our founder, Brandon Dull, first visited Haiti with a small bag of clothes and a guitar on his back, he walked off the small plane with no knowledge of the language or the culture. Armed with his guitar, he and two other musicians, were able to communicate through music. While bringing music education to Haiti was his initial goal, in the years since, the purpose of Rhythm Changes has evolved to include musical education and other opportunities locally as well!
Travel to Haiti
Given the current political and economic climate, coupled with the residual effects of the pandemic, we have not traveled with a group to Haiti since 2019. You can review a testimonial from that trip on this page. Our efforts on the Haiti side have been focused on sending musical instruments, accessories, other supplies and financial support. We have group of wonderful volunteers here in the United States as well as in Haiti who worked together to get supplies safely to the people who need them.
When I went to Haiti, it was really hard to adjust to the poverty there, but it really shows how lucky you are for the stuff you have in your life. When I taught music at the Rhythm Changes School, it was a bit hard at first. On the first day, it was kind of difficult to communicate with the two girls I taught saxophone to, Cristin and Jennifer. Not every word in English has a translation in Haitian Creole, so it was difficult to communicate the first day. By the second day, we had less translators than before, so we got off to a rocky start but Cristin and I ended up making it through a whole song together. We barely talked but through the music, we could communicate pretty well. Same with the other girl Jennifer, who barely knew anything about saxophone. By the end of the practice, they both just wanted to play and it was super fun. Sure, it may be hot and humid but the kids dress in button down shirts and nice jeans just to impress you. People are so much happier in Haiti. The young kids are always so fascinated by seeing a white person who isn’t at a resort, trying to interact with the Haitians. Brandon is very good with contacts on the ground, so you feel safe in the new terrain. I think it is an experience that you would never forget and if you can go, you definitely should.