Haiti is a difficult country to chart<br />The country has only had five censuses in its 200+ years<br />The greatest problem has been the 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake <br />No statistics here are before 2001<br />Many statistics have some level of estimation to them<br />All of this means: No one really knows Haiti<br />I made for myself this rule: If I didn’t come across a statistic at least twice, I withdrew it.<br />Many of these statistics are actually much worse…<br />Prefatory Note:<br />
At the economic base of the pyramid, several systems battle each other for leverage<br />These battles tell a story…<br />
Haiti vs. Dominican Republic<br />Columbus discovered Hispaniola in 1492<br />The French took the West side of the island from Spain and imported African slaves <br />Haiti was the crown jewel of the French Empire<br />Haiti abused its resources—massive amounts of Haitian timber was exported to France. Haiti was once the largest exporter of timber in the Western Hemisphere<br />Haiti has always been more densely populated than its neighbor, almost equal population, (9 million) except Haiti is half the size<br />Per capita GDP $5,464 vs. $1,338<br />GDP $50.874 vs. $11.976 Billion<br />Dominican Republic has more arable land and more rain<br />Genocide of Haitian immigrants by Trujillo/ El Tiempo de Mariaposas<br />
Haiti is disproportionately female—especially in urban areas<br />50-70% of households in Port-au-Prince are headed by women—30% in rural areas<br />Haitian women participate in the workforce to a far greater extent than in neighboring countries<br />75% of the assembly industry is female<br />70% of the services sector is female<br />Most common marital relationship (85%) is a plasaj: an agreement between families—not a marriage<br />A man or a woman may have a number of plasaj-relationships in their lifetime, and children with different people. The elite look down on plasajarrangements <br />Marriage, which is expensive, gives social prestige<br />Women’s issues are strong and growing, very little gender discrimination<br />Male vs. Female<br />
Haiti is a disproportionately young society<br />33% of Haiti is school age ( 5-18 years old)<br />40% of the population is under age 15<br />Unsafe water, unsanitary conditions make it hard to get old<br />Life expectancy: 59.2<br />2010 estimates are horrific: Life expectancy at birth: total population: 29.93 years male: 29.61 years female: 30.25 years <br />Young vs. Old<br />
Haiti is 95% Black and 5% Mulatto/White<br />1791-1803: Haitian Revolution/ Black uprising, destruction of Mulatto/White property, and mass murder of Mulatto/Whites<br />In 1804: Haiti declared independence—2nd oldest republic after U.S.<br />1915: U.S. occupies Haiti for 19 years after government executes 150 political prisoners <br />Black majority and ruling Mulattoes have always been in conflict<br />Black Nationalism has not helped Haiti: Francois Duvalier<br />Haitians in Dominican Republic typically shun their African heritage <br />The Dominican Republic does not view black Haitians favorably<br />Black vs. Mulatto<br />
Almost all government services are exclusively available in cities <br />Port-au-Prince has: 52% of country’s hospital beds, 73% of it’s physicians, and 67% of its nurses<br />Almost all foreign aid goes directly to cities—especially the capital<br />For this reason, rural poverty is more severe than urban poverty <br />Growth in urban areas results from an inability to live in rural areas<br />Heavy deforestation comes from energy needs/rapid urbanization: wood in rural areas and charcoal made from wood in urban areas—fossil fuel consumption is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere<br />Haiti remains the most rural country, as well as the most densely populated country, in the Western Hemisphere<br />Much travel is done in Tap-Taps, which means Quick-Quick. These are trucks that have been converted to hold several passengers. Riding in one is crowded and dangerous, but often necessary.<br />Rural vs. Urban<br />
Haiti has two prevalent languages—Creole is the national language as of 1987<br />9 out of 10 Haitians only speak Creole<br />1 out of 20 is fluent in both<br />Fluency in French is an indicator of elite status<br />In Creole the phrase “to speak French” means “to be a hypocrite”<br />School textbooks are generally written in French, although teaching is generally done in Creole<br />Talking has a high cultural value<br />Emigration to U.S. and Dominican Republic has resulted in Haitians using English and Spanish<br />French vs. Creole<br />
Roman Catholicism is the official religion of Haiti<br />Interestingly, Haiti has had a priest as president<br />Voodoo, which originates from Haiti, is practiced in conjunction with Catholicism by Haitians<br />Historically, the church and state have tried to persecute voodoo, to no avail<br />Voodoo transcends class and race. It is the result of African slaves holding onto their indigenous religious beliefs after being forcefully converted to Christianity<br />Past presidents have employed Voodoo priests as counselors and advisors<br />Roman Catholicism vs. Voodoo<br />
Cash crops: coffee and sugar cane (cocoa and cotton)—competitive and speculative<br />Food crops: legumes, rice, bananas( banana trees are easily destroyed by tropical storms), beans, corn, potatoes (tubers increase soil erosion)<br />Agriculture is declining as population is increasing<br />Tropical storms, floods, droughts, and hurricanes are common<br />Only 7% of the land is suitable for farming due to mountainous terrain, yet 48% of the land is cultivated<br />Fishing is done mostly for consumption, not commercial, needs<br />Haiti exports significant amounts of coral, sea turtles, and aquarium fish directly to the United States<br />Cash Crops vs. Food Crops<br />
On November 28 2010: A fraudulent election<br />March 20th: A run-off election will be held to decide Haiti’s next president<br />Ms. MirlandeManigat vs. Mr. Michel Martelly<br />Haiti’s Interim Reconstruction Commission, chaired by ex- U.S. president Bill Clinton, is awaiting the results <br />Aid to Haiti- several millions- has been frozen pending this election<br />Haiti’s future hangs in the balance<br />
Globalization has left Haiti behind. Without much natural wealth, Haiti can do little else but react to the future <br />One large impact of technology on Haiti has been mobile giving<br />Climate change means a more violent and unpredictable hurricane season<br />
Haiti’s importance on the worlds stage is like an accordion…it expands and shrinks<br />Haiti was in serious trouble long before the earthquake<br />
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