It can be tricky calling the states. How do you do it and what’s the best way? John tells us of how they used Ham radios to communicate between two people here in Haiti. Then if they wanted to call the U.S., they would go up the mountain to a hotel and use the hotel’s phone to call.
Now, especially after the earthquake, their is more infrastructure for cell phones, internet, and ability to call international.
Here are the Top 3 ways we call the U.S. from Haiti. They may not be the cheapest/best, but they are the ways we have found we like to call. Feel free to add your thoughts by posting comments.
1) Totally Free
Free is sometimes great, but remember, you get what you pay for. We do this by using the app Talk-a-Tone linked with a Google voice number. In my opinion - everyone living abroad should get a Google voice number. You can talk and text for free. It makes the distance between you and friends feel much closer.
2) Skype - 2.3¢/min
This is the ubiquitous solution across the world for long distance communication. It has proven to be the most reliable and best quality VoIP (Voice over IP) solution. I mainly use skype for talking – not video chat.
The Skype app is installed on my phone and I log into it when I want to call someone in the states. You can setup Skype to automatically add $10 bucks to the account when it gets low and can talk all you want for 2.3¢/min.
With any internet calling service, it all depends on how fast the internet connection is. In Haiti, this can be difficult. I have found Natcom to be my preferred choice. They also have a $10/month plan for internet that fits exactly what I need. Enough data that I can use GPS (very crucial here) and for calling the U.S.
3) Call Using Natcom – 8¢/min
Other carriers have this option as well in Haiti, but it appears Natcom is the cheapest. Digicel’s cost is 12¢/min which isn’t bad either.
This option is by far the best connection since you are going straight from phone – to – phone. This doesn’t rely on the internet service which can go in and out. As you walk out of the Haiti airport, you can purchase a Haiti phone there for about $20. You can then buy minutes to load on the phone as well.
*This works by dialing: 151 + country code + number. So when we call the U.S. it’s 151 + 1 + (area code) phone number.
Either way you go, they are all pretty cheap options compared to what they could cost in the U.S. Hopefully this helps someone coming down or another person living in Haiti.
If you so desire, check the FAQ section for other tips and info on visiting or moving to Haiti.