WELCOME TO

HAITI

“L’Union fait la force”

WELCOME TO

HAITI

"Liberté, égalité, fraternité"

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A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful island of Haiti

HAITI

PORT-AU-PRINCE, THE CAPITAL

Port-au-Prince is the capital city and naturally a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. The city is located in the Guld-of-Gonave, which is a bay and natural harbour. The bay has helped to sustain economic activity since the civilisations of the Arawaks. The city’s layout is similar to that of an amphitheatre; commercial districts are near the water, while residential neighbourhoods are located on the hills above. Port-au-Prince is one of the nation’s largest centres of economy and finance. The capital currently exports its most widely consumed produce of coffee and sugar, and has, in the past, exported other goods, such as shoes and baseballs.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, THE CAPITAL

HAITI

Port-au-Prince is the capital city and naturally a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. The city is located in the Guld-of-Gonave, which is a bay and natural harbour. The bay has helped to sustain economic activity since the civilisations of the Arawaks. The city’s layout is similar to that of an amphitheatre; commercial districts are near the water, while residential neighbourhoods are located on the hills above. Port-au-Prince is one of the nation’s largest centres of economy and finance. The capital currently exports its most widely consumed produce of coffee and sugar, and has, in the past, exported other goods, such as shoes and baseballs.

HAITI MUST STOPS:

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CITADELLE LA FERRIERE
The Citadelle Laferrière is a mountaintop fortress, located on the northern coast of Haiti – on the top of mountain Bonnet a L’Eveque. Depicted on local currency, stamps and postcards, this amazing structure has become the symbol of Haiti’s power and independence. It was built in the beginning of the 19th century by one of the leaders of Haiti’s slave revolution. The Citadelle Laferrière is also known simply as the Citadelle or as Citadelle Henri Christophe in the honour of its creator.

Official Website: www.citadellelaferriere.com

Information courtesy of citadelleferrier.com

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BASSIN BLEU
Located in the hills of Jacmel, Bassin Bleu is a series of three cobalt-blue pools linked by blissfully secluded cascading waters.  It is recommended to use an off-road vehicle to access the site, alternatively visitors can arrange to travel buy horseback. Local guides are very accommodating and will assist you all the way for a small and gracious fee. For the more adventurous it is possible to hike all the way to the basin by following a trail. A rewarding experience as you pass through the lush vegetation and arrive at the pristine waterfalls with gorgeous turquoise pools. The privacy of the spot makes it feel like paradise.
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BARBANCOURT DISTILLERY
This world-famous double-distilled rum is possibly Haiti’s most prominent export. The family business began on 18th March 1862 in Port-au-Prince and the rum was produced directly from sugar cane juice. One of Haiti’s oldest companies, the rum is widely regards among the finest rums in the world. The distillery which is now located just outside the city in the town of Damiens, is open to visitors. Knowledgeable and friendly staff offer guided tours and around the distillery. There is also the ability to taste the rum and buy the aged reserved rums at great prices!
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PALACE OF SANS-SOUCI
Before the palace was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1842, it was the royal residence of King Henri I (better known as Henri Christophe) of Haiti, Queen Marie-Louise and their two daughters. Henry Christophe was a former slave turned King and it is said that the impressiveness of the palace was to demonstrate to foreigners the power and capability of the black race. Before its destruction it was often compared to the Palace of Versailles in France, the Caribbean equivalent if you will. It was the most important of nine palaces built by the king, as well as fifteen châteaux, numerous forts, and sprawling summer homes on his twenty plantations. Construction of the palace started in 1810 and was completed 3 years later. Its name translated from French means “carefree”. Along with Citadelle and Site der Ramiers, the palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History of Haiti

HAITIIn 1492 Christopher Columbus landed on the Caribbean island we now know as Haiti, claiming it for the Spanish, and naming it Hispaniola. Soon after this, the New World’s first settlement was built at La Navidad on Haiti’s north coast. The island remained under Spanish control until 1698, when, subsequent to the treaty of Ryswick, it was split into two separate colonies; the Spanish stronghold of Santo Domingo, and France’s colony, St. Domingue or ‘The Pearl of the Antilles’, which would prove to be its most lucrative overseas territory.

The island was ruled over by these two colonial powers for the next 100 years, with trade in sugar, rum, coffee, and cotton flourishing. Meanwhile, the Spanish and French authorities were increasingly involved in the booming slave trade.

Jamaican-born Boukman was the first to sow the seeds of dissent by leading a slave revolt against the occupying powers in 1791. This broke out into a 13-year war of liberation waged by the slave armies on the colonists, and later Napoleon’s army. Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of the revolution was deported to France by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, where he died a year later. His deputy General Jean-Jacques Dessalines took the reins and in 1803, the slave armies claimed victory over the French at the Battle of Vertières, and on the 1st January of the following year Dessalines declares the second republic, and the island is re-named ‘Haiti’, or ‘Ayiti’ in Creole, meaning “mountainous country”.

A mere two years after reclaiming its freedom from the French, Haiti returned to turmoil, with General Dessalines being assassinated in 1806, and a civil-war ravaging the country between 1807 and 1820. The island was divided into the northern kingdom of Henri Christophe and the southern republic governed by Alexandre Pétion. The conflict came to an end when Christophe, faced with a mutiny by his own men, was driven to suicide. After Cristophe’s death in 1820, Jean-Paul Boyer took on the role of president of the entire republic, leading the Haitians to independence from Spain in 1821.

In 1838 France recognised Haitian independence, but at a high price. Haiti was forced to take out crippling loans in order to pay the 150 million Franc indemnity demanded by the French for this ‘privilege’. In the meantime, the island continued to be shunned by other nations on account of its unruly reputation.

In 1915 U.S. Marines occupied Haiti, seizing control of its ports and custom houses. Despite organized resistance, they did not withdraw until 1934.

In 1937 tragedy struck Haiti, when the Dominican Republic President, Rafael Trujillo, gave the order for his soldiers to massacre thousands of Haitians residing near the border of the Dominican Republic.

After a series of failed attempts at democracy, military-controlled elections lead to Dr. Francois Duvalier being named President in 1957. The regime, as reinforced by the President’s henchmen the ‘Tonton Macoute’, became infamous for its brutality. In 1964 the corrupt Duvalier, better known as ‘Papa Doc’, changed the constitution to make himself ‘President-for-Life’. Tens of thousands of Haitians were killed or exiled during his ruthless dictatorship.

Subsequent to Duvalier’s death in 1971, the reins of power were handed to his 19-year-old son, Jean Claude. “Baby-Doc” equalled if not surpassed his father in cruelty, killing and torturing thousands. By the year of his ascendance to presidency, Haiti had become the poorest country in the western-hemisphere.

By 1986, massive demonstrations against Jean Claude Duvalier’s tyranny led the U.S. to intervene by arranging his exile to France. General Henri Namphy took his place as the head of a National Governing Council, and the following year a new constitution was ratified. However, in November 1987 the general elections were soon abandoned after dozens of people were shot at by militants and the Tonton Macoute.

In 1988 military controlled elections were held, and Leslie Manigat became Haiti’s President. His ousting by General Namphy four months later would be the first in a chain of political upheavals. In November 1988, General Prosper Avril seized power from Namphy, heading up a repressive regime with widespread censorship in place. However, by 1990 popular protests and pressure from the American Ambassador convinced Avril to resign, with democratic elections taking place in December. Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide was named President with 67.5% of the vote.

On returning from addressing the UN General Assembly in 1991, President Aristide faced a violent coup d’état staged by the military and was ousted. In the aftermath of the coup, the OAS called for an embargo on the de facto regime in Haiti, but this ultimately fails as goods continue to be smuggled through the Dominican Republic.

In July 1993, President Aristide and General Raoul Cédras signed the Governors Island Accord, calling for the retirement of Cédras, the return of the President, and the formation and training of a new civilian police force. General Cédras refused to step down as promised, and there was further unrest. The embargo on Haiti was reinforced by the UN, and human rights observers were brought in. The following year a naval blockade was backed by Argentine, Canadian, French, Dutch and U.S. warships.

In September 1994, U.S. President Clinton formed a multinational force with 20 other nations, which proceeded to land on the island after the coup leaders agree to leave the country. On October 15th, the exiled President Aristide and his Government returned to Haiti. Former Prime Minister, René Préval, won the elections to become President in December 1995.

Charges of corruption and fraud sully the municipal and legislative elections of 2000, leading to a boycott of the presidential elections later that year, which are won by Aristide. By 2004 Haiti’s economy was struggling, while human rights abuses and political violence were rife. This backdrop paves the way for yet another upheaval, with a rebel movement seizing power and forcing Aristide into exile.

During this tumultuous time, Boniface Alexandre assumed the interim authority, before René Préval was re-elected as President in February 2006. The elections were once again marred by corruption and uncertainty, and The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti remains in the country, having arrived there during the 2004 Haiti Rebellion.

The catastrophic Haiti earthquake of 2010 had devastating effects, leaving up to 217,300 people dead and 2.1 million homeless. Presidential elections planned for January 2010 were subsequently postponed, and in April 2011, President Michel Martelly won a landslide victory.

Information courtesy of havenpartnership.com

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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RADIO
The colours in the Haitian flag depict the country’s status as a former French colony. It is said that the revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines developed the Haitian flag from the French flag, hence the resemblance. He rotated the strips so that they were vertical instead of horizontal as in the French flag. The white centre was also removed. Symbolically this represented the removal of white influence. Just the blue and red remain, the Haitians. The blue representing the former slaves and the red representing those of mixed ancestry. In the centre of the flag bears the National Coat of Arms of Haiti.
BAHAMAS
The coat of arms of Haiti was originally introduced in 1807, and has appeared in its current form since 1986.

It shows six draped flags of the country, three on each side, which are located before a palm tree and cannons on a green lawn. On the lawn various items are found, such as a drumbugleslong guns, and ship anchors. Above the palm tree, there is a Phrygian cap placed as a symbol of freedom. On the lawn between the drum and the ribbon there were supposed to be two pieces of chain with a broken link symbolizing the broken chain of slavery.

The National Anthem of Haiti is called “La Dessalinienne”   in honor of Jean Jacques Dessalines, Father of the Country’s Independence. This Anthem was selected as a result of a national competition, celebrating Haiti’s 100 years of independence in 1904.

Kreyòl version 

Pou Ayiti peyi Zansèt yo

Se pou-n mache men nan lamen

Nan mitan-n pa fèt pou gen trèt

Nou fèt pou-n sèl mèt tèt nou

Annou mache men nan lamen

Pou Ayiti ka vin pi bèl

Annou, annou, met tèt ansanm

Pou Ayiti onon tout Zansèt yo.

Pou Ayiti ak pou Zansèt yo

Fo nou kapab, vanyan gason

Moun pa fèt pou ret avèk moun

Se sa-k fè tout Manman ak tout Papa

Dwe pou voye Timoun lekòl

Pou yo aprann, pou yo konnen

Sa Tousen, Desalin, Kristòf, Petyon

Te fè pou wet Ayisyen anba bòt blan.

Pou Ayiti onon Zansèt yo

Se pou-n sekle se pou-n plante

Se nan tè tout fòs nou chita

Se li-k ba nou manje

Ann bite tè, ann voye wou

Ak kè kontan, fòk tè a bay.

Sekle,wouze, fanm kou gason

Pou-n rive viv ak sèl fòs ponyèt nou.

`Pou Ayiti onon Zansèt yo

Ann leve tèt nou gad anlè

Pou tout moun, mande Granmèt la

Pou-l ba nou pwoteksyon

Pou move zanj pa detounen-n

Pou-n ka mache nan bon chimen

Pou libète ka libète

Fòk lajistis blayi sou peyi a.

Nou gon drapo tankou tout Pèp.

Se pou-n renmen-l, mouri pou li.

Se pa kado, blan te fè nou

Se san Zansèt nou yo ki te koule

Pou nou kenbe drapo nou wo

Se pou-n travay met tèt ansanm.

Pou lòt, peyi, ka respekte’n
Drapo sila a se nanm tout Ayisyen

 

English translation 

For Haiti, the Ancestors’ Country

We must walk hand in hand

There must not be traitors among us

We must be ourselves’s unique master

Let’s walk hand in hand

For Haiti can be more beautiful.
Let us, Let us put our heads together
For Haiti in the name of all the Ancestors.

For Haiti and for the Ancestors

We must be able, valiant men

Men are not born to serve other men

That is why all mothers and all fathers

Must send their child to school

Must they learn, must they know

What Toussaint, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion

Did to take Haitians under white people’s boots.

For Haiti in the name of the Ancestors

We must toil, we must sow

It is in the soil, that all our strength seats

It is it that feeds us

Let us toil the soil, let us toil the soil

Joyfully, may the land be fertile

Mow, water, men like women

Must we come to live only by our arms’ strength.

For Haiti in the name of the Ancestors

Let’s us raise our head and look above

Must everyone ask the Grandmaster

To grant us protection

For evils may not turns us back

BASIC INFO:

  • TIME ZONE:

    EST – Eastern Standard Time

  • CAPITAL CITY

    Port-au-prince

  • LANGUAGE

    Haitian Creole, French

  • INDEPENDENCE

    1st January 1804 – From France

  • ETHNIC GROUPS

    black 95%, mixed and white 5%

  • POPULATION

    9,996,731 (2014)

  • NATIONAL DISH

    Griots with rice and beans

    Check out the recipe

  • CURRENCY

    Haitian Gourde (HTG)

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Jovenel Moise

President

Presidents

HENRI NAMPHY

(1932–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/1988

LESLI MANIGAT

(1930–2014)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/1988

HENRI NAMPHY

(1932–)

TOOK OFFICE: 20/06/1988 – LEFT OFFICE: 17/09/1988

PROSPER AVRIL

(1937–)

TOOK OFFICE: 17/09/1988 – LEFT OFFICE: 10/03/1990

HÉRARD ABRAHAM (acting)

(1940–)

TOOK OFFICE: 10/03/1990 – LEFT OFFICE: 13/03/1990

ERTHA PASCAL-TROUILLOT

(1943–)

TOOK OFFICE: 13/03/1990 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/1991

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/09/1991

RAOUL CÉDRAS

(1949–)

TOOK OFFICE: 29/09/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/10/1991

JOSEPH NÉRETTE

(1924–2007)

TOOK OFFICE: 08/10/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 19/06/1992

MARC BAZIN

(1932–2010)

TOOK OFFICE: 19/06/1992 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/06/1993

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 15/06/1993 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/05/1994

ÉMILE JONASSAINT

(1913–1995)

TOOK OFFICE: 12/05/1994 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/10/1994

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 12/10/1994 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/1996

RENÉ PRÉVAL

(1943–2017)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/1996 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/2001

JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/2001 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/02/2004

BONIFACE ALEXANDRE

(1936–)

TOOK OFFICE: 29/02/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 14/05/2006

RENÉ PRÉVAL

(1943–2017)

TOOK OFFICE: 14/05/2006 – LEFT OFFICE: 14/05/2011

MICHEL MARTELLY

(1961–)

TOOK OFFICE: 14/05/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/2016

JOCELERME PRIVERT

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 14/02/2016 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/02/2017

JOVENEL MOÏSE

(1968–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/02/2017 – INCUMBENT

Prime Ministers

MARTIAL CÉLESTIN

(1913–2011)

TOOK OFFICE: 09/02/1988 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/1988

RENÉ PRÉVAL

(1943–2017)

TOOK OFFICE: 13/02/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 11/10/1991

JEAN-JACQUES HONORAT

(1931–)

TOOK OFFICE: 11/10/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 19/06/1992

MARC BAZIN

(1932–2010)

TOOK OFFICE: 19/06/1992 – LEFT OFFICE: 30/08/1993

ROBERT MALVAL

(1943–)

TOOK OFFICE: 30/08/1993 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/11/1994

SMARCK MICHEL

(1937–2012)

TOOK OFFICE: 08/11/1994 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/11/1995

CLAUDETTE WERLEIGH

(1946–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/11/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/02/1996

ROSNY SMARTH

(1940–)

TOOK OFFICE: 27/02/1996 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/10/1997

JACQUES-ÉDOUARD ALEXIS

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 26/03/1999 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/03/2001

JEAN MARIE CHÉRESTAL

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 02/03/2001 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/03/2002

YVON NEPTUNE

(1946–)

TOOK OFFICE: 15/03/2002 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/03/2004

GÉRARD LATORTUE

(1934–)

TOOK OFFICE: 12/03/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/06/2006

JACQUES-ÉDOUARD ALEXIS

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 09/06/2006 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/09/2008

MICHÈLE PIERRE-LOUIS

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 05/09/2008 – LEFT OFFICE: 11/11/2009

JEAN-MAX BELLERIVE

(1958–)

TOOK OFFICE: 11/11/2009 – LEFT OFFICE: 18/10/2011

GARRY CONILLE

(1966–)

TOOK OFFICE: 18/10/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/05/2012

LAURENT LAMOTHE

(1972–)

TOOK OFFICE: 16/05/2012 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/12/2014

FLORENCE DUPERVAL GUILLAUME (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 20/12/2014- LEFT OFFICE: 16/01/2015

EVANS PAUL

(1955–)

TOOK OFFICE: 16/01/2015 – LEFT OFFICE: 26/02/2016

FRITZ JEAN

(1953–)

TOOK OFFICE: 26/02/2016 – LEFT OFFICE: 28/03/2016

ENEX JEAN-CHARLES

(1960–)

TOOK OFFICE: 28/03/2016 – LEFT OFFICE: 21/03/2017

JACK GUY LAFONTANT

(1961–)

TOOK OFFICE: 21/03/2017 – INCUMBENT

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The team at caribbean1st.com would like to thank all contributors. The amazing websites we found that hold a wealth of resources and the individuals who have taken time to send us information and great pictures.

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