HAITI

Date of establishment: January 1, 1804

Brief history:

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus discovers the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) during his first voyage to the Americas.
  • 1492 – 16th century – The Spanish began to colonize Hispaniola and subjugate the natives.
  • 1697 – Spain ceded the western part of Hispaniola to France under the name of Saint-Domingue.
  • 18th century – Saint-Domingue became one of the richest colonies in the world thanks to the plantation system and the slave trade.
  • 1791 – A slave rebellion broke out in Saint-Domingue, leading to a long struggle for independence.
  • 1804 – Haiti declares independence from France, becoming the first republic led by former slaves.
  • 19th century – Haiti experienced political changes, conflicts, and economic hardships, including foreign interference.
  • 1915 – The United States intervened in Haiti and occupied the country until 1934.
  • 1957 – François Duvalier, known as “Papa Doc”, became president and later declared himself president for life, ruling with a heavy hand and establishing a brutal dictatorship.
  • 1971 – François Duvalier died and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, called “Baby Doc”, took over.
  • 1986 – Following mass protests, Baby Doc Duvalier was overthrown and fled into exile.
  • 1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide was democratically elected president, but his rule was marked by political instability.
  • 2004 – Aristide was ousted again amid unrest and international pressure.
  • 2010 – Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake that caused massive loss of life and infrastructure.

 

International abbreviation: RH

 

Currency: Haitian Gourde (HTG)

The Haitian gourde is divided into smaller units called centimes. The currency was named after the Spanish goldsmith Juan Sebastián Gourd, who served as a financial officer in Hispaniola in the 16th century. Haiti also had a connection to the US dollar in the past, as the US dollar was widely used in the country.

 

Internet domain: .ht

 

Dialing code: +509

 

Time zone: -5 GMT

 

Geography:

Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. It is located between the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.

The country is known for its mountainous landscape. Haiti has a long coastline with beautiful beaches and coral reefs. These areas are valuable for tourism and fishing.

It is rich in natural beauty, including mountainous regions, rainforests, rivers and coastlines.

 

Highest peak: Pic La Selle 2 680 m (8 793 feet) above sea level.

Pic La Selle is the highest mountain in the Massif de la Selle, located in the central part of western Haiti. This mountain range forms part of the Cordillera Central mountain system that stretches across Haiti.

 

Climate:

It is located in a tropical climate region, which means it has warm temperatures most of the year. Average temperatures usually fluctuate between 24°C (75°F) and 34°C (93°F).

Haiti is prone to hurricanes, especially during the rainy season. Humidity is characteristic for the whole year. During the rainy season, humidity increases, which can affect various aspects of life.

 

Fauna and flora:

Haiti has a long history of growing coffee, making it an important crop in the country. In addition, banana trees are often grown on plantations, providing an integral part of the diet. The coastal areas are home to many species of palm trees that form the characteristic backdrop of the Caribbean coast. Among the important trees here is also the mahogany tree, whose wood has significant economic uses.

In terms of fauna, the Haitian Amazon is the national symbol of the country. However, this parrot is endangered due to illegal hunting and habitat loss. A unique mammal species in Haiti is the Solenodon Haitian, a small nocturnal creature with primitive features that is endemic to the island of Hispaniola.

An interesting element in the Haitian fauna is also the American crocodile, which inhabits some water areas in the south and west of the country. And on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, you can meet different species of sea turtles that come to the beaches to lay their eggs.

 

Agriculture:

The mango is a popular tropical fruit crop that is grown in different parts of Haiti. Haiti has a long history of coffee cultivation. Coffee beans are among the important products for export here.

Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and grapefruits are grown both for local consumption and for export. As a Caribbean nation, Haiti has rich marine ecosystems that provide opportunities for fishing.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Haiti has historically been associated with gold mining.

It also has some reserves of copper and other metals. However, the extraction of these metals can be complicated due to geological conditions and the lack of development of the mining industry.

 

Industry:

The textiles industry was one of the few industrial sectors that received some attention.

Food processing, such as sugarcane processing has some existence in the country. Some food products for the local market are also produced here.

Construction can be considered an industrial activity. Recovery from natural disasters and investment in infrastructure can create demand for construction services.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: underdeveloped but some tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: Port-Au-Prince, Citadelle Laferrière, Sans-Souci Palace, beaches, and Tortuga Island.

Haiti has beautiful beaches, mountainous regions and historical monuments that could attract tourists who are looking for an authentic and different experience.

The most popular beaches include Labadie, Kokoye and Port Salut. These places offer relaxation, water activities and unforgettable ocean views.

Historical and cultural treasures are also a major attraction for tourists. The Sans-Souci Palace, the former residence of King Henri I, is worth a visit for its unique architecture and historical significance. The Musée du Panthéon National Haïtie in Port-au-Prince provides an overview of the rich history and culture of Haiti through works of art and historical artifacts.

 

Waterparks in Haiti:

 

Form of government: semi-presidential republic

Haiti has a presidential democratic system and the polity is a presidential republic. This means that the president holds a key role both as head of state and as head of government.

The president is the highest representative of the state and has broad powers in the executive sphere. He/she is directly elected by the people for a five-year term and has the power to appoint ministers and senior officials. The president also plays an important role in foreign policy and representation of the country.

Legislative power is vested in a bicameral parliament. This parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has 30 members who are elected for six-year terms, while the House of Representatives has 119 members elected for four-year terms. Parliament is responsible for law making and the legislative process.

 

Capital city: Port-Au-Price

This city is located on the Caribbean coast on the western part of the island of Hispaniola.

Government buildings, educational institutions, cultural facilities and business centers are located here. Port-au-Prince is also where most of the economic activity is concentrated and is an important transport hub where roads and communication routes meet.

Port-au-Prince was also affected by an earthquake in 2010, which had a devastating impact on the city and the entire country. Despite this tragedy, it remains the capital of Haiti and the center of many aspects of local life.

 

Area: 27 750 km2 (10 714 square miles)

 

Population: 11 700 000 (2022)

The majority of the population has African roots, a result of the history of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. There is also some degree of mixing between African, European and Native American influences. The official language of Haiti is French, which has its roots in colonial times.

Religion plays a prominent role in Haitian culture. Most of the population practice syncretic religions that combine various elements of Christianity with traditional African religious practices. Voodoo is a major religion in the country.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1

 

1. Citadel Laferrière, Sans-Souci and Ramiers (1982) – This complex of historical monuments includes three key sites associated with Haitian history and the revolution for independence in the            late 18th century. Citadel Laferrière is an impressive fortress. Sans-Souci Palace was built by King Henri I, who was a military leader and later the first king of independent Haiti. Ramiers is              the third part of this national historical park and includes the remains of the fortress that was supposed to protect the approaches to the Citadel Laferrière.

 

National parks: 16

 

  1. La Visite National Park
  2. Pic Macaya National Park
  3. Grande Colline National Park
  4. Grand Bois National Park
  5. Deux Mamelles National Park
  6. National Park – Citadel, Sans-Souci Palace
  7. Martissant Urban National Park
  8. Pélerin National Park
  9. Canapé-Vert National Park
  10. Lagon des Huîtres National Park
  11. Sant d’Eau National Park
  12. Forêt des Pins National Park
  13. Three Bays National Park
  14. Île-à-Vache National Park
  15. Les Matheux National Historic Park
  16. Zone Reservée Péligre National Park