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Haiti Hotels

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The Republic of Haiti occupies the western third of the island. Haitian Créole is the only language of 85 percent of its inhabitants. It evolved from French into a distinct language. The other 15 percent speak Créole and French. About 95 percent are of virtually pure African descent. The rest are mostly mulattoes, the descendants of unions between French masters and African slaves. The mulattoes became the ruling class, called the élite. In the last 50 years their economic preeminence has been weakened by Arab immigrants while an emerging black middle-class took over the state sector. Haiti is an Indian word meaning ‘high ground’. It is the Caribbean’s most mountainous country. Except for a few small, mainly coastal plains and the central Artibonite River valley, the entire country is a mass of ranges. The highest peak is the 2,674-metre La Selle, southeast of the capital. Little remains of Haiti’s once luxuriant forest cover, cut down for fuel or to make way for farming. With soil erosion and desertification far advanced, Haiti is an ecological disaster. The main regions still regularly receiving abundant rainfall are the southwest peninsula and the eastern two thirds of the northern seaboard. Haiti has two rainy seasons: April-May and September-October.

The Haitians are almost wholly black, with a culture that is a unique mixture of African and French influences. Haiti was a French colony until 1804 when, fired by the example of the French Revolution, the black slaves revolted, massacred the French landowners and proclaimed the world’s first black republic. Throughout the 19th century the Haitians reverted to a primitive way of life, indulging in a succession of bloody, almost tribal wars. Even today, nowhere else in the Caribbean do African cults, particularly voodoo, play such a part in everyday life. The country is desperately poor and the standard of living is the lowest in the Americas. According to UNICEF, the literacy rate is only 45 percent, while only 20 percent of children reach secondary school. Click here to go to Haiti web site.

 

 

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