Haiti hides many secrets just waiting to be discovered by the avid learner. It’s quite a journey if you’ve never read anything about Haiti or if you’re thinking about taking a vacation here. In this article, we’ll go through some of the most interesting facts about Haiti. Keep reading to learn more!
- Haiti Was the First Country to Abolish Slavery
Did you know that the Haitian Revolution of 1804 was the first successful slave revolt in history? The country gained independence in 1804 after 13 years of constant struggle and fighting. The United States abolished slavery in 1865. The conflict was long and arduous, but it was worth it in the end.
- Haiti Was the Richest French Colony
In the 18th century, when Haiti was a French colony, it was called the “Pearl of the Antilles” because it was the world’s leading producer of coffee and sugar. This resulted from the enslaved Africans who worked the plantations; over time, Haiti was plundered for all it had. Deforestation later on and subsequent natural disasters, which are still going on today, led to Haiti descending into instability and destitution.
- Haiti Has the Most Mountainous Regions in the Caribbean
Did you know that Haiti is also called the “Land of Mountains?” It’s a fitting name, given that the country has the most mountains in the Caribbean. There are five mountain regions in Haiti:
- Massif du Nord
- Montagnes Noires
- Massif de la Hotte
- Massif de la Selle
- Chain de Mateaux
These mountainous regions cover over 75% of the island’s surface, so it’s safe to say Haiti is a mountainous island, if nothing else.
- Voodooism Is a Major Religion in Haiti
Haiti was the first country in the world to recognize voodooism as an official religion, and even today, it plays a large role in Haitian society. The practice originated during colonial times and is mystical in nature, and many of the island’s citizens are deeply entrenched in believing voodooism is real. But Haitian is not only about voodoo. About 56% of the population is Roman Catholic, in fact. 30% are Protestants, and others identify as Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and so on.
- Haiti’s Currency Has the Name of a Plant
The national currency of Haiti is called the “gourd,” which, as you may or may not know, is also a principal food source found in Haiti. The gourd is a hard-skinned fruit that was an essential food source for Haitian people during the slavery period. Until 1991, 1 USD was equal to 5 Gourds, but ever since the exchange rate started being unstable, and now, 1 USD is equal to 139 Gourds.
- Haiti Had Many Dictators Ruling Over the Years
Between 1804 and 1915, Haiti had 70 different dictators ruling the country. The most recent president was Jovenel Moise, who was assassinated on the 7th of July, 2021. Over the years, the many dictators at the helm of the country made things worse, for the most part, but hopefully, that will change in the future.
- Cockfighting Is Very Popular in Haiti
Cockfighting has become a hit in Haiti, and special breeds of roosters are bred for this exact sport. These roosters are fed with raw meat and hot pepper soaked in rum to make them more violent and prone to aggression. Whoever wins takes home $67, which is equal to a month’s salary for most people in Haiti.
- Haiti Had Pirates Once
The Golden Age of pirates was between the 1660s and the 1730s. That’s right, Haiti was a go-to spot for pirates because of its gold mines and landscape, which made it easy for the pirates to escape with their loot. Pirates even had plantations and mining operations going on where enslaved Haitians would be working.