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Photo: ingro.comagenciadenoticias2.0

Matador is mobilizing our travel community to help earthquake victims in Haiti.
Please donate now to support relief efforts:

- UNICEF. Go online to or call (800) 4UNICEF.

- Red Cross. Go online to, or call (800) REDCROSS.

- Direct Relief International. Donate online at

- Mercy Corp. Go online to or mail checks to Haiti Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland, Ore. 97208 or call (888) 256-1900

[UPDATE AS OF 1/13/2010 at 11:55 EST is that we're in the process of partnering with Red Cross on the ground and are waiting to hear from Jet Blue this afternoon. Please continue to show your support by tweeting: Critical #Haiti update: @JetBlue is currently working on logistics. Stay tuned. THANK YOU @JetBlue. We can do this!] [UPDATE AS OF 1/13/2010 at 11:49 EST is HERE] Earlier today, an earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the capital of Haiti, with a series of aftershocks as strong as 5.5 rattling Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. As of this writing [9:45 PM EST], the full scope of damage has not been determined; however, the collapse of a hospital and extensive structural devastation suggests that the death toll may be high.

We’ve already been contacted by Matador readers and community members who want to know how they can help.

At present, we are working to coordinate a trip to Haiti via the Dominican Republic for Matador readers and members who want to contribute as volunteers in the post-earthquake recovery. It’s a huge effort and will depend to a large extent on the goodwill and quick response time of travelers and travel industry leaders.

Logistics include arranging transportation and lodging, as well as determining the best organization to partner with in order to contribute our time and skills. These details are being worked on right now.

Specifically, Matador is encouraging JetBlue to provide transportation to Hispaniola (the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic) via a Twitter campaign. Our request is being taken to JetBlue’s corporate relations department for their consideration.

In the meantime, we need your help. Here’s what you can do:

1. Spread the word via Twitter

Though JetBlue’s resident Twitter peep has agreed to carry our request to corporate relations, we want to show JetBlue we have a critical mass of people willing and ready to volunteer. If we can fill a plane, will JetBlue fly us there? It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Retweet this message:

@JetBlue: If @MatadorNetwork could fill a plane with volunteers, would you fly them to Santo Domingo to help #quake vics in #Haiti?

2. Help us fill a plane!

Could you travel to Haiti to help quake victims? Email me at to let me know you’d like to be kept up to date about our volunteer project efforts.

And ask your contacts if they’re interested by retweeting this message:

Are you interested in joining @MatadorNetwork to help #quake victims in #Haiti? DM us!

Post a status message on Facebook:

Are you interested in joining to help earthquake victims in Haiti? Email Julie @ for more information.

3. Share your contacts and on-the-ground knowledge of the region.

We’ll need lots of help to pull this trip off. If you can help by sharing contacts in Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince who could help with local transportation, food, and lodging, please direct them to If you have contacts in the US who could provide much-needed relief supplies, share the same email with them.

4. Spread the word.

If you have a blog or write for a news outlet, spread the word about the way we’re using social media to coordinate this trip. Queries can be directed to me:



About The Author

Julie Schwietert

Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.

  • Hal Amen

    Let’s do it!

  • Tim Patterson

    So important to respond quickly and wisely. Thanks for this, Julie.

  • gil tyree

    I am interested in helping, Julie. What do I need to do?

  • Amir

    Awesome! Thanks for getting this up so quickly! Matador was the first place I looked for volunteer info. Hope this page gets updated as more opportunities arise!

    Thanks again!

  • Tamarah

    I am ready to volunteer, just sent you an email. Please contact me as soon as possible!

  • Abbie

    I second Tim!

  • Vladimir

    I am Vladimir, a disactivated Marine, born a raised in Haiti. I am trained to assist and help in various evacuation scenarios and first aid. As I spend over 2 years living in Port-au-Prince I know the area, I can help with driving and translation.

    I am willing and ready to go there to help for about a week. Let me know what you guys have going on and how I can help.

    • Julie Schwietert

      Hi, Vladimir- We DEFINITELY need you! I can’t reach you through your email- could you please email me at Thanks!

    • Julie Schwietert


      We need you! I couldn’t get in touch using your email; the message bounced back. Could you please contact me at


  • Sue

    I would like to travel and volunteer my help to Haiti….

  • Lula

    I would like to volunteer!!!

  • Desire Ontiveros

    Yes, lets do this…. We can all help……!!!!!!111

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  • Nina

    Im a vocational nurse, not working would love to help. Never did anything like this before and dont know why now. It just feels right.

  • Peter Carey

    While this gets worked out, considering also sending a donation to relief teams already on their way.

  • Piotr Kruczek

    we do support on Polish travellers’ fan page on facebook:



  • Gregory Hubbs

    Andy the Hobo Traveler is there now, and has been for three weeks. Check out his web posts for his thoughts and suggestions:

    Meanwhile, please donate to the appropriate charities if you have the means.

  • lauren

    i would like to volunteer, what do i need to do?

  • Joe

    Hello I have sent you email as I’m ready to travel at momment notice to assist, have medical training, heavy construction experiance currently working in oil & gas infrastructure let me know how I can asssit.

  • Jennifer

    I sent an email. I am Haitian-American and I speak creole fluently. I would love to help my country.

  • fatima

    Greaaat! Willing to volunteer, let me knooooooow!

  • Vanessa

    Im interested in Helping. I lived in Haiti for 3 years when I was younger.I have to help with this effort!

  • Hulda

    I’m a medical nurse willing to travel and help.

  • Al MArtinez

    My name is Al, CPR /lifeguard /U.S. Marine, Willing and Able, i have 2 empty homes in the dominican rep. and i know the terrain i lived on the island for 2 years….if any of this is helpful let me know im willing to roll ASAP…….lets drop the bs and lets get this done……

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  • Cornelius Aesop

    I love this idea and I’m willing to volunteer and help out. I already followed through on steps 1 and 4 ( )

    Also I think it would help spread the word if you allowed the viewers to follow through with a simple click on this page. Such as the example below:

    Retweet this:

    @JetBlue: If @MatadorNetwork could fill a plane with volunteers, would you fly them to Santo Domingo to help #quake vics in #Haiti?

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  • timothy meredith

    yes i would to help can someone get me to haiti and i wouldwork hard help

  • Christy

    I want to help! I am not a member of the matador network, but I “googled” ways in which I could get involved to help Haiti, and yours was one of the first sights to pop up! Please keep me posted via email of how I can get involved in these efforts! Thank you!

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  • Genesis del Orbe

    I Would Like To Volunteer! Keep Us Updated Please!

  • Veturie Tertulien

    I just sent you an email. I really want to do as much as possible. This is my home and my family. I have to do something!!!

  • Veturie Tertulien

    I just sent you an email. I really want to do as much as possible. This is my home and my family. I have to do something!!! Please get back to me as soon as possible


    My name is Francisco, I Speak 5 languages, I have a restaurant background, ( could cook for hundreds of people at a time), I’m an avid sportsman, I could work many hours without stopping. I was born and raised in Mexico so I know what it means to have a huge earthquake disaster and to be in need of all kinds of help.
    I live in Orange County California. I’m willing to pay my own way and to sleep in a camp tent for 7-10 days until I have to return to take care of my restaurants.

    Francisco Hernandez

  • Nancy

    Awesome Julie. Matador’s response to this is so inspiring.

  • jennifer Moore

    I am leaving for a pre planed trip tonight for the DR I can bring tents and other supplies instead of my luggage. Can anyone tell me where I can drop it off so that it can be taken to Haiti. I cant seem to find any drop of points or relief stations in Santa Domingo or Juan Dolio . I leave in Eight hours. thanks Jennifer

  • steeve texas

    i am ready to go,i speak the language and i know the country i can take people around

  • Beau Williams

    I would love to help out anyway possible. I am a recent college graduate, athlete, and believe I could help out with a good amount of things. I speak a little French but would brush up before. I would pay for my way to go but would def like to help. Please email me with what you know and if there is anyway of getting a volunteer group out there,



  • Alicia

    I am ready to go to Haiti and assist in anyway I can!

  • jen

    Hi My name is Jennifer.I am a Iicensed vocational nurse also have background in medical assisting and c.n.a..Please let me how I can assist and I would love to volunteer

  • Joao Manchester

    Excellent, I have been looking for a website this idea the whole day.

  • Sandra Kennedy

    I would like to volunteer after March 10. I am contacting friends and family to donate the supplies you listed. My experiences are as a writer, photographer, teacher and counselor.

    Thanks for all you are doing.

  • Andrea Brown

    I am ready and willing to go for appx a week. Its critical that as many people that are still living be trapped be saved. This effort will take SO MANY willing people. PLEASE, lets get it done. I have several Hatian friends, and not ONE of them has heard from any of their loved ones. Breaks my heart

  • Tammy

    Hi Julie, you’re doing a good job by helping others. I’d like to help, please tell me what to do.

  • Terrence Alexandre

    i would definately volunteer to go help victims i wanna make a blog and and travel all over haiti and post names of the familys and people that are alive, and the ones that are loss…

  • Patty Sutton

    Good luck in you effort. I am in. Keep me posted.

  • Veturie Tertulien

    I didn’t notice that this was Via The Dominican Republic. Is there another way for me to get out there?

  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks for those links, Gregory.

  • Chuck

    Thanks for putting this into motion…I spent two weeks in Haiti as a volunteer a number of years ago, and it transformed my life ever since…can’t stop thinking about this current nightmare…
    Also did 4 trips to assist with the victims of Katrina…
    I pastor a small church in the Chicagoland area and am more than willing to go back to assist in whatever way I can…
    Please keep all of us posted…

  • Frantz Ambroise

    I am Haitian American residing in Massachusetts; I really need to volunteer to help my country, how can I do that? Please if you can reply I would really appreciate that. I have many of my friends who are ready to go.

    Thanks a lot

  • Patty Park

    Who can I contact to volunteer my EMT services I can get there myself. Also am a massage therapist that can help in the volunteer camps I am sure they can use it

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  • Gathegu Gatungo

    I am ready to go. My friend Jean-Moise Moses Lucien signed up to volunteer with you and he is on a flight to Haiti. He told me he spoke to you last night. His father lives in the Delma 65 area of Port-au-Prince. I will try to raise funds to get a ticket down there if there are no spots on your list and none out of Atlanta. I am a Wilderness Instructor trained with A Wilderness First Responder basic life support (wilderness and rescue medicine). I know how to survive on scarce resources and how to improvise necessities. Please contact me to let me know what is possible through your end

  • Chris Kiser

    I really want to get down there and help. I am very able bodied, and I am not afraid to get into the thick of things. Please let me know what I can do and when you are going!

  • Monika

    I sent you an email, I am a medical professional and can help. Please keep me updated. Thank you.

  • Miranda Pierce

    I just emailed you, Julie, I’m broke as a joke but I have plenty of friends with businesses that would be able to help. I want to get down there and do whatever is needed, I have fire/rescue/and ems experience. If anyone would be able to provide me with a packing list that would be great, I’m sure its mostly common sense and I just read the ten helpful items list. This will be my first out of country excursion and I am determined to make it happen. Let’s do this!!!!!!!

  • robert

    i am an EMT with a lot of good experience. i don’t have money but i have time and i’m good at what i do. i can go for a couple of months if someone can sponsor the trip. let me know how to help!

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