Haiti

GEOGRAPHY

Haiti makes up the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. This small, tropical country is west of the Dominican Republic.

The tropical climate and trade winds produce warm temperatures for most of the year. The country is mountainous, but the coastline is flat and rich in sea life and coconut trees. The mountain peaks reach over 8,000 feet. In 2010, hundreds of thousands of people were killed, many more were left homeless, and the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in a 7.0 earthquake.

PEOPLE & CULTURE

Haitians are warm, friendly, and generous! Haiti’s population of 10 million is currently decreasing at about 0.79 percent according to experts. The country has a high birthrate, but emigration due to high unemployment rate (80.3 %), lack of services and poor health keep overall growth rates down. The majority of the population lives in poverty. Haitian parents are strict, but they are very affectionate. The extended family often lives with the family in tight quarters. Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

The official languages of Haiti are Haitian Creole (Kreyòl) and French. Half the population practices voodoo, which is a mixture of African slave traditions and Catholic beliefs. The Haitian diet is made up of the local vegetables and fruits, along with some spicy meat dishes.

More news about Haiti coming soon! For travel information, please contact Lauren at lauren@internationalmissionfoundation.org.

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