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10 Things to Know About Haiti

10 Things to Know About Haiti

The most important thing to know about Haiti is that strength and courage are woven into the very fabric of the island nation.

We’ve been talking a lot about Haiti the past few weeks, so we thought we'd provide some context and background about this country and its people.*

1. Christopher Columbus sailed to Haiti, then called Hispaniola, in 1492. Within 25 years, Spanish settlers annihilated the native people. 

2. In the 1600s, the French established a colony in Haiti.

3. Haiti became the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world. Haiti declared its independence in 1804 after its half million slaves revolted.

4. French and Creole are the country’s official languages.


5. 55 percent of Haitians are Roman Catholic, but voodoo was recognized as an official religion in 2003.

6. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, like the recent hurricane.

7. The second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti was devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

8. Haiti has a transitional government. Its parliament elected an interim president after the president stepped down from office in February 2016. Its electoral council postponed the country's most recent presidential election after Hurricane Matthew devastated the country.


9. Feed My Starving Children has more than 30 food distribution partners in Haiti, making it our largest food recipient.

10. We also have more than 500 artisan partners in Haiti, whose goods we sell in our MarketPlace. This, in addition to partnering with local organizations, helps promote sustainability.


*CIA World Factbook

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