Haiti is located in the Caribbean which occupies a smaller part of Hispaniola Island of 'Greater Antillean' archipelago also shared by Dominican Republic. The highest point of the island is the 'Pic la Selle' and Port-au-Prince is the capital of the island. Haiti is unique in its historical, regional and ethno linguistic position. It became the first Latin American independent nation and the first republic led by blacks. Haiti suffered a bad earthquake with the magnitude of 7.0 Richter scale on January 12, 2010 which devastated Port-au-Prince, capital city of Haiti. The inhabitants of Haiti were Taino Indians during the arrival of Europeans in to the island.
Haiti was declared as the French colony in 1697 and the independence declared in the year 1804. But the independence of Haiti was recognized by the France only on 17th April 1825. Haiti is now a semi-presidential republic with multi-party system. Head of the state is President who is elected directly by elections. Head of the government is the Prime Minister who is appointed by President. Both President and the Prime Minister hold the executive power of the nation. Legislative power is carried out by government as well as two chamber of National Assembly.
Haiti is Americas’ poorest country where 80% of the people are suffering poverty. The population of Haiti is about 10 million and among them 80-85% are of West African descendants. Remaining people are mainly mulattoes and others are Whites, Asians and Arabs. Taino was the major language of Haiti and now, the official languages are Haitian Creole, French, French Creole with African influence and some Taino and Spanish influence. Other spoken languages are English and Spanish. Major religion of the island is Roman Catholics which consist of 50-55% of the population. Protestantism is followed by 30-35% of the population.
The charming atmosphere and natural beauty of Haiti lure the tourists from various part of the world. The Citadelle is a historical site that provides you a clear representation of the country’s history. Musee de Guahab, a museum with numerous artifacts and art of historical times is also worth visiting. Barbancourt Rum Distillery is another famous attraction where you can see the making of rum and you can also taste some good quality rums there. Labadie Island is known for the beauty of nature and the tourists can go for a cruise to enjoy the beauty of bays and beaches of the island.
Plaine du Cul de Sac is a popular destination where you can find a fertile land of huge stretch which is located towards border of Dominican Republic. Lake Saumatre is another attraction famous for flamingos, crocodiles and water buffaloes. Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti is a cultural spot where the tourists can enjoy the two cathedrals, Museum of Haitian Art, Statue of Unknown Slave, Defly Mansion, Iron Market and Gingerbread Houses. Cap-Haitien is another popular tourist spot where you can find fine beaches, mountains and Spanish style buildings. Some of the popular tourist spots to enjoy the scenic beauty of the island are Leogane, Petit Goave, Jacmel, Mole Saint-Nicolas, Petionville, Miragoane, Port-de-Paix and Carrefour.