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Newspaper announcing the name change of Saint-Domingue.
Bicentennial celebrations in Port-au-Prince (2004).
Outline map of Haiti.
Political map of Haiti (1999)
The Republic of Haiti (French: République d'Haïti; Haitian Creole: Repiblik Dayiti; Spanish: Haití - also spelled Hayti in the 19th century up to the early 20th century - as in this Tobacco Advertisement from 1888.) a country situated on the western third of the island of Hispaniola and the smaller islands of La Gonâve, La Tortue (Tortuga), Les Cayemites, La Grande Caye, and Ile a Vache in the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba; Haiti shares Hispaniola 1, part of the Greater Antilles, with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is the second republic in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States and the first republic founded by people of African ancestry. Under French colonial rule Haiti was named Saint-Domingue.

The name Haiti derives from the Arawak language of the native Taíno and means land of the mountains. This is the name chosen by Jean-Jacques Dessalines after the victory over the French colonizers in 1803. Pronounciation of Haiti: /ˈheɪtiː/; French: Haïti, pronounced: [a.iti]; Haitian Creole: Ayiti.

Note: For Haiti before the revolution, before independence from France in 1804, see: Saint-Domingue.


Image of François Capois on a Haitian banknote.
The Haitian Gourde (Kreyòl: Goud) is the currency of Haiti.

1 Gourde = 100 Centimes.
1 Haitian Dollar = 5 Gourdes (this unit does not exist as paper note).

Flag of the Republic of Haiti

Haitian Flag

See: Flag of Haiti

Haitian Holidays

Official Haitian holidays - (on the same ame date every year):

  • January 1 - Jour de l'Indépendance; Jour De l'An - Independence Day; New Year's Day
  • January 2 - Jour Des Aïeux - National Day of the forefathers
  • May 1 - Fête de l'Agriculture et du travail - Agriculture and Labor Day
  • May 18 - Jour du Drapeau - Flag Day
  • October 17 - Mort de Dessalines - Anniversary of Jean-Jacques Dessalines's death
  • November 1 - La Toussaint - All Saints' Day
  • November 2 - Jour des Morts - Day of the Dead
  • November 18 - Bataille de Vertières - Battle of Vertières' Day also used to be Armed Forces Day (Jour Des Forces Armées)
  • December 25 - Jour de Noël - Christmas

    Moveable Feasts:
  • Carnival (Only one day is an official holiday)(Mardi Gras)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter


    Haiti became independent on January 1, 1804, the date on which Jean-Jacques Dessalines read the Haitian Declaration of Independence, on the Place des Armes in Gonaives.
    It was drafted by Boisrond Tonnerre.


    Haiti and surrounding islands
    The nation of Haiti comprises the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, west of the Dominican Republic and between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Haiti's geographic coordinates are at a longitude of 72° 25′ west and a latitude of 19° 00′ north. The total area is 27,750km² (10,711 sq miles) of which 27,560km² (10,638 sq miles) is land and 190km² (73 sq miles) is water. This makes Haiti slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland.
    Haiti has 1,771km (1,100 miles) of coastline and a 360km (224 miles)-border with the Dominican Republic.

    Haïti is the French spelling of the Taino name Ayiti (transl. Land of the Mountains).

    Haiti's lowest elevation is at sea level; its highest point is Chaine de la Selle at 2,680m (8793 ft). There are no navigable rivers.

    Lake Étang Saumâtre

    Lake Étang Saumâtre, Haiti's largest salt-water lake, is located at coor 18°35′N 72°00′W in southeastern Haiti, bordering the Dominican Republic. The lake has an area of around 168 km² (65 square miles) and is 29 km (18 miles) east of Port-au-Prince on the fertile Plaine du Cul-de-Sac. Some 29km (18 miles) long and up to 9.7km (6 miles) wide, the lake supports over 100 species of waterfowl, flamingos and American crocodiles. The colour of the lake is an intense shade of blue and this picturesque lake is skirted by brush and cacti.

    Departments of Haiti

    Map of the departments of Haiti in alphabetical order.
    Haiti is divided into ten departments (Kreyòl: depatman; French: départements):
    1. Artibonite
    2. Centre
    3. Grand'Anse
    4. Nippes (created 2003, from eastern part of Grand'Anse)
    5. Nord
    6. Nord-Est
    7. Nord-Ouest
    8. Ouest
    9. Sud-Est
    10. Sud

    There's also what is commonly called the 10th Department, which stands for the over two million Haitians living outside the country. The term was coined during Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's term in office (At the time Haiti itself had just nine departements, hence ten for the numbering).This group of Haitians is regarded as vital for the economic and political future of the nation,

    List of towns in Haiti

    Towns in Haitii
    Rank Town Departement
    1. Port-au-Prince Ouest
    2. Cap-Haïtien Nord
    3. Pétionville Ouest
    4. Gonaives Artibonite
    5. Saint-Marc Artibonite
    6. Les Cayes Sud
    7. Verrettes Artibonite
    8. Port-de-Paix Nord-Ouest
    9. Jacmel Sud-Est
    10. Limbe Nord
    11. Jérémie Grand'Anse
    12. Petite Rivière de Artibonite Artibonite
    13. Hinche Centre
    14. Petit Goâve Ouest
    15. Desdunes Artibonite
    16. Marchand Dessalines Artibonite
    17. Saint-Louis-du-Nord Nord-Ouest
    18. Saint-Michel-de-l'Atalaye Artibonite
    19. Léogâne Ouest
    20. Fort-Liberté Nord-Est
    21. Trou-du-Nord Nord-Est
    22. Ouanaminthe Nord-Est
    23. Mirebalais Centre
    24. Grande-Rivière-du-Nord Nord
    25. Lascahobas Centre
    26. Anse-d'Hainault Grand'Anse
    27. Gros-Morne Artibonite
    28. Anse-à-Galets Ouest
    29. Pignon Nord
    30. Croix-des-Bouquets Ouest
    31. Dame Marie Grand'Anse
    32. Miragoâne Nippes
    33. Saint-Raphael Artibonite
    34. Aquin Sud
    35. Kenscoff Ouest
    36. Jean-Rabel Nord-Ouest

    Maritime claims

    • Contiguous zone: 24 nm
    • Continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
    • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    • Territorial sea: 12 nm

    National anthem

    The Haitian national anthem, La Dessalinienne was adopted in 1904 and named in honor of the the independent nation's first ruler and revolutionary hero: Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

    Note 1: A Taíno name for Hispaniola, still used in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is Quisqueya (Kreyòl: Kiskeya) meaning: 'the cradle of life'. This name is preferred by many, since Hispaniola is the name given by the colonizers that nearly destroyed the native people and their culture and also established the slavery on the island.

    See also




    • Greater Antilles - the islands South of the United States including Haiti
    • Caribbean Sea - The sea south of Haiti.
    • Hispaniola - The island on which Haiti is situated (Also, and more correctly, named Quisqueya or Kiskeya)





    • Departments of Haiti. (2005, November 26). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:35, December 4, 2005 [1].
    • "Saumâtre, Étang." The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. Columbia University Press: 2000. [2]

    External Links

    Haitian Authorities




    Webpages in Kreyòl