|Currency||Haitian gourde (HTG)|
|Population||10.3 million (2013)|
|Electricity||110±0 volt / 60±0 hertz (Type A, Type B)|
|Emergencies||115 (fire department), 116 (emergency medical services), 114 (police), 122 (police)|
|edit on Wikidata|
Haiti's big, crowded, and chaotic capital city.
the country's second biggest city, on the Atlantic coast near some beautiful beaches and interesting old forts.
here, on 1 January 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines signed Haiti's Act of Independence, establishing the world's first black republic.
a relaxed town with a beautiful historic center and a claim not easily dismissed to be the country's artistic and cultural capital, albeit in ruins following the earthquake.
Haiti's westernmost and profoundly isolated town is a sleepy little charming place.
Southern Haiti's principal port and a popular jumping off point for Île à Vache.
a wealthy and much safer suburb of Port-au-Prince, where you will find most of the capital's nightlife, restaurants, wealthy Haitians, and foreigners.
the main city in Haiti's drug-smuggling coast, with the opportunity to hail a ferry to Tortuga Island, a virtually undiscovered tropical paradise—albeit well discovered through the centuries by any famous pirate worth his salt and not a few wealthy drug lords.
President Aristide's birthplace, home to miles of gorgeous, empty white sand beaches.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Tourists who are unsettled by grinding poverty probably should visit elsewhere. However, for those with patience and an open mind, Haiti reveals a rich culture that is unique among post-colonial nations.
It is extremely helpful when traveling in Haiti to have a local contact, through a church, a hotel, or just through making friends with someone. Experiences like dining locally, riding on a tap-tap, or strolling through one of the insanely crowded outdoor markets are great fun and very worth doing but are much safer and easier if you have a trusted Haitian to go along as a guide and interpreter.
Tropical and semiarid where mountains in the east cut off trade winds, Haiti lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and is subject to severe storms from June to November. Experiences occasional flooding, earthquakes and droughts.
When traveling to Haiti it is very important that you bring a first aid kit. Be sure to include a lighter, flashlight (due to Haiti’s constant power outages), Pepto-Bismol, instant ice packs, Motrin, and Tylenol, water purifying tablets (just in case), bug spray, sunscreen, Benadryl, etc. Be sure to not drink the water and any drinks made with the water unless you are on an American-run base with guaranteed purified water.
Mostly mountainous, with a wide, flat central plain to the north. The highest point is Chaine de la Selle at 2777 m.
Haiti was inhabited by the native Taino Indians when Christopher Columbus landed on December 5, 1492 at Mole St Nicolas; see Voyages of Columbus. Columbus named the island Hispaniola. The Taino were a branch of the Arawak Indians, a peaceful tribe that was weakened by frequent violent invasions by the supposedly cannibalistic Carib Indians. Later, Spanish settlers brought smallpox and other European diseases to which the Taino had no immunity. In short order, the native Taino were virtually annihilated. There is no visible trace of Taino blood on Haiti today, and the vast majority of Haitians are descendants of enslaved Africans, however, genetic studies have shown that both European and Taino admixture are more common than often believed.
In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola and in 1697 Spain ceded the western third of the island to France. Through the development of sugar and coffee plantations, the French colony of Saint-Domingue flourished, becoming one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean. Enslaved Africans were brought to Haiti to work on these French plantations. Work conditions for slaves on Haiti were the harshest imaginable, as sugar and coffee plantations required intensive labor. The French imported an enormous slave labor force, which ultimately vastly outnumbered the French planters 10 to 1. Even within the minority of free people in the colony there were major divisions, between the "petit blancs" (small whites) who did not own slaves and worked in trades or as overseers, the "grand blancs" (big whites) who owned slaves and plantations and the "free coloreds" who were descendants of slaves and whites and occupied all strata of free society from wealthy landowner to poor day-laborer. The whites, who were largely born off the island and only came to Saint Domingue to make a fortune instituted a racist caste system designed to deny the "free coloreds" the relatively powerful position they had gained by the mid 18th century. However, all those inherent tensions (and the overriding tension of slavery) came to a head when the French Revolution broke out in the metropole in 1789 and all this talk of "freedom" and "equality" meant that everybody - including the big whites - wanted to overthrow the colonial order up to that point, ultimately resulting in a slave uprising and the collapse of the whole slavery and plantation based society.
In August 1791, Saint-Domingue's nearly 500,000 slaves revolted, triggering an almost continuous civil war in which the inherent tensions between the various groups of Haitian society erupted. After a bloody 13-year struggle, that was influenced and in turn influenced the Napoleonic Wars as well as the American War of 1812, the former slaves ousted the French and created Haiti, the first black republic, in 1804. Unfortunately, one of independent Haiti's first leaders, Jean Jacques Dessalines, who proclaimed himself Emperor Jacques I perpetrated a massacre against the remaining white Haitians, killing almost all of them and driving most of the rest into exile. Jacques I was assassinated two years later, setting the precedent for a lot of violent transfers of power, which however usually ended with death not exile of the losing side. Haiti was hampered by the ravages of the wars, as well as a lack of major trading partners which was further complicated by the refusal of any major power to acknowledge Haitian independence. France only accepted independence in the 1820s after Jean Pierre Boyer agreed to pay a 150 million francs indemnity to France in exchange for recognition of independence - a major source of Haiti's crushing debt and a sum France has duly collected most of and never so much as apologized for. The United States, itself a slave holding nation, did not officially recognize Haiti until the Civil War eliminated Southern resistance in the Senate to such a move - six decades after Haiti had thrown off the colonial yoke.
A lack of government and civil unrest led to the American occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. While order was brought about and much infrastructure was developed in Haiti by the United States, Haitians resented the occupation of their country. The withdrawal of Americans by President Roosevelt in 1934 left a power vacuum that was filled by Haitian military elite. The Forbes Commission in 1930 accurately noted that "the social forces that created [instability] still remain--poverty, ignorance, and the lack of a tradition or desire for orderly free government."
The following 20 years saw ruthless struggles for power that ended with the ascension of François (Papa Doc) Duvalier. Duvalier's brutal dictatorship lasted nearly thirty years, with his son, Jean-Claude (Bébé Doc) Duvalier assuming power after Papa Doc's death in 1971. Bébé Doc was ousted in 1986, followed by more bloodshed and military rule that culminated in a new Constitution in 1987 and the election of former priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president in 1990.
After a coup, Aristide went into exile. Most of his term was usurped by a military takeover, but he returned to office in 1994 after Haitian General Raoul Cedras asked the United States to intervene, negotiating the departure of Haiti's military leaders and paving the way for the return of Aristide. His former prime minister, René Préval, became president in 1996. Aristide won a second term as president in 2000, and took office early in 2001. However, accusations of corruption were followed by a paramilitary coup that ousted Aristide in 2004. Since then, Haiti has been occupied by U.N. peacekeeping troops (MINUSTAH), mostly from Brazil.
The New World Afro-Diasporic customs of Vodou are widely practiced in Haiti and mixed with Catholicism. Vodou (also spelled Voodoo, et al.) arises from Yoruba religion from Nigeria, plus elements of indigenous Taino culture.
- January 1: New Year's Day and Independence Day
- January 2: Ancestry Day
- May 18: Flag and Universities Day
- August 15: Assumption
- October 17: Anniversary of the Death of Dessalines
- December 5: Discovery Day
- December 25: Christmas
- The Citadelle Henri Christophe (also known as Citadelle Laferrière) is a fortress located on a high mountain in Haiti overlooking the city of Milot, Haiti. At the base of the mountain stands the ruins of Palais Sans Souci.
- The 27 historic vestiges of Mole Saint Nicolas, North West, a strategic bay at the enter of Canal du Vent, also called Gibraltar of America. Good site for sports too (wind surf, kite surf, mountain bike, hiking..).
Gonâve Grande Source