Haiti Fact Sheet
COUNTRY PROFILE
: Haiti / reprinted from BBC News
The following profile is reprinted only as a reference and is not
intended to reflect one or other
political interpretation of Haiti or its history.
The world's first black-led republic and the first Caribbean
state to achieve independence,
Haiti's pride has been dented by decades of poverty,
environmental degradation,
violence, instability and dictatorship which have left it as the
poorest country in the
Americas.
A largely mountainous country with a tropical climate, Haiti's
location, history and culture, epitomised
by voodoo, with its associated music, drumming and dancing,
had once made it a
potential tourist hot spot. However, instability and violence,
especially since the 1980s, have all
but killed off this prospect.
Population: 8.4 million (UN, 2004)
Location and Area: Western part of the island of Hispaniola;    
           Other 2/3 is Dominican republic: 50 mi. East of Cuba;      
           800 mi. Southeast of Miami
Capital: Port-au-Prince
President: Rene Garcia Preval (2006)
Area: 27,750 sq km (10,714 sq miles) about the size a               
           Maryland
Major languages: Creole, French
Major religion: Christianity, Voodoo Roman Catholic 70%,         
        Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4                          
        Adventist 1%, other 1%) Note: roughly half the population   
           practices Voodoo
Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 51 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit:  gourde:40 gourdes = $1.00 us
Minimum Wage: 90 gourdes per day
Main exports: Light manufactures, coffee, oils, mangoes, rice
GNI per capita: US $426 (World Bank, 2005)
Climate: Temperature is warm, ranging year-round from
70-93° F in the coastal regions, and 50-75 in the mountainous
areas; rainy seasons are April-May and August-October.
ABOUT ONE BLOCK AT A TIME
One Block At A Time is a dream of mine to help the less
fortunate. It is set up as a non-profit corporation. Many people
expressed an interest in helping on a project in Haiti after they
heard about a group I was involved in that helped build a school
in Haiti. Many people expressed the interest to help,  but wanted
to help physically instead of, or in addition to financially. The goal
of this corporation is to raise funds to build homes in Haiti. Part of
that goal is to involve volunteers from this area to travel with me
and work with the villagers in Haiti to build the homes. We will
build shelter as well as educate those helping, to form
friendships ONE BLOCK AT A TIME.--Ben
One Block At A Time is a start up non-profit corporation, getting
started in 2005. At this time I hope to have homes built before the
end of the year. Please go to the
current project page to see more
on this topic
.
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CAN HELP
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The Goals of this corporation are to build as many homes as
possible for the poor. Another goal is to get as many people
involved in the projects to educate the people in this area just
how blessed they are with what they have.
Why Haiti: As I write this, many areas of the United States are
digging out from hurricane Katrina. So why not direct my
attention to the people at home? I am tempted to go to help but
there is no structure to the recovery efforts at this time. We are
blessed in the U.S.A. to have Fema, Red Cross, and the
National Guard to name a few that will provide for these people.
In Haiti they have no support system. Many of the people we will
be building homes for lost their homes to hurricanes or
flooding, and have been living in rickety structures made of
cardboard, sticks, mud, straw, or in tents for years now. That is
why I feel the need to help these people.--Ben
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