The name Haiti comes from the Arawak word meaning " mountainous land . " In 1804, she became the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere . It was inhabited by Indians who lived a peaceful life until the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island in 1492. Shortly bitter they died of starvation, forced labor in the mines of Spanish gold and diseases such as smallpox and measles. In 1600 , almost all Arawaks died .
The flag of Haiti , most recently adopted in 1987 incorporates the country's national colors , blue and red. In the center are The composite arms of a palm tree , flags , two guns , and a scroll with the motto " Unity is strength " .
Location and Climate
Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola . It is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean , on the east by the Dominican Republic, to the south by the Caribbean Sea and to the west by the wind channel that separates the island of Cuba. Mountains and hills criss Island . Haiti has a tropical climate. The temperature along the coast is about 80 ° F with a slight variation between winter and summer. At the top of the mountains, the temperature can vary between 65 º and 72 º F. There are two rainy seasons : one from April to June and the other from October to November .
Haiti's 9.8 million people . The population is very young, with more than 40 percent below the age of 15 . About 95 percent of Haitians are descendants of African slaves brought to Haiti to work on farms. The remaining 5 percent are mulattoes (people of black and white ancestry) . A large concentration of Haitians live in Florida, New York , Massachusetts and Montreal , but there are Haitian communities in other parts of Canada and the United States.
The French and Creole are the official languages , but less than 10 percent of Haitians speak French . Everyone speaks Creole is a mixture of French and various African languages . The instruction is in French and Creole .
Can you say in Haitian Creole ?
Hello Alo ( ah- LOW)
Good-bye Baybay (BAH -bah -yee )
Please Souple ( soo -PLAY )
Thank you Mèsi ( MAY -see )
Yes Wi ( wee )
No Non ( noh )
The majority of Haitians are Catholic . Protestants make up about 16 percent of the population. The largest Protestant churches are Baptists, Pentecostals and Seventh-day Adventists . The voodoo religion comes from African slaves brought to Haiti and as practiced to some degree by a majority of Haitians. It combines tribal religious beliefs , ancestor worship , healing, and minds with such things as the worship of saints of Catholicism.
Games and Sports
Haitian boys and girls sometimes do not have toys. However, they have a lot of imagination , and often invent games to play . Football is the most popular sport, and many children join the soccer leagues . Children who do not have a football make it from rags or other materials.
Haitians have a mixture of African traditions and the Catholic Church. Carnival or Mardi Gras, is one example . It comes seven weeks before Easter and lasts three days. Carnival with music compass , exotic dancing, parade of floats is one of the most celebrated holidays in Haiti . On November 2 , the Feast of GEDES , families visit cemeteries , pray, and leave food for their deceased ancestors.
Haitians eat rice, beans, corn and food alive. Other products such as fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat are also part of their diet. Oranges , pepper, and garlic are common in seasonings.
The school is free, but parents must pay tuition and buy books and supplies. Parents try their best to give their children an education.
Haiti to an elected president and a prime minister appointed by the president to run the daily business of government. Haiti also has a parliament composed of 99 members and a Senate of 30 members who make the laws. The voting age is 18 years .
Money and the Economy
Two - thirds of all Haitians work in agriculture . They grow coffee , cocoa (used to make chocolate ) , and sugar. Cities do not have enough jobs, but people go there anyway, hoping to find a better life. The monetary unit is the gourd.
Haitians usually use public transport ( such as buses ) , wherever they go. Some Haitians use vans or trucks colorful called taptaps . Although they are taxis, they look like mobile art galleries.
Haitians love art : painting, sculpture, dance and music. One of their favorites is the narrative arts . Some storytellers mimic stories, some sing and dance together , and some are just tell. The storyteller begins a story by asking, " Jack ? " ( Are you ready? ) . The audience response , " Crac! " ( Yes, let's go ) . Then the story begins ! The tales are favorites .
The most common cultural expression is painting. It is characterized by the rich colors and is very often the remnants of ancient times in our history. Haitian painting has its roots in the struggle against slavery, the fight for freedom and the will to win the bid.
The pictorial art took off in the early twentieth century with the establishment of a Centre d'Art in Port -au- Prince. It is a folk art. The painters usually come from disadvantaged social groups . Their naive painting reveals the concerns of everyday life , the beauty of nature and the imagery of voodoo.
International airports: Port -au- Prince , Cap-Haitien
Regional Airports: Jacmel, Les Cayes , Port -de-Paix
Major Seaports: Port -au- Prince , Cap-Haitien , Miragoâne , Gonaives , Jacmel
All times are GMT (-5)
Calling code: +509
Affiliations: ACS, ECLAC , Francophonie, G77 , WTO, IDB , IMF, OAS , UN, CARICOM , WIPO