The Republic of Haiti is a Caribbean country, occupying the western side of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti or Ayiti as it is known locally was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first black-led republic in the world.
Haiti is predominantly a Francophone independent State. It is an amalgamation of various cultures from French influence to its African roots with a dash of Tainan Amerindians, the natives of Hispaniola. Haitians are known for their hospitality and the creativity of their art.
Independence was gained in 1804 following a successful slave revolution led by Toussaint Louverture. Since then, Haiti has suffered many years of political turmoil, international sanctions and social unrest. It struggled to establish a stable political system. In 1987 after the Duvalier regime was overthrown, a new constitution was enacted which gave birth to the present political framework. Michel Martelly was elected President in May 2011.
On the 12th January 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake which destroyed much of the capital, Port au Prince, killing over 200,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. During and since this time, the Haitian people have showed immense resilience and a determination to rebuild their homes, livelihoods, community and country.