Haiti -- Geography --
(Land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taino or Amerindian name for the mountainous western side of the island.
27.8 thousand square kilometers.
Location: Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antillean archipelago, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic.
Coastline: 1,771 km
>Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous
Highest point in Haiti - Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft).
Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds. Average monthly temperatures 22-28 degrees C ?. Rainfall - 500-800 mm and leeward slopes to 2000 mm on windward. Artibonit navigable river. Forests occupy 7 percent of the territory
Population: (2009 est): 10,033,000[ Population growth rate:1.838% (2009 est.) Urban population: 47% of total population (2008est)
Ethnic groups: haitians: 98.8 % (black - 85 %, mulato - 15 %), other - 1.2 %.
Languages: French (official), Creole (official)
Religions: christians: 98.2% (Catholics - 76.8%, Protestant - 23.2%), but in fact the majority of the population professes African cult - voodoo, others - 1.8%
>Capital: Port-au-Prince (820 000) Bigger cities: Cap Haiten, Leogane
Departments: Haiti is divided into ten departments
Haiti -- History --
Til the beginning of Spanish colonization of the island s originally inhabited by the Taino Arawak Sohcahtoa Indians.( 1 million people)
06.12.1492 - Christopher Columbus lands and claims the island of Hispaniola for Spain.
1697 - Spain gave France the western part of the island;
1791 - rebellions of the slaves;
1793 - British troops invaded;
1798 - expel the British, the island is part of the rebels;
1802 - French Expeditionary Force arrives;
1803 - French troops surrender;
1804 - Declaration of independence of Haiti - the world's first black republic;
1844 - Separation of the eastern (Spanish) part of the island and the formation of the Dominican Republic;
1915 - The occupation of Haiti from the United States;
1957 - The dictatorship of Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc ");
1986 - free elections and an end to the dictatorship;
1971 - F. Duvalier dies, his son - Jean - Claude Duvalier ( "Baby Doc") take his place.
1991 - Military coup;
1994 - Return of the president and the beginning of democratization.
2003 - Woodoo is recognized as an oficial religion ;)
Haiti -- Economy --
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. While the economy has recovered in recent years, registering positive growth since 2005, four tropical storms in 2008 severely damaged the transportation infrastructure and agricultural sector. US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US. HOPE II, passed in October 2008, has further improved the export environment for the apparel sector by extending preferences to 2018; the apparel sector accounts for two-thirds of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP. Haiti suffers from high inflation, a lack of investment because of insecurity and limited infrastructure, and a severe trade deficit. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank.Haiti is expected to receive debt forgiveness for about $525 million of its debt through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative by mid-2009.
The industry is not developed, although the country is rich in minerals - copper and molybdenum ore, gold, silver, bauxite. It accounted for 20% of GDP in 2007, but employed only 9% of the work force. Industry has traditionally been primarily devoted to the processing of agricultural and forestry products, although the assembly of imported components for export to the US and other markets has grown into a substantial industry Basis of primitive agriculture is the production of export crops - coffee (12 tons), cotton, sugarcane, cocoa beans. Is also grows maize, millet, bananas, tobacco. Industry is represented by the bauxite mining and copper processing enterprises of agricultural products, cement and pharmaceutical plant.
Unemployment rate is very high; 6 of 10 people are illiterate and more than a quarter of children suffer from malnutrition. The median household income in Haiti is only 250 U.S. dollars a year.
Transportation - roads - 4 thousand km, including 1.5 thousand km. Solid coverage, railway lines - 40 km. Larger ports - Port au Prince and Cap Aiten.
Travel - International tourism is developing rapidly. Annual country is visited by 3 million. tourists.
Haiti -- Culture --
The Culture of Haiti encompasses a variety of Haitian traditions, from native Taino customs to practices imported during French colonization and Spanish imperialism. As in the cases of Cuba and the Dominican .Haiti is a nation with strong African contributions to the culture as well as its language, music and religion. French, Spanish, and to a lesser extent (food, art, and folk religion) Taino and Arab customs are present in society. Typical for the culture of Haiti are the local festivals, the largest of which is in February.
Haiti -- Political system, law and government --
Haiti is a semi-presidential republic with an elected government. Haiti is governed under the constitution of 1987, which was suspended and reinstated several times between 1988 and 2006, when the country returned to constitutional rule. The president is the head of state; the prime minister, who is appointed by the president and confirmed by the legislature, is the head of government. Most power resides with the president. Haiti has a bicameral legislature, the National Assembly, with a 30-seat Senate, whose members are elected to six-year terms, and a 99-seat Chamber of Deputies, whose members are elected to four-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into 10 departments. President: Rene Preval (elected 2006).