In the last decade, Haiti has gotten more than its fair share of bad press. Haiti does face many challenges, but before learning more about them, it’s important to understand the following about Haitian history, culture, and resilience too:
1. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Haiti produced
2. In the 18th century, Haiti was the richest colony in the French Empire and was known as the “Pearl of the Antilles.”
3. In 1801, Toussaint L’Ouverture led the first successful slave revolt against a major world power, and Haiti became the first black republic in the world and the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere.
4. After gaining independence, Haiti became the first country in the American Continent to constitutionally grant all citizens full rights.
5. Haiti was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery.
6. Haiti provided financial and military support to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela as they sought independence.
1. Haitian art is inspiring to people all over the world. The Association for the Promotion of Family Integrated Health (APROSIFA) has created youth painting and sculpture classes taught by young professional artists, and hundreds of fans attend the Health Renaissance show every year.
2. Many creative Haitian individuals all over the world have achieved great success! Examples include Wyclef Jean, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Garcelle Beauvais, and Jean Michel Basquia.
3. Haiti first competed in the World Cup for soccer in 1974.
4. Haiti is a melting pot of cultures! Haitian people are a mix of Taino, African, French, Spanish, Syrian, and Lebanese descent.
5. Many Haitians are multilingual and can speak Creole, French, and Spanish.
6. Haiti is the center of exciting and festive carnivals and celebrations. During Kanaval, Rara, and May Day, the streets fill up with dancing crowds.
7. President Michel Martelly used to be a Kompa music singer.
Other Interesting Facts
1. Native Haitians were pre-Columbian Ameridian and named Taino/Arawak, or “good people.”
2. The Citadel, a large mountaintop fortress in northern Haiti, is the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere.
3. Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean.
4. Haiti has the second longest coastline in the Caribbean.
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