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Most Interesting Facts about Haiti

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facts about haiti

Haiti is a beautiful Caribbean nation which is located on the Hispaniola in the Caribbean region with the Dominican Republic lying to its east.  It’s rich history and cultural depth have shaped the country into what it is today. Filled with misty mountain tops, golden beaches and turquoise blue water, this is a dream destination for all the beach lovers. Here are some amazing and interesting facts one should know about Haiti:

1. In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on the island and named it Hispaniola. A monument of Christopher Columbus stands on the central square of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, which is home to 20% of the country’s population.

2. When Columbus first saw Haiti (and the entire Hispaniola island), he thought he had found India or Asia.

3. Haiti is the poorest country in Western Hemisphere. Eighty percent of Haitians live under the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty.

4. Haiti was ruled by seventy different dictators between 1804 and 1915!

5. One in 50 people in Haiti is affected with HIV/AIDS. Because of both violence and AIDS, Haiti has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the Western Hemisphere.

6. The majority of Haitians love to gamble. They are even known to beg gods to reveal the winning lottery numbers during voodoo ceremonies.

7. Cock fighting is a traditional sport in Haiti. The roosters are fed raw meat and hot peppers soaked in rum to make them aggressive and tough. The winner might bring home $67, which is more than a person would earn in an entire month.

Cock fighting
Source: Pinterest

8. At the beginning of 2010 and estimated to be the worst in over 200 years, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti just 15 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s Capital. The death toll was estimated at over 300,000 people with 1.5 million left homeless. There were a further 52 aftershocks after the initial earthquake. This also increased Haiti’s teenage prostitution problem since the earthquake, with girls as young as 8 engaging in “survival sex.”

earthquake in Haiti
Source: Financial Afrik

9. Haiti has the world’s largest solar powered hospital. After the 2010 earthquake which left a death toll of over 3,00,000 people, with 1.5 million people left homeless, the Hospital Universitaire De Mirebalais, became the world’s largest solar powered hospital.

Hospital Universitaire De Mirebalais
Source: Inhabitat

10. It is unusual to own a car in Haiti and there are no trains; instead, most Haitans travel in buses called ‘Taptaps’! These buses which are acquired second hand from the United States are very creatively painted and they add to the colour on the streets of Haiti.

Source: Pinterest

11. Did you know that Voodoo is an officially recognized religion in Haiti? Voodoo is such an important part of the Haitian culture that President Francis Duvalier recognized himself as a Voodoo priest.

Source: Pinterest

12. In Haiti, only one partner needs to be present for a divorce to take place – a law introduced in the 1970s.

13. Did you know that honour killings for adultery were legal until 2005 in Haiti? A big NO to adultery!

14. Haiti has deforested its land by over 95% since 1923.

15. Haiti was once a haven for pirates from the Caribbean. Haiti had gold mines and easy escape routes for the pirates, and Haitians also served as local laborers for mining and plantation work by the pirates.

How to reach?

The Aeroport Toussaint L’Ouverture Airport at Port-au-Prince or the Aeroport International Cap-Haitien are the main international airports in Haiti. There are only connecting flights from India to Haiti due to the distance.


Visa requirements for Indians going to Haiti

Author’s Recommendations:

Bassin Bleu: Bassin Bleu is a beautiful isolated waterfall located in on the hills of Jacmel, Haiti. You to trek for a while following the trails to reach the place. Spend the day jumping from the waterfall and swimming in the turquoise blue water. The secrecy of the area makes it feel like heaven.

Bassin Bleu
Source: Pinterest

Labadee: A beautiful beach destination, Labadee is a quite popular destination for all international travellers. Owned by the Royal Caribbean International cruise company, the white sandy beaches and crystal water makes this place a must visit. Guests can shop, with local merchants operating stalls all along the private resort, or can try out the longest over-water zipline in the world, the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line.

Source: Resesidan.se

Kokoye Beach: Kokoye beach is oneof the most idyllic beaches in Haiti, characterized by fine white sands, gorgeous palm trees, and turquoise waters. An ideal place for swimming where you can just relax and unwind!

Kokoye Beach
Source: Visit Haiti

Wahoo Bay Beach: A perfect couple destination for honeymooners who are looking for a romantic getaway! Providing a proper Caribbean experience, you can indulge in activities like kayaking, snorkelling and mountain climbing.

Wahoo Bay Beach
Source: Reddit

Saut Mathurine: This enchanting waterfall is the biggest one in the region. The Rivière de Cavaillon supplies the source for the waterfall’s stream, and its aqua waters are perfect for a swim. The drive to Saut-Mathurine offers beautiful views of the country and the lush greenery on all sides.

Saut Mathurine
Source: Flickr
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