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Haiti at a Glance Haiti is a Caribbean nation, part of the island of Hispaniola which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was the first American.

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Presentation on theme: "Haiti at a Glance Haiti is a Caribbean nation, part of the island of Hispaniola which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was the first American."— Presentation transcript:

1 Haiti at a Glance Haiti is a Caribbean nation, part of the island of Hispaniola which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was the first American soil that Christopher Columbus colonized on behalf of the Spanish Crown in The native Amerindians were exterminated after several generations and black slaves were imported from Africa from the early 16 th century. Later Hispaniola became a haven for pirates due to its central location important for controlling the Caribbean waters. An island nation yearning for freedom A spirit of independence has been characteristic of Haiti. By rebelling against France (1804) it became the first independent nation in Latin America and first black- led republic in the world. Soon Haitians would be giving ample support to revolutionary Simon Bolivar who led many Latin- American uprisings against Spain after And Haiti was the first country to recognize the independence of the tiny Greek nation in 1821! Wealth and downfall Haiti was for some time one of the wealthiest per capita countries in Latin America based on extensive plantations of sugar, coffee, and indigo-producing plants. However, development in the Caribbean was repeatedly halted by external meddling and internal strife. For more than a century and a half ( ) France, the US, Germany, and other nations regularly intervened in Haitian politics through invasions, taxation, inciting regional hostilities, and other means. For 30 years starting in 1957 the country was ruled by ruthless dictator Francois Duvalier (Papa-Doc), his son Jean-Claude, and their militia. The ensuing diaspora made vital contributions to francophone Africa’s newly independent countries. Modern times From the 1990s onwards, Haiti has gone through a period of instability and prolonged economic contraction. It is the poorest country in the Americas and among the poorest in the Western hemisphere. To this was added the chaos produced by this year’s terrible earthquake. Let us hope that the resilience of the Haitian people will carry them through the difficult times. Jean-Pierre Boyer, one of the heroes of the 1804 revolution The Hellenic Society Prometheas Benefit Concert for Haiti, May 14, 2010

2 The January 2010 Haiti Earthquake Who is SOIL? Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is an ecologically focused non-profit working on sanitation issues in Haiti. Working directly on site with the stricken communities, they have responded to the earthquake challenges by developing and building sanitary facilities (toilets) in an urban setting with very little sanitation infrastructure. Soil erosion was already a long-standing problem in Haiti where over cultivation and lack of fuel sources have eliminated virtually all forest spaces and farmland resources. SOIL works to increase environmental and work resources while maintaining adequate standards of public health. On January 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti and devastated the capital, Port-Au- Prince. Reportedly more than 150,000 people were killed and many were buried rapidly in mass graves. A large number remain homeless. The Presidential palace, the Parliament, and many other edifices collapsed, along with countless homes and businesses. The Hellenic Society Prometheas, Inc. Benefit Concert for Haiti, May 14, 2010 How you can help A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are currently operating in Haiti. We have selected to benefit SOIL (see box) with this concert. We will ask for donations in the course of tonight’s event. In addition you can choose to contribute to a different NGO such as: National Nurses United: sends professional nurses to work in Haiti. Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.): delivers clothes, diapers, and water. Healing the Children: provides medical care for kids UNFPA: provides safe delivery kits to hospitals and midwives. The aftermath The quake has been a huge setback for this tiny country which had already suffered political and economic hard times for years. A number of Latin American and other countries have provided economic and logistical help, but the lack of resources makes recovery difficult to predict. Tell us more To tell us your opinion, learn more about Prometheas, or become a member contact us at or


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