An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
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The “Artists for Haiti” Project

The island of Hispaniola has a special place in my mind. Dan and I had been sailing for seven days since we last stepped on land. We weaved through coral. We beat against the wind, only to have to turn around and do it again. We rose and fell with the 8-13foot swell. Then one morning, after the longest, most intimidating night of sailing I’ve ever experienced-the wind died, the sun rose and on the horizon were the mountains of Hispaniola. One of the happiest moments of my life.

We were soaked to the core. My passport to this day tells the story. Despite its resting in a plastic bag, on a shelf, in the hull of the boat, it was so wet the Dominican immigration asked me to come back a week later once my passport was dry enough to stamp. We dropped anchor in the sailing hub of Luperon, less than 50 miles from the Haitian border. Although we came close, I never actually crossed the border into Haiti. I did however catch glimpses of the impoverished neighbor of the Dominican Republic.

I met Haitian immigrants, who though disrespected and underpaid, still found a better life on the Dominican side of their island. I played with Haitian children at the school and orphanage that tried to provide at least a minimal education to the shockingly underprivileged children. And I heard stories of how mistreated these shared inhabitants were.

Just across the border, on the western third of the same island, sits one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries with 80% of its population living in poverty… and this was before January 12, 2010. At 4:53 pm, the devastating earthquake of 7.0 magnitude left up to 230,000 dead (according to the Haitian government), an estimated 300,000 injured and 1.5 million homeless or displaced (almost 20% of the countries population).

From the moment I heard and saw the first images, my heart went out. I wanted to go, to help. I talked to people about possibilities, but without medical training, most responded that the best I could do is send money. Sometimes it’s not possible to go somewhere first hand, to personally get your hands dirty, but that doesn’t we can’t do something. So, instead I’m joining forces with a number of talented artists to do our part. Introducing the “Artists for Haiti” Project:

The more I spoke with others, the more I found there was an entire community of artists moved by the devastating images, ready to do something. The artists differ in style, in training, in background, but all the artists involved are anxious to use their talent and creativity to make a difference. They have each agreed to donate art at little more than cost, with proceeds going to help our distressed neighbors.

It’s always good to give. But it’s nice to give… and receive! Here’s your chance. Now you can direct your donations towards the “Artist for Haiti” project. Simply click on either the “Pictures for People” or “Paintings for People” thumbnail on the right-hand side of the screen. Scroll through the wonderful selection of art, or select photos from my World By Sea adventures. Find the piece of art that best suits your mantel, select and purchase.

We’ll do the rest. The selected artist will package and ship your new prize possession right to your door. Meanwhile the proceeds from your purchase will be making a real difference in the lives those who truly need it.

Also to ensure any monies raised are used to their fullest potential, The World By Sea has formed a relationship with a specific hospital located just outside the capital of Port-au-Prince, who, like so many others, have seen an influx of need. All proceeds raised will be donated to the Hospital Albert Schweitzer-Haiti, and directed specifically toward providing healthcare to those displaced from by the devastating earthquake. This medical facility has been committed to saving and changing lives for more than 50 years in Haiti. (

Thank you for your contributions… and enjoy the art!

*For more information on the hospital, art or artists, don’t hesitate to ask:


1 SpunkyGirl { 03.07.10 at 9:12 pm }

This is a fantastic idea. I hope you’ll receive a lot of responses to your project.

2 jessiev { 03.12.10 at 10:53 am }

wonderful, derek – this is really, really important!

3 bluegreen Kirk { 03.08.11 at 3:11 pm }

Sounds like you have a plan and a wonderful idea Derek! more people need to look to helping and giving back. Keep up the great work.

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