One of many beautiful Caribbean nations, Haiti is located on Hispaniola island. When many think of Haiti, the first thing that comes to mind is the 2010 earthquake. However, there are many interesting facts about Haiti that are not widely known.
Common Facts About Haiti
Officially “the Republic of Haiti,” this Caribbean country has an estimated population of 11.5 million people. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the Caribbean sea. Jamaica and Cuba surround it to the east, and the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to the south.
Haiti is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, mountains, and mouth-watering beaches. There are many fun facts about Haiti that make it an attractive destination.
Historical Facts On Haiti
Haiti Is More Than 1000 Years
Haiti occupies a region on the island of Hispaniola. There have been stunning suggestions that the particular region has been inhabited since 5000 BC. It is believed that Americans from Central or South America were living in the area during that time.
According to certain studies, some of the region’s early settlers include Ciboney and Taino people. Taino people have claimed a certain influence on modern Haitian culture.
Haitian Creole is a fraction of the Arawakan language, spoken by the Taino indigenous people.
One fact about Haiti’s history is that the country had a dual chain of colonization. It was originally claimed by Spain, who later ceded the region to France before the country later gained independence in 1804.
Spain’s Christopher Columbus, who is regarded as the father of many countries in the Americas, landed in Haiti in 1492. He called the bay San Nicolas.
2 weeks later, his ship sank after his takeover of Santa Maria. He returned to Spain, leaving some of his men on the island. Before he left, he renamed the island Espanola which translates as “Little Spain.” it’s a little wonder why one of the official languages in Haiti is French and not Spanish.
Rich Country Once Upon a Time
Did you know Haiti was a very rich country at one point? Christopher Columbus claimed Haiti for Spain in 1492, but France colonized and influenced Haiti.
Around 1625, the French influence on Haiti began, and their control lasted for nearly 180 years. Here’s one fact about Haiti for kids who love history. Haiti was actually one of the richest colonies the French Empire had in the 18th century.
At the time, it earned the Nickname “La Perle des Antilles,” meaning “Pearl of the Antilles.” The enslaved people there were exploited and made to work the plantations of sugarcane and cocoa, making Haiti one of the largest producers of coffee and sugar.
History Of Freedom
Did you know that Haiti was the first independent black country in the world? That’s a proud and interesting fact about Haiti. It gained its independence towards the end of 1803.
At the time, Haitians fought valiantly against Napoleon and the french colonists who leveraged slave labor. They extorted the Haitian as they were forced to cultivate lucrative crops on their island for Napoleon and the French forces while being slave laborers.
The Haitians used the Battle of Verteres (A battle between the Haitian army and Napoleon’s French forces) of 1803 to gain freedom from their french colonist.
Largest Solar Powered Hospital
The world’s largest solar-powered hospital is in Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, which claimed the lives of thousands (300,00) and left over a million (1.5) people homeless, the Hospital Universitaire De Mirebalais became the largest solar-powered hospital in the world.
Useful Facts About Haiti For Travelers
This is one of Earth’s beautiful wonders sitting secluded somewhere on the Jacmel hills in Haiti. The waterfall is beautiful with turquoise water. It is a sight to behold.
Bassin Bleu is easily accessible as there is a trail to follow, and you can enjoy your day without disturbance. It is a place tourist love to visit.
This waterfall is relatively safe as many people like to jump in from the top and swim around the water. It offers unrivaled privacy.
Beaches In Haiti
Here is an exciting fact about Haiti for coastal lovers, they have some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. These crystal blue water beaches used to be the most popular tourist attraction in the Caribbean.
It’s no secret that Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Unfortunately, that is one fact of Haiti that may not go away anytime soon. Nonetheless, tourism is one of the country’s highest sources of income.
You can kill two birds with one stone by visiting Haiti for vacation. Enjoy the beautiful view and feel the waters while supporting the country’s GDP.
Citadelle Laferriere is a symbol of Haitians’ strength. This archaeological building is a key landmark in Haiti and was erected after the country gained independence from France.
The beautiful fortress was built as a form of defense and protection from further invasion by the French and other foreign forces.
Citadelle Laferriere is still in good condition, almost as it was when it was built. It is located on top of Bonnet (a mountain on the northern coast of Haiti). Therefore, the fortress offers a wonderful view of the green area surrounding the mountain.
Haiti And Mountains
Haiti has more mountains than any other country in the Caribbean. This is an exciting fact about Haiti for those who love hiking. The highest mountain peak in Haiti is 8,000 feet above sea level.
It is suggested that the name Haiti comes from the root word Ayiti which translates to “Land of Mountains.” The name was given by the indigenous Taino people, who were the first inhabitants of the island now known as Haiti.
Since Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries, owning a personal car is unusual.
There are no trains in Haiti, so most Haitians travel using Taptaps (buses). These buses add beauty and life to the streets in Haiti. Most Taptaps are second-hand buses bought from the U.S. They are creatively designed with beautiful art and paints, adding beauty to the street.
To enjoy your travel experience better and embrace the local culture, you will be better off moving from place to place in Taptaps rather than in hired vehicles.
Cultural Fun Facts On Haiti
Voodoo Is Officially Recognized In Haiti
Here is an interesting fact about Haitian Culture, Voodoo! There are variations to how it is spelled worldwide (Voodoo, Voodoo, Vodoun, and Voudou). Did you know that, as much as it is popular in various parts of the world, only Haiti recognizes Voodoo as an official religion
However, no actual stats show what percentage of the people hold on to Voodoo as their primary religion. Voodoo is so important to the Haitian culture that one of their former president “Francis Duvalier” claimed to be a Voodoo priest.
Although Voodoo is generally an acceptable spelling, it is not accepted when referring to the Haitian religion.
Griot The National Meal
Here’s one important part of the Haitian culture griot. This is a meat-based meal, the main ingredient being pork shoulder, pepper, citrus, spices, and vegetables.
This Haitian cuisine is made from pork shoulder. It is washed and dipped into citrus juice before getting braised. It is then fried to pieces of delicious goodness. The dish is served with rice, fried plantain, and vegetables.
Here’s an interesting fact about Haitian culture, they love to have fun in whatever way it presents itself. The national sport in Haiti is soccer, but cockfighting takes up the next spot.
Cockfighting is very popular in Haiti and is becoming a part of the culture. The cocks are being fortified and made stronger by feeding them raw meat and pepper soaked in rum.
The winner earns a decent sum of $67. The crazy part is that the sum of $67 is more than the average salary of many Haitians.
Ethnicity And Religion In Haiti
Haiti is predominantly black-dominated, as almost all Haitians are of African origin. 95% of the country’s population are Afro-Haitians, while the remaining 5% are mixed and European Haitians.
Although Voodoo is recognized, the dominant religion in Haiti is Christianity. 87% are Christians, 10.7% have no religion, 2.1% have folk religion, and 0.2% have other religions.
Surviving Cave Paintings
It is no news that the Taino people have a series of significant influences on modern-day Haiti. One Haiti fact is that the Taino indigenous people continue to contribute to the country’s economy with what they left behind.
Sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. There are different cave paintings and symbols made by the Taino people which are still in existence. These paintings serve as some of the nation’s symbols and are some of the many popular tourist attractions in the country.
Other Interesting Facts About Haiti
Two Official Languages
Haiti has two official languages, one is Haitian Creole, and the other one is French. Here’s an interesting fact about Haiti, it is one of only two countries in the Americas where french is an official language. The other country is Canada.
Large But Poor
Only two countries are larger than Haiti in the Caribbean, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Interestingly as much as it is the third-largest country in the Caribbean, it ranks as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.
One Public University in Haiti
Although Haiti has a respectable literacy rate (population who can read and write) of 60.7%, the country has only one public university.
The University of Haiti in the country’s capital Port-au-Prince is the only public university in the country. It was founded in 1944.
It is safe to say wealthy students don’t have trust in the country’s educational system as most of them tend to travel overseas for their university education.
This is an interesting fact about Haiti throughout its history. The country has one of the highest numbers of dictatorship ruling in the world. Between 1804 and 1915, Haiti had a whopping 70 different dictators.
Gambling In Haiti
The majority of Haitians, both men, and women love to gamble. It is rampant that, during Voodoo ceremonies, most Haitians beg the gods to reveal the winning lottery numbers to them.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Haiti
These are just some of the interesting facts about Haiti. From the national sport of cockfighting to discovering ancient cave paintings, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the country.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in another culture than by taking part in its activities and exploring what makes it so unique! From visiting historical sites to sampling local cuisine –you can discover much more when you dive into this Caribbean paradise! If you’re looking for more fun facts about Haiti, why not visit it yourself?