About Our Islands
- Ile A Vache
- La Gonave
- Haiti's History
- Haiti's Natural Resources
- Haitian Products
- Haitian Culture
- Building Construction
- United Nations in Haiti
- NGOs in Haiti
- Invest in Haiti
- Work in Haiti
- Retire in Haiti
Tortuga is a Caribbean island that forms part of Haiti, off the northwest coast. The island covers an area of 69 mi². In the 17th century, it was a major center of Caribbean piracy. It is the most recognized island of Haiti. Tortuga is featured in many movies such as the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and (the Black Swan). Tortuga has also been referenced in books and video games (Crimson Skies). Pointe-Ouest beach on Tortuga made the cover of the Condé Nast Traveler of November 1996 for 10 Nicest Beaches in the Caribbean. Tortuga represents one of the last places in the world with unspoiled beaches, no buildings, no roads, and no excursion boats.
Spanish: Isla Vaca, English: Cow Island is a small island lying off the south-west peninsula of Haiti near the town of Les Cayes. It is about 8 miles long, 2 miles wide. The western end of the island is 490 feet high and rolling with several small swamps in the valleys; while the eastern section is swampy, and has a lagoon with one of the largest mangrove forest in Haiti. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Haiti and it has some of the best island scenery in the Caribbean. There are two tourist resorts on the island (for now): Port Morgan and Abaka Bay.
Gonave Island is an island of Haiti located to the west-northwest of Port-au-Prince. It is Haiti's largest island (37 miles long and 9 miles wide). La Gonave is bigger than Aruba, Barbados, Grenada , St. Lucia, and the US Virgin Islands. The Gulf of La Gonave is rich in oil.
The Cayemites are a pair of islands located in the Gulf of La Gonave off the coast of southwest Haiti. The two islands, known individually as Grande Cayemite and Petite Cayemite, are a combined (17 sq mi) in area.
French: La Navasse, Creole: Lanavaz is a small island (2 sq mi) belonging to Haiti under its 1801 Constitution and the 1697 Treaty of Rijswijk, in which Spain gave up sovereignty over Haiti and the its adjoining islands to France. Navassa is rich in guano. Navassa is currently under the control of the United States.
Labadee is a port in Northern Haiti. It is a beautiful private resort leased by Royal Caribbean International (RCI) for its cruise ships. Royal Caribbean International has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986. The resort is completely tourist-oriented and safe as there is a personal security force.
Background of the people of Haiti (the Tainos, the Black Africans, the Europeans -- the Spaniards and the French):
40,000BC - ? Indigenous people of the Americas: Migrated from North Asia via the Bering Strait which at the time used to connect the two continents.
40,000BC - 1491 Indigenous people of the Americas - Pre-Columbian Era: (Aztec, Olmec, Toltec, Tainos, Teotihuacano, Zapotec, Mixtec, Maya, Inca, Moche, Chibcha, Cañaris...). Many Indigenous tribes had agriculture, architecture, and complex societal hierarchies. Unfortunately, a lot of Indigenous precious writings, historical accounts and artifacts was destroyed by the Spaniards and the Portuguese in Latin America. The Spanish and the Portuguese at that time went to great lenghts to Europeanize the Indigenous people of the Americas.
40,000BC - ? Black Africa: Badarians, Nubia and Kemet kingdoms.
350BC - Black Africa: The Kingdom of Aksum (Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea...)Rich due to the export of ivory, crystal, brass, copper...agriculture, cattle breding.
250BC - 1200 Black Africa: The Kingdom of Ghana: Rich in gold and traded with the rest of Africa and Europe. The Kingdom of Ghana was quite advanced with streets, infrastructure of that time period, and a functioning government with taxation. Contrary to popular belief, not all of black Africa were tribal and lived in huts. Some societies were very advanced for that time period having mastered iron work, fishing and the farming system.
1200-1400Black Africa: The Kingdom of Mali and the Kingdom of Songhay (1350-1600): Rich in gold and also traded with Europe but much more so than the Kingdom of Ghana. When the Europeans noticed the immense wealth of Africa via trade, the decision was made to invade Africa (circa 1400-1500). This was the beginning of the colonization of Africa by Europeans. The only African country that put up an extraordinary fight and did not fall to Europe was Ethiopia.
1492: Christopher Columbus landed near today's city of Cap-Haitien and claimed the island for Spain, naming it Hispaniola. When Columbus and his crew arrived he found the island populated with Tainos (500,000). The Tainos called the island Ayiti (Haiti) which means in Taino language "land of high mountains".
1502: Bartolomé de las Casas (Dominican Friar Priest): De Las Casas was one of the first European settlers who arrived in the Americas (specifically Haiti). He is considered to be the father of the Transatlantic slave trade. He suggested the use of African slaves instead of Natives for 3 reasons: He thought that Africans were physically stronger, Africans would not know the land as well as the Natives and he also thought that enslaving Africans would be a great way to Christianize Africa. Later on in his life, he strongly denounced the atrocities committed against the Tainos and the Africans by the Spanish colonists.
1503: The first Africans were brought to Hispaniola for labor. The African slaves co-habitated with the Tainos and had children with Africans. Eventually, the Taino population were decimated.
1592: The end of the Taino kingdom in Haiti.
1625: The French settled Tortuga island and northwestern Hispaniola, naming their colony Saint-Domingue.
1750: By mid-18th century , there were about 400,000 slaves in Saint-Domingue (today's Haiti) as oppose to 100,000 in Santo Domingo (today's Dominican Republic).
1697: Spain signed the Treaty of Ryswick, under whose terms she ceded the western third of Hispaniola and its satellite islands to France.
1751: Slave rebellions in northern Saint-Domingue, led by Francois Mackandal. Conditions for the slaves were atrocious; the average life expectancy was 21 years.
1779: About 750 Haitian freemen fought alongside colonial troops against the British in the Siege of Savannah during the American Revolution.
1791: Haitian Revolution: Dutty Boukman held a Vodou ceremony where hundreds of slaves vowed to die for liberty. An army of slaves defeated the Europeans. The Haitians spared the lives of European women, children, doctors, teachers, and priests. However, the now free Haitians made a major mistake which contributed in Haiti becoming poor. They burned down most of the plantations, equipment and machineries the French had invested. Haiti at the time was the richest colony in the Western hemisphere, producing mainly coffee and sugar. At the time, the ex-slaves wanted to discourage the French from coming back to Haiti.
1801: The leader of Haiti Toussaint Louverture invaded the eastern part of Hispaniola, defeated the Spaniards and captured Santo Domingo, declaring freedom for all of Santo Domingo slaves. At that time thousands of Haitians started the migration to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and blended with the Dominican community.
1802: In an effort to gain the entire island, a French expeditionary force, sent by Napoleon landed in Samana (Dominican Republic) and Cap-Francais, Haiti.
1803: The most vital intersection of Haitian and American history is at the point of the Louisiana Purchase (Louisiana and 14 other states): Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The fierce battle between France and Haiti took up much of France's needed resources to hold on to the Louisiana territories. The deal double the size of the United States.
1803: Under Haitian commanders Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Alexandre Pétion defeated the French and the Haitians remained in control of the entire island.
1804: Haiti declares its independence.
1815: Simon Bolivar of Venezuela twice fled to Haiti, and on each occasion the Haitian government re-supplied and re-armed him. In 1817, with an army of Haitian soldiers (on the condition that he abolish slavery), Bolívar landed in Venezuela and captured Angostura (Spain's stronghold in Gran Columbia). He then went on to defeat Spain and claim Gran Colombia which is today Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador and Peru. Bolivar wrote of Haiti: "the Africans of Haiti strength is mightier than primeval fire."
1821: Hundreds of slaves fled from the Turks and Caicos islands to freedom in Haiti.
1822: Haiti President Boyer arrives in Santo Domingo and formally declares control over the entire island of Hispaniola as Ayiti (Haiti). President Boyer award Dominican land to the Haitian military.
1825: France conditionally recognizes the independence of Haiti and imposes an illegal 150 million Franc indemnity on the Haitian government (illegal under French constitution) under the threat that the entire French squadron forces will continue to wage war upon Haiti. At that time Haiti used to be France's richest colony. Haiti agrees to pay to avoid more wars. Later on the sum was reduce to 90 million (today 21 billion U.S. dollars). It took Haiti more than 125 years to pay that sum. The debt devastated the Haitian economy. In addition, other countries ostracized Haiti.
1844: The Dominican Republic declares its independence from Haiti.
1850-:Arab migration to Haiti: A sizable number of Arabs mainly from Syria and Lebanon began to migrate to Haiti for economic opportunities.
1857: The United States seizes Haiti's Navassa island.
1862: The United States recognizes Haiti.
1875: Haiti President Domingue signs a peace treaty with the Dominican Republic.
1889: Frederick Douglass becomes consul-general in the Republic of Haiti.
1914-:Lebanese migration to Haiti: a large number of Lebanese people immigrated to Haiti due to World War I.
1915: The United States Marines invade and occupies Haiti.
1916: The United States Marines invade and occupies the Dominican Republic.
1919: Charlemagne Peralte, leader of the resistance against the U.S. occupation in Haiti is assassinated.
1934: The U.S. agree to end Haiti's occupation.
1937-:Jewish migration to Haiti: The Haitian government saved the lives of 300 Jews by issuing Haitian passports to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe in World War II.
1937: Rafael Trujillo - President of the Dominican Republic who was ironically part Haitian gave the order to kill up to 25,000 black Haitians including children at the border on the Dominican side (Parsley Massacre). Trujillo did not gave the order to kill Haitians at the border because he simply hated Haitians. He gave the order because Haitians were advancing deepeer and deeper into Dominican land. He wanted to have a set border. Therefore, the massacre not only defined the border but increased the size of the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, at the cost of human lives. Sténio Joseph Vincent was President of Haiti at the time. Vincent was a friend of Trujillo. The Haitian military wanted to re-invade the Dominican Republic as a response to the massacre but Vincent strongly opposed them. As a result Vincent eventually lost the presidency. At the end, Trujillo paid $525,000 to the Haitian government for reparations. It is said that the survivors of the massacre only received 2 cents each.
1949: The World's Fair held in Haiti. The bicentennial of Port-au-Prince's founding is celebrated.
1950-1956: Haiti becomes a popular tourist destination under President Magloire. As Hollywood and European celebrities vacation yearly in Haiti.
1957: Dr. Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier is elected president of Haiti. Duvalier declares himself president for life. Francois Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude reigned until 1986.
1961: Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated.
1965: The United States once again invade and occupies the Dominican Republic.
1970: Thousands of poor Haitians began to flee Haiti by boat, often arriving in south Florida. Many middle class, professionals and rich Haitians who had access to a visa or the funds to travel and start a new life began migrating to mainly Dominican Republic, France, Panama, Venezuela, Africa, United States and Canada. Hence, a brain-drain started happening in Haiti as the country lost a lot of talented professionals.
1973-:Palestinian migration to Haiti: a large number of Palestinian refugees moved to Haiti during the Arab-Israeli War.
1986: President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees Haiti.
1991: Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, well known throughout the country for his support of the poor, is elected President with 67.5%. A military coup deposes Aristide.
1994: The U.S. re-instate Aristide back to power.
1995: Aristide dissolves the Haitian army.
1996: Aristide leaves office and is succeeded by Rene Garcia Preval.
2001: Aristide succeeds Préval for a second five-year term.
2004: Aristide leaves Haiti aboard a U.S. military aircraft to South Africa.
2004: The Haitian government invites the UN to assist in military and police protection.
2006: Rene Garcia Preval is elected president for the second time. Haiti started making a lot of progress in all sectors. The country started slowly opening up.
2009: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is appointed U.N. special envoy to Haiti. He is tasked with reinvigorating the country's economy.
2010: A major earthquake kills over 230,000. The progress underway in Haiti came to an halt.
2011: Michel Joseph Martelly becomes the new president of Haiti.
2012-: A monumental re-construction effort is under way. Haitians are proven to be survivors and hard workers. Many poor and proud Haitians picked up and cleaned up rubbles from the earthquake with their bare hands. International companies are investing in Haiti.
Haiti is rich with oil in the Gulf of La Gonave. The oil reserves of La Gonave are greater than that of Venezuela according to world renowned and respected scientists Daniel and Ginette Mathurin.
Haiti also has large deposits of gold, iridium, uranium, bauxite, marble, copper, limestone, granite and zyconium. Iridium, uranium, and zyconium are radioactive minerals used to make nuclear materials.
Location advantage. The Môle St. Nicolas peninsula is facing the famous Windward Passage, the Gibraltar of the New World that connects North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Sea. Haiti has 38% more coastline than Dominican Republic. Haiti has 1,771 km of coastline vs. 1,288 for the Dominican Republic.
Many Haitian products today can be bought online and be shipped to you.
Barbancourt is a famous international rum. It is produced and bottled by Société du Rhum Barbancourt, T. Gardère & Cie. Barbancourt is one of Haiti's oldest company (1862) and most famous export. It is regarded as among the finest rums in the world.
Cremas is a sweet and creamy alcoholic beverage native to Haiti. The beverage is made from creamed coconut, sweetened condensed or evaporated milk, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, vanilla extract and raisins.
The best mango in the Caribbean is Madame Francis which is produced abundantly in Haiti. Odwalla Mango Tango Smoothie is made of Haitian mango.
Coffee has been a staple of the Caribbean nation of Haiti since its initial colonization by France in the 17th century. One of the reasons why Haiti was France's richest colony is because Haiti was the number one coffee supplier in the world (supplying half of the world's coffee). France invested heavily in Haiti coffee and sugar cane production. Today, coffee is one of the nation's most profitable crops. Coffee growth in Haiti is grown by families and farmers in Haiti's Chaine de la Selle and Massif de la Hotte mountain ranges. Haitian Bleu coffee is grown at altitudes at over 6,000 feet. Haitian coffee is different from other coffees in that it is made the way it used to be made 300 years ago. Therefore, it is the coffee that people used to drink 300 years ago. It is a unique and original taste from high altitudes and the rain forests. Once you drink Haitian coffee, you will never want to go back to commercial brands. It is possible to buy Haitian Coffee on the following websites:
Haitian rice which is most likely of West African origin has been cultivated in Haiti for over 200 years. Rice is the staple food of Haiti and up until the 1980s. Haiti was self-sufficient in its production. Two factors are identified as being the most significant causes for the decline in Haitian rice production: the adoption of trade liberalization policies and environmental degradation. If the World Trade Organization (WTO) sides with Haiti, it could allow Haiti take anti-dumping action against cheap imports. Haitian rice brand names are Madame Gougousse and Ramela - Jasmine Haitian Rice.
Brasserie Nationale D'Haiti, S.A. (BRANA)., is a top Caribbean beer producer. The brewery manufactures the popular Prestige beer, one of the premium American Style lagers produced in the Caribbean. Prestige is becoming more and more an international beer. In 2000, Prestige won a gold medal in the World Beer Cup.
Cola Lacaye is a Haitian soft drink founded by Rigobert Richardson in 1977. It is manufactured and distributed by The Brooklyn Bottling Group. It comes in different island fruit flavors.
AK-100 or acassan is a corn-based drink uniquely from Haiti (Mrs. French AK-100).
Haiti is the second largest exporter of Cattleyas (queen of the orchids) in the world. Assali's Nursery is one of the major wholesaler on the island. Haiti's national flower is the Hibiscus. The Hibiscus flower can be found in abundance in Haiti. Flower production in Haiti has grown over the years.
Haiti is ranked #19 in the world in avocado export. Its neighbor the Dominican Republic is ranked #6. Production can easily increase with more investment in that market.
Haitian American Sugar Company, S.A. (HASCO) was an American business venture which sought to produce and sell sugar and other goods in Haiti and the United States. In 1987, the company closed citing smuggling of sugar from the Dominican Republic which did not pay a government tax and made domestic sugar un-competitive.
Although Haiti has individual fishermen, we do not believe Haiti exports any type of fish (unbelievable for a Caribbean country). With its proximity to the Windward Passage and the north-flowing currents off the Venezuelan coast places Haiti in the perfect location of major fish migrations, including tuna, marlin, bonito, and sardines, giant grouper, rock lobster, carp, tertar, conch and shrimp.
Geo Wiener is a cocoa exporter in Haiti. The company has been purchasing and exporting unfermented cocoa for over a century.
Tobacco has been grown in Haiti for over 300 years. Popular brands are Yaquiba and Le Rocher Haitian Cigars which specializes in Cuban styles hand rolled in Jacmel, Haiti. A smart investor can do well in the Haitian Cigar industry by building a modern cigar factory. A quality Haitian Cigar can easily compete with Cubans and Dominicans.
Haitians produced a variety of other products or livestock: Corn (maize), Sorghum, Sweet Potatoes, Manioc (Cassava), Yams (Yucca), Malanga (Taro), Beans, Banana, Plantain, Pineapples, Watermelons, Sour Orange, Almonds, Coconut, Okra, Peanuts, Tomatoes, Breadfruit, Mamery (Tropical Apricot), Clairin (moonshine/100-190 proof), Thyme, Anise, Marjoram, Absinthe, Oregano, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Garlic, Horseradish, Goats, Pigs, Chickens, and Cattle.
The music of Haiti is influenced mostly by Africa, Spain and France. Haitian music is popular worldwide as several festivals annually feature Haitian music. Haitian music is especially popular in the French Antilles, French Guyana, Grenada, Nassau, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, France, Japan, and Africa. Haitian music mainly includes Kompa, Kadans, Zouk, Haitian Rap and Rara (Vodou music).
Haitian Creole Language (Creole/Kreyòl), is a language spoken in Haiti by about 20 million people worldwide thru Haitian heritage. Creole is one of Haiti's 2 official languages along with French. Haitian Creole is made up of French, African languages, Taino, Spanish, English and Arabic. There are other types of French based Creoles: Louisiana Creole and Antillean Creole (e.g., Martinique) both similar to Haitian Creole.
Haitians mostly live in the United States, France, Canada, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Belize, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, and Ivory Coast (Africa).
Haitian Creole is the second most spoken language in Cuba where more than 450,000 Haitians and Haitian-Cubans speak it. There is also a considerable number of pure Cubans who speak it fluently. Most of these Cubans have never been to Haiti but learned it in their communities. There is also a Haitian Creole radio station operating in Havana. In contrast to the Dominican Republic where there are up to 1 million Haitians, only a few Dominicans speak Haitian Creole.
Haitian cuisine originates from several culinary styles from the various historical ethnic groups that populated the western portion of the island. Haitian cuisine is a mix between French, African, Taino Amerindians, and to a lesser extent Arab influence (from the Arab and migration to Haiti in the late 1800's). Haitian food (Creole) is considered one of the best cuisine in the world.
Haiti is known to be the art Mecca of the Caribbean. Haiti's painting and sculpture reflect African, French, Catholic, tribal and Vodou roots. It is a representation of Haitian culture and history. The Haitian art world suffered a major blow from the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Museums, galleries, and churches (priceless murals) were damaged including the famous Nader Collection estimated at US$30-US$100 million.
There are thousands of famous Haitians or Haitian descent people around the world.
Historically: Anacaona, Ulises Heureaux (President of Dominican Republic 1882), Richard H. Gleaves (Lt. Gov. of South Carolina 1872), Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable (Founder of Chicago), W.E. B. Dubois…
Sydney Poitier, Wyclef Jean, Panou, Daphnee Duplaix, Jean Claude Lamarre, Bruny Surin, Nathalie Handal, J.Gardy Bruno, Michaelle Jean (Governor General of Canada)…
Please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Haitians and, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_heads_of_state_of_Haiti
Prior to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, Haiti built their housing and building to survive hurricanes (concrete block). All housing and building that are being built now in Haiti are earthquake an hurricane proof. The codes are now STRICTLY enforced. All older housing were inspected. Opportunities in Haiti abounds in the construction sector.
By invitation of the government of Haiti, the United Nations in April 2004, established the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Haiti pays the MINUSTAH 600 million dollars per year for said protection, keeping the order and training of the Haitian National Police and possibly the future new Haitian military.
Non-governmental organization, or NGO, is a legally constituted organization created that operates independently from any government. The number of internationally operating NGOs is estimated at 40,000.
Starting a business in Haiti is easy. Haiti is open for business. There are UNBELIEVABLE opportunities in ALL SECTORS. Now is the perfect time to invest.
There are also companies that are looking for investors such as: http://www.simact.net/index.html
It is possible to work in Haiti. Especially now during the rebuilding of Port-au-Prince.
Is it possible to retire in Haiti? Of course. You can buy a home, lease an affordable apartment or bungalow. Depending on the location or amenities. There are projects in the works to develop apartment/condo communities. An example would be Cite Du Lac Project.