Bisiklet for Haiti

The healthcare needs of Seguin and the surrounding communities are great.  Despite what we would consider a close proximity, the trek to Port-au-Prince is long and often made on foot due to the extreme poverty in the mountain region.  Even if they braved the hazards of traveling in Haiti (further complicated by crumbling infrastructure in the wake of last year’s earthquake) most families could not afford the care.  The average yearly income in Seguin is about $600, although many survive on as little as $200 a year.  For these people, the Cloud Forest Medical Clinic is their only access to “Western” medicine; the alternative being the local Voodoo witch doctor.

The first incarnation of the clinic in Seguin was opened in 2002 by a Christian mission organization, but it closed in 2008.  The clinic was reopened shortly after the 2010 earthquake by Humanity First, an NGO without any religious affiliation.  It was renamed Cloud Forest Medical Clinic for the unique beauty of its location.  Since then, the clinic has seen an average of 50 patients per day.  Among the most common conditions encountered are GERD, hypertension, URI’s, intestinal parasites, diarrheal illnesses, and urinary tract infections.  A majority of the patients are children younger than 9 years old.

Cloud Forest Medical Clinic by daylight.

So why the Tour de America?

“Two of my biggest passions are working to provide medical care in Haiti and cycling.  I’ve volunteered at Cloud Forest Medical Clinic in Seguin for the past 8 years and I’ve fallen in love with the people of Haiti.  My goal is to raise $15,000 dollars for Humanity First to maintain the clinic for another year and improve the health care in Seguin.”

The endeavor is titled “Bisiklet for Haiti,” using the Creole word for bicycle.  Jeff’s journey begins in Huntington Beach, California on April 4th.  From there, he will travel a total of 3013 miles across the United States in five weeks, for an average of 77.3 miles a day (or 86 miles a day not including rest days).  For comparison, the Tour de France is around 2200 miles with an average of about 105 miles per day not including rest days.  Jeff will conclude his trip in Charleston, South Carolina on May 10th, just three days before he recites the Hippocratic Oath at Hill Auditorium.

Along the way, Jeff plans to eat Korean BBQ in California, see the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, and bathe his no doubt aching limbs in Colorado’s hot springs.  He will stay with hosts wherever he can and camp when he can’t.   When asked about his biggest practical concern, Jeff replied, “my perineum – to use a medical term.  Five weeks in the saddle is going to be interesting”

Practical indeed.

While you can’t aid Jeff with this particular concern, there are certainly ways that you can help.  After a long day of cycling, a bed sounds much more refreshing than a sleeping bag and tent.  If you know anyone along Jeff’s route who might be willing to put him up for a night, shoot an email to  You can also donate by writing a (tax-deductible) check to “Humanity First” specified for the “Haiti Relief Fund” and sending it to:

Humanity First USA

300 E. Lombard Street, Suite 840

Baltimore, MD 21202

Or donate online via Paypal!

Keep track of Jeff’s story by reading his website,, where he will be uploading photos and stories from the road.  You can also follow him on twitter @BisikletHaiti. Be sure to look for his post-trip reflections in the next edition of the Hippo!



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