Angela Zagami Interviews

Haiti Mission Trip

Each year, Wagner offers Alternative Spring/Winter Break and Expanding Your Horizons trips. These adventures allow individuals to travel abroad for shorter periods of time than full-length semesters; some trips even give students the opportunity to earn a unit of credit in the process! In the past, students and faculty have traveled to Ghana, London, Belize, Guatemala, and Haiti.

"Helping people gives me a feeling of joy. I feel that God has blessed me. So, if I have to give my time... I'll give my time."


Dr. Edna Aurelus in Haiti.

Dr. Edna Aurelus is a professor of nutrition and nursing here at Wagner, and has overseen mission trips to Haiti with nursing students for the past two years. A native Haitian herself, Dr. Aurelus understands the necessity for healthcare in the impoverished areas. In the past, Dr. Aurelus, along with 15 other nursing students, have dedicated their spring breaks to treating over 500 patients in the area.

Nursing students in Haiti on last year's mission trip; March 2016.

“I’m originally from Haiti. So, not only am I helping my people... I’m helping the students too.”


Nursing students are all smiles in Haiti!

Dr. Aurelus will be returning to Haiti with a smaller group of students on an Alternative Spring Break Trip, and they will be treating patients at a burn unit. The trip, which will take place from March 13-17th, will be facilitated by For Haiti With Love: a foundation dedicated to helping individuals in the area. Patients are often in extreme pain and have been reliant on herbal remedies; so most will travel miles to be examined, and treated, by Wagner nursing students and faculty.

“Things that we take for granted here, you learn not to take for granted anymore.”


Organizing the Clinic in Haiti; 2016.

Dr. Aurelus says that there is no way to prepare students for what they may see when they arrive at a clinic like this. However, there is no feeling that compares to helping those in need.

“Last year, everyone was crying… but I was crying because it could have been me. So, I’m very grateful.”


Students & Faculty gather and organize supplies.

Dr. Aurelus says that an experience like this teaches you to be grateful for all that you have. Helping those in need, who cannot offer you much in return, is a special type of giving.

  “This trip is so eye-opening, and rewarding, and humbling. It teaches you what is important in life.”

If you are interested in making a donation, items may be dropped off in Campus Hall, room 317, up until March 10th. Donations for the burn unit may include: multi-vitamins, protein bars, hygiene kits, soap, toothpaste, bacitracin, underwear, any monetary contributions, and Wagner apparel. 

Inspiring people are all around; you just need to take the time to look for them.