Did You Know...
1. Haiti is one of two countries that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Haiti makes up the western one-third of Hispaniola, while the Dominican Republic makes up the other two-thirds of the island.
2. On December 5th, 1492, navigator Christopher Columbus landed ship the Santa Maria at what is now called Mí´le Saint-Nicolas, Haiti. Although the island was inhabited by the Taíno Indians, Columbus claimed the land for Spain.
3. French buccaneers settled in the western part of the island of Hispaniola. Under the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain gave France the western third of Hispaniola, which is today’s Haiti. Spain continued control of the rest of the island, the Dominican Republic.
4. In 1791, ex-slave Toussaint L’Ouverture led nearly one-half million Haitian slaves in a revolt against Haiti’s French colonialists. Their eventual victory helped establish Haiti as the first black republic.
5. On January 1, 1804, Haiti gained its independence from France, and became the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, after the U.S.
6.. Haiti is 27,750 sq. km in size, which is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland and roughly equal to the state of Vermont.
7. By land size, Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean, after number one Cuba and number two the Dominican Republic.
8. Author, statesmen, and former-slave Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) was the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti from 1889 -1891.
9. Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean. Hayti or Ayiti is the Indian name for the country and means “land of the mountains.” Haiti’s mountain peaks reach over 8,000 feet.
10. During radical ex-priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s second term as Haitian president, the government established Voodoo as a state religion along with Catholicism.
11. The official languages of Haiti include French and Haitian Creole. Canada is the only other independent nation in the Americas that has French as an official language.
12. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck 14 miles west of Haiti in January 2010, destroying most of the capital of Port-au-Prince. The estimated death toll ranges exceeded 300,000 people.
(All facts excerpted from http://www.travelingwiththejones.com/2014/05/22/20-interesting-facts-about-haiti/)
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