Haiti Facts

Haiti Facts
The country Haiti is located in the western portion of the island Hispaniola in the Caribbean, encompassing approximately 1/3rd of the island. The Dominican Republic takes up the other 2/3rds of Hispaniola. Haiti's official name is the Republic of Haiti. It is the third largest country in the Caribbean, with a population of more than 10.7 million residents. Haiti was first discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492. Christopher Columbus believed he had arrived in Asia or India. The next several hundred years brought major political upheaval to Haiti, first under Spanish rule, then French rule, until Haiti finally successfully declared its independence in 1804.
Interesting Haiti Facts:
Haiti was the first black republic to gain its independence.
Jean Jacques Dessalines led the independence movement to victory in 1804. He named the republic Haiti.
The natives who inhabited Haiti when Christopher Columbus arrived were called Taino. Taino means 'the good people'.
Christopher Columbus' crews on the first voyage and those who came on subsequent voyages treated the Taino people poorly, often with violence, turning them into slaves and destroying their way of life.
The average income in Haiti today is $480 per year. As a result more than 80% of Haiti's people live in extreme poverty.
Approximately 10% of children born in Haiti do not live past the age of five.
Approximately only 10% of Haiti's children are enrolled in elementary school. Only approximately 50% of Haiti's people can read or write.
In 1807 the Haitian president declared the gourd to be the national currency. Today the Haitian currency is called 'gourdes'.
Approximately 1.8 million people in Haiti live in the capital city Port-au-Prince.
The largest fortress in the Western hemisphere is located in Haiti. It is called the Citadel and is located on a large mountaintop in northern Haiti.
The most mountainous region in the Caribbean is Haiti.
Haiti has been almost completely deforested. It is the most deforested nation in the entire world, which hassled to deadly mudslides and flash floods.
Although Haiti gained its independence in 1804, the U.S. did not recognize it as an independent nation until 1862.
Haiti's island Tortuga was a pirate haven in the 1600s.
Approximately 90% of Haitians speak Creole, but it wasn't until 1987 that Creole was named an official language. The other official language in Haiti is French.
Haiti covers an area of 10,714 square miles. It has a high population density, with approximately 747 people per square mile.
In 2008 a hurricane destroyed approximately 70% of Haiti's crops, costing approximately $1 billion in damages.
95% of Haiti's population is the descendants of African slaves.
Haiti has only one hospital bed for every 10,000 people. There are only about eight doctors for every 100,000 people. The life expectancy in Haiti is only 50 for men and 53 for women.
In January 2010 an earthquake hit Haiti killing more than 200,000 people. Millions more lost their homes.
Approximately 2/3rds of Haiti is mountainous, with the remainder being valleys, plains and plateaus.

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