HAITI: IT’S PAST AND PRESENT
Haiti is the second largest Caribbean Island. It occupies a third of the western part of the island it shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is also made up of several islands that surround the main territory. The capital is Port-au-Prince. It rains between November and March in the North of the island and between May and October in the South. “Once covered by forest, the country has been heavily logged for wood and fuel and to clear land for farming, and is now largely deforested.” Haiti is divided into “nine administrative departments.” Besides the capital, other important cities are Cap-Haitien and Gonaives. “Haiti is the most densely populated country in Latin America and has the lowest per capital income, with about half the people unemployed and three quarters living in the severest poverty.” Agriculture is the main economic activity in Haiti. The main crops grown are cassava, rice, sugarcane, sorghum, yams, corn, and plantains. The main exports are coffee, cotton, sugar, sisal, bauxite, and essences. The most predominant religion is Roman Catholicism. “Catholicism is enshrined in the Haitian constitution as the official state religion, and between 80 and 85% of Haitians are Catholics.” The religion of Voodoo is also practiced. “Vodou encompasses several different traditions, and consists of a mix encompassing African, European and indigenous Taìno religious elements.” It is unknown how many people practice Voodoo, but many practice it along with their Christian faith. Haiti has a rich culture that comes mostly from voodoo tribes. Haitian culture is a mixture of French, African elements, and native Taíno, with influence from the colonial Spanish. “The country's customs essentially are a blend of cultural beliefs that derived from the various ethnic groups that inhabited the island of Hispaniola.” “In nearly all aspects of modern Haitian society however, the European and African elements dominate. Haiti...
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