Facts About Haiti

1. Haiti’s motto is: “L’Union Fait La Force” (Union Makes Strength).

2. Its official languages are French and Creole.

3. Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean. The country’s name came from an Arawak Indian word meaning “land of mountains.”

4. Haitian revolutionary leader Francois-Dominique Toussaint earned the nickname Toussaint-L’Ouverture (the opening), which referred to his ability to find an opening in the enemy lines as well as opening the way for Haiti’s independence.

5. Haiti is the first Black Republic in the World. It is the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery. It is the second country in the world to issue a Declaration of Independence, only 33 years after the United States of America.

6. Haiti’s national sport is soccer. Haiti first competed in the World Cup in 1974.

7. Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean, after the Dominican Republic and Cuba (which is the largest).

8. The capital Port-Au-Prince was founded in 1749 and was named for the Prince, a French ship anchored in the bay.

9. For much of the 17th and the 18th century, Haiti was responsible for 60% of the world’s coffee exports.

10. Haitian currency is named after the gourd, a plant of the Cucurbitaceous family. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and melons. Gourds were so important to the Haitian people that in 1807, President Henri Christophe (1761-1820) made them the base of national currency and declared all gourds the property of the state. Today, the Haitian currency is called “gourdes.”
SOURCES: http://www.worldatlas.com & http://www.embassyofhaiti-rsa.org