Howard University > Alternative Spring Break 2011 - Haiti
About Haiti

Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic in the West Indies of the Caribbean Ocean.  Its capital is Port-au-Prince.  Haitian Creole and French are the country’s official languages. Haiti was the first independent nation in Latin America and the first Black-led republic in the world when it gained independence as part of a successful slave revolution in 1804.

Haiti’s population is mostly concentrated in urban areas, coastal plains and valleys. According to 2008 estimates, Haiti's population was about 9.8 million with half of the population being under 20 years. Nearly 80 percent of Haitians profess to be Catholics.  Protestants make up about 16 percent of the population.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 28 percent of Haiti’s annual gross domestic product and employed about 66 percent of the labor force in 2004. The leading industries in Haiti produce beverages, butter, cement, detergent, edible oils, flour, refined
sugar, soap, and textiles. But growth in both manufacturing and industry as a whole has been slowed by a lack of capital investment. Most Haitians live on $2 or less per day, making Haiti one of the poorest countries in the world.

Population: 9.8 milion
Major Industry: Agriculture, forestry and fishing.

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