Welcome to the Haiti Portal!
Bienvenue sur le Portail Haïti !
Byenveni nan Pòtal la Ayiti !
Haiti (Haïti in French; Ayiti in Haitian Creole), officially the Republic of Haiti, occupies three-eighths of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The country also includes many smaller islands such as La Gonâve, Île à Vache, La Tortue (Tortuga), Les Cayemites, Île de Anacaona, and La Grande Caye. The uninhabited island of Navasse is claimed by both Haiti and the United States. 'Ayiti' (Haiti) is the indigenous Taíno name for the island. Its highest point is Pic la Selle, which has a height of 2,680 meters (8,793 ft). Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. The total area of Haiti is 27,750 km² (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian Revolution
(1791-1804) was the most successful of the many African slave rebellions
in the Western Hemisphere and established Haiti
as a free, black republic
, the first of its kind. At the time of the revolution, Haiti was a colony of France
known as Saint-Domingue
. By means of this revolution, Africans and people of African ancestry freed themselves from French colonization and from slavery.
Haiti is the first black republic in modern history. It went directly from being a French colony to self-governance through a process that has had lasting effect on the nation. The system established by slaveholders demonstrated the effectiveness of violence and force in controlling the majority. This system survived the revolution and continued under the nascent black republic. A light-skinned elite took control of political and economic power.
Did you know...
- ...that in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne hit the coastal city of Gonaïves, where it affected about 80,000 of the city's 100,000 residents? And that official reports counted 3,006 people dead, with 2,826 of those in Gonaïves alone?
- ...that Gens de couleur were Free people of color in French colonial Haiti? And that the Gens de couleur could own plantations, and often owned large numbers of slaves themselves?
- ...that former President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as "Baby Doc" was exiled to France after his disposition in 1986? And that he lost most of his wealth due to his divorce from his wife Michèle?
- ...that Restavec refers to a social system in Haiti whereby parents unable to care for their children send them to relatives or strangers? And that while some restavecs receive food and housing (and sometimes an education) in exchange for light housework, others have alleged widespread abuses within the system?
- ...that in 2007, the Haitian national football team beat recent FIFA World cup finalists Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, to win the Caribbean Cup for the first time?
- ...that La Visite National Park is one of the two national parks in Haiti? And that it is located in the southeast of the country and contains the country's highest mountain, Pic de la Selle?
History and Society:
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In the news
- November 5: Hurricane Tomas reached westernmost tip of Haiti, causing torrential rains and tropical storm force winds, killing at least seven people.
- October 23: An outbreak of cholera has occurred in the Saint-Marc region, killing at least 442 people and hospitalizing thousands more.
- August 10: Haiti has created an independent commission to investigate the slayings of the eight journalists killed in Haiti since 2000
(International Herald Tribune)