-The Taino/Arawak named their land Ayiti, meaning Land of High Mountains. In less than 40 years, Spanish invaders were responsible for the genocide of the 3 millions Haitian natives due to introduced diseases and slavery.
-The first and only country in the history of mankind whose independence is the result of a successful slave rebellion.
-Haiti is the first Black Republic in the World.
-The first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolished slavery; it would take the United States of America another 65 years to follow suit.
-The first and only Black Nation to have successfully defeated a major world power in a war; under the command of Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haiti defeated the world mightiest army at the time, France's; on November 18th 1803 after 14 years of battle.
-Haiti is unique in history, going directly from slavery to nationhood.
-The Independence of Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela was a result of direct monetary and military help from Haiti to Simon Bolivar, the greatest Hispanic military leader of all time.
-Simon Bolivar asked then Haiti's President, Alexandre Petion, to be named the founding father of Venezuela and South America for the help he provided him to fight against slavery in the South American continent; President Petion declined the honor and asked Simon Bolivar in return, only the total eradication of slavery " Wherever your arms have triumphed".
-The National flag of Venezuela was created at the sea port of Jacmel, a city in south east Haiti. Simon Bolivar included the blue and red from the Haitian Flag, as part of the new colors of Venezuela's national symbol in honor of Haiti being the first country in the world to fully eradicate slavery on its soil.
-By winning the Vertieres Battle on November 18th 1803, Haiti forced France to sell to the US, it's Louisiana territory, doubling the size of the United States of America. The Louisiana territory makes up today 15 US states and part of Canada. Namely, the US states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska; part of Minnesota, North Dakota and most of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, portions of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, all Louisiana and, land that will eventually become part of the current Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
-Upon Independence, Haiti became the first country in the American Continent to constitutionally grant all Its citizen full rights regardless of gender or race.
-Haiti occupied the Dominican Republic for 22 years. From 1822 to 1844, holding the entire Island of Hispaniola under Its jurisdiction. Today's Dominican Republic was called Spanish Haiti at the time.
-Haiti is one of the only two countries in the American Continent having French as an official language. The other is Canada.
-Haiti is the only country in the world with Vodou as an official religion.
-Cattle/cow were first introduced in the Americas, in Ile-a-Vache (cow island), a small Island off Haiti's southern coast by the Spanish.
-For over a century, the livelihood of as many as 25 million inhabitants of France, directly depended on the colonial trade centered in Haiti.
-Haiti supplied France for over half the wealth it derived from all its other colonies combined in the 18th century.
-For 105 years (1697-1802) Haiti was responsible for 40% of the sugar consumed in the entire world; 123 millions pounds in 1788 alone.
-For much of the 17th and the 18th century, Haiti was responsible for 60% of the world's coffee exports.
-On December 5th 1803, the exact day of the 311 years anniversary of when the first European sat foot on Haiti's soil, Jean Jacques Dessalines, the country father of Independence chased off the last remaining European off of Haiti.
Agritrans SA is a $27 million ambitious agricultural project whose goal is to cultivate organic plantains exclusively for exportation. On October 10th, 2014, in association with the 300 farmers benefiting employment through the project, 228.000 banana seedlings were planted over 1.000 hectares in Trou du Nord, a commune in northern Haiti, close to the city of Cap Haitian.
The Haitian government has injected $6 million into this project and plan to invest an additional $15 million in the coming year, to increase the plantation to 2 million banana trees. Agritrans SA has modern agricultural equipment such as irrigation pumps, an artificial lake with 700.000 gallon capacity, tractors etc... to assure the success of this important first step towards industrialized farming in Haiti.
Hugo Chavez International Airport Cap Haitian
October 2nd, 2014 was the Inauguration day of the Hugo Chavez International Airport in Cap Haitian, and American Airlines launching of its inaugural flight on the same day. American Airlines launched new daily service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Cap-Haitien, Haiti (CAP), adding a new international destination to the airline's growing global network.
"We have proudly served Haiti for more than 40 years and believe this new service is important not only for our customers, but also as an important catalyst to develop the north coast and open up this historically significant destination," said Art Torno, senior vice president – Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. Present during the Inaugurations where President Michel Martelly his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the Minister of Tourism Stéphanie Villedrouin, all emphasized that Haiti is Open for Business and that this new International Airport will open up the historic northern coast to the rest of the world.
Hilton Gardenn Inn
In mid 2014, the Hilton Worldwide signed a Management Agreement with CAB, S.A to operate the new build 12 story Hilton Gardenn Inn Port-au-Prince Louverture Airport. Scheduled to open in 2016, this new Hilton Gardenn Inn hotel in Haiti will introduce the Hilton Garden Inn brand to the Caribbean and debut the company's first hotel in Haiti.
"We are excited the Hilton Garden Inn brand continues to grow around the world and we are looking forward to opening in Port-au-Prince," said Adrian Kurre, global brand head, Hilton Garden Inn."Value-conscious guests will enjoy their stay with an award-winning upscale and affordable hotel experience with superior amenities at an affordable price." Danny Hughes, senior vice president, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Worldwide said, "As tourism continues to contribute significantly to Haiti's economic development, we are thrilled to work with Dominique Carvonis, President of CAB, S.A. and her team, and play a part in this growth.
With the brand's value proposition and the hotel's strategic location, we are confident the Hilton Garden Inn Port-au-Prince Louverture Airport will be a successful partner in the nation's capital and commercial hub." Dominique Carvonis, President of CAB, S.A. said, "Our joint efforts with Hilton Worldwide will help boost the environment of this industrial zone, creating nearly 100 direct jobs and 300 indirect employment roles. With Hilton Worldwide's comprehensive hotel training programs, we will develop skilled human resources thus contributing to increase the standards and quality of service to our guests, and ultimately enhance the prestige of our beloved Haiti."
Carnival Cruise will build a U$70 million cruise ship port in Ile de la Tortue (Tortuga Island), off of Port-de-Paix, Haiti's northwestern coast, making it the 7th Carnival Cruise port in the Caribbean. The Island of Tortuga, so named by Christopher Columbus for its turtle shape, became famous in the 17th century as a lawless territory populated by Dutch, Maltese, French, English and Spanish pirates. This $70 million project will be the largest cruise investment ever made in Haiti, surpassing Royal Caribbean in Labadee. “The development will create an exciting opportunity for our guests to enjoy a new, secluded and stunning destination on the island of Tortuga that the company expects will become a highly popular place for guests to enjoy for years to come,” David Candib, a Carnival Corp. vice president, said in a statement. The completion of the Cruise port is expected to be in 2015.
Haytrac Power and Gas
Haytrac Power & Gas has begun the construction of its U$123 million, 15.000 m3 terminal for storage and supply of liquefied natural gas on August 20th 2013, near Cité Soleil and Morne à Cabrit . Also part of the project is the construction of a pipeline to directly supply fuel to the power plants of the industrial area of Port-au-Prince. The significance of this project is enormous, it will eliminate the cost of fuel transportation of these companies operating in the industrial parks, rendering them more profitable which will in turn allow them to increase their productivities. Nearly 200 permanent local employments and an estimated 6.000 indirect jobs will be created in the process. The construction of the facility will take 36 months.
Tourist Destination Ile-a-Vache
Île à Vache is a small island of Haiti lying on the southwest peninsula near the town of Les Cayes, it is about 8 miles (13 Km) long, 2 miles (3.2Km) wide with an area of 20 squares miles (52 km). On August 20th, 2013 major development projects for the tiny island have officially begun. The Haitian government has allocated U$230 million for the construction of an international airport with a 1.6 miles (2.6 km) runway, modern roads throughout the island, electrification, a community radio, an emergency center, and a community center which will house a library, an internet cafe and a playground for children and an 18 holes golf course. Separate fund have also been set up for the rehabilitation of 2 major mangroves reserve on the island. In the meantime 4 major investment groups in the tourism industry have expressed their desire to built hotel facilities on the Island, namely Azur Resort and Spa, Blue Marlin Development S.A, Charles Fequiert S.A, Holmes International Development LLC and Royal Oasis; and on October of 2013, the government of venezuela annouced its partnership with the government of Haiti on a Village and Hotel on the Island of Ile-à-Vache. The completion of these projects are expected to be in 2015. I should also mention that there are already two resorts on the island,Abaka Bay and Port Morgan; earlier this year, the beach of Abaka Bay was ranked #57 onCNN World's 100 best beaches.
The Ministry of Commerce and industries signed accords with the representative of the anonymous Chinese enterprise Handxom, specializing in the manufacture of tablets and cell phones, for the construction of a free industrial zone of assembly for U$ 13 millions, in the commune of Ferrier. The company is expected to increase its investment in the assembly factory by U$3 million annually.
Some 13.000 direct employments will be created by this project. The representative of the Chinese enterprise also emphasize that the company will invest in the construction of additional modern industrial space within the free zone to attract other investors. The construction is expected to begin in early 2015.
Heineken will be investing more than $40 million in the coming years, starting in 2014, to upgrade and expand the Brasserie Nationale d'Haiti (BRANA), the brewer located in Port-au-Prince. Heineken raised its stake in the company from 22.5 percent to 95 percent. As of 2013 Heineken employs 1200 people. By 2018, more than 18.000 farmers will be able to produce 20 % sorghum, known in Haiti as (Pitimi) of the brewed products and 40% of the packaging materials for the company. Keep in mind that Heineken already buys 5.000 tons of sorgho annually from the farmers. “Our continued investment in local sourcing and capability building will positively impact the lives and opportunities of thousands of Haitians.”
Haiti is world famous for its distinctive art which continues to receive critical acclaim from around the world. Haitian art consists of mostly visual arts, such as paintings, sculpture and metal arts. Which is an art form endemic to the country. Haitian art reflect a complex tradition of African, French, Catholic and tribal Voodoo. It is mostly influenced by Voodoo.
A great number of Paintings and sculptures depict some sort of Voodoo scenery, ceremony, and deities. One other key component in most of Haitian art, specially paintings, is the joy depicted. Despite the misery and poverty that plagued the country, Haitians artist seem to always find a way to include the joyfulness of the people in their artistic expression. Another main aspect of Haitian Art is historicism. Important historic moments.
Sceneries from the long rebellion against colonization and slavery and culminating with independence in 1804, which was achieved with great resiliency and incredible suffering are usually portrayed.
The landscape of the country, and the everyday life of its people are also important components of the Haitian paintings. Haitian Art came to existence well before the emergence of Haitian people; way before the introduction of slavery, and definitely before Christopher Columbus and his men discovered the Island of Hispaniola.
The Taino Indians created paintings on the walls of their caves, huts, and even on their bodies. The Native's Art, just like it's people did not survive the brutalization of the Spanish conquerors. The Taino will eventually be engulfed with their culture, accustoms, language and art by the Spaniards inhumane treatments. Thus diminishing the Taino influence on Haitian modern Art. Specially its paintings.
Henry Christophe had a high regard for Culture and a profound passion to make the citizens of the newly born republic one of the most civilized, and creative people on earth. He encouraged the development of Art, by inviting several English artist to teach at the Royal Academy of Art in Milot.
After the death of Christophe, President Alexandre Petion who succeeded him, helped French artist establish an art school in Port-au-Prince. French Artist were invited to promote and train Haitian Artists. 1943 marked the beginning of a true revolution of Haitian arts, with the arrival of an American watercolorist , Dewitt Peters.
He opened the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince with the purpose of teaching art. Dewitt gave himself the mission to modernize Haitian art and introduce it to the rest of the word. Many talented, but unknown artist such as Hector Hypolite a well known Voodoo priest, who is mostly remembered as the father of the Southern School of Haitian Art, Philome Obin, Rigaud Benoit and Castra Bezile, stepped forward to work with Dewitt.
The Boundless creativity of Haitian has never ceased to amaze art critics and collectors around the world. The vitality of Haitian art is an astonishing reality and the its future is more than ever reassured.
Haitians artists are the Ambassadors of the culture of Haiti to the world. On your next visit, make sure you get a unique piece of art from the many galleries throughout Port-au-Prince or the endless street vendors. You will not only help them spread the word of beauty in talent of the people of Haiti, but you will be more than proud to add one more exceptionable masterpiece to your collection.
The National Anthem of Haiti is called "La Dessalinienne" in honor of Jean Jacques Dessalines, Father of the Country's Independence. This Anthem was selected as a result of a national competition, celebrating Haiti's 100 years of independence in 1904. The team Justin L'Herisson as the writer and Nicolas Geffrard the composer, won. The country's moral level at the time was greatly damaged and, this new National Anthem truly repaired Haiti's spirit, restored patriotism; promotes Liberty, Freedom and Self-reliance.
Pou Ayiti peyi Zansèt yo
Se pou-n mache men nan lamen
Nan mitan-n pa fèt pou gen trèt
Nou fèt pou-n sèl mèt tèt nou
Annou mache men nan lamen
Pou Ayiti ka vin pi bèl
Annou, annou, met tèt ansanm
Pou Ayiti onon tout Zansèt yo.
Pou Ayiti ak pou Zansèt yo
Fo nou kapab, vanyan gason
Moun pa fèt pou ret avèk moun
Se sa-k fè tout Manman ak tout Papa
Dwe pou voye Timoun lekòl
Pou yo aprann, pou yo konnen
Sa Tousen, Desalin, Kristòf, Petyon
Te fè pou wet Ayisyen anba bòt blan.
Pou Ayiti onon Zansèt yo
Se pou-n sekle se pou-n plante
Se nan tè tout fòs nou chita
Se li-k ba nou manje
Ann bite tè, ann voye wou
Ak kè kontan, fòk tè a bay.
Sekle,wouze, fanm kou gason
Pou-n rive viv ak sèl fòs ponyèt nou.
Pou Ayiti onon Zansèt yo
Ann leve tèt nou gad anlè
Pou tout moun, mande Granmèt la
Pou-l ba nou pwoteksyon
Pou move zanj pa detounen-n
Pou-n ka mache nan bon chimen
Pou libète ka libète
Fòk lajistis blayi sou peyi a.
Nou gon drapo tankou tout Pèp.
Se pou-n renmen-l, mouri pou li.
Se pa kado, blan te fè nou
Se san Zansèt nou yo ki te koule
Pou nou kenbe drapo nou wo
Se pou-n travay met tèt ansanm.
Pou lòt, peyi, ka respekte'n Drapo sila a se nanm tout Ayisyen
For Haiti, the Ancestors' Country
We must walk hand in hand
There must not be traitors among us
We must be ourselves's unique master
Let's walk hand in hand
For Haiti can be more beautiful. Let us, Let us put our heads together For Haiti in the name of all the Ancestors.