Osner’s Foundation is a great charity that focuses on helping out the children of Haiti. However Haiti may be a country that is not well known about by many people. In this post will be an outline of the nation of Haiti, a little bit about the history of the nation, the geography, and the culture to hopefully better educate people.
Haiti is the western half of the island of Hispaniola, a part of the Greater Antilles archipelago (a chain of islands) in the Caribbean Sea. The Dominican Republic are their neighbors to the east and share the island of Hispaniola with them. Today, Haiti has a population of about 10.6 million people. The people of Haiti are known as Haitians, and speak French, as well as Haitian Creole. Their current president is named Jocelerme Privert, and their Prime Minister is Enex Jean-Charles. The capital, and largest city of Haiti is Port-au-Prince. Haiti has an area of 10,714 square miles, making it about the size of the state of Massachusetts. Being in the Caribbean gives Haiti a tropical climate. It rarely drops below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, is very humid, and will usually be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round in the daytime.
The island of Hispaniola was one of the islands visited by Christopher Columbus on his initial voyage to the “New World” in 1492. Prior to Columbus’ voyage to the New World, Haiti was inhabited exclusively by the Taíno people. The Taíno people were the first natives of North America to come in contact with Europeans and were initially thought to be Indians, like actual Indians from India, not Native Americans. The Taínos also inhabited other Caribbean islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica.
Haiti was under Spanish control from 1492 to 1625, as Spain controlled the entire island of Hispaniola. After disputes with the French, Spain relinquished the western part of the island to France in 1625 after which it became known as Saint-Dominigue. During this time, Haiti was primarily used for plantations with sugar cane, as sugar was an extremely sought after commodity at the time.
Inspired by the French Revolution of 1789, and led by Toussaint Louverture, Haiti began its own Revolution in 1791. This revolution lasted until 1804, where Haiti won its independence from France. The battle for independence was long and taxing for both sides, and led to the Louisiana Purchase between the French and US in order to help France finance the effort. Louverture is regarded as a hero by the Haitian people, and still shows up on their currency today.
Today, Haiti has a weak economy and relies heavily on foreign aid. Disasters such as the 2010 Earthquake and subsequent Cholera outbreak have severely diminished the quality of life for the people there, as well as harming the economy. The 2010 earthquake is said to have caused up to $7.8 billion in damage.
The country of Haiti unfortunately remains in dire need of help, the children especially. Thankfully there are charities such as the Osner’s Foundation that provide assistance to children that need it so badly. You can help! Visit our website www.osners.org to see how you can donate, or lend assistance.