Each year in Haiti in the weeks before Lent, Carnival or Kanaval is a joyous celebration of culture and music. It is the biggest celebration in Haiti and one of the largest in the Caribbean, involving dances and colorful parades that wind through the busy streets day and night. In a country often embroiled in political upheaval, Kanaval songs expose the social and political pulse of the country, and at times have even predicted the fate of governments.
On a dusty street filled with pedestrians, live­stock, and motorcycles, these young Haitians have formed their own band using whatever they could find as instruments. Their laughter and music fill the morning air, their drumbeats reflecting Haiti’s vibrant pulse.
Photo © 2009 Jennifer Singler
Peace Corps Volunteer
Botswana 1995-1997


Repiblik d’ Ayiti

Area 27,750 km² (RANK 148)

Arable 28.1%

Capital Port-Au-Prince (2.1M)

Population 9,801,664 (353/km²)

Literacy 53%

Life expectancy 63 yrs

HIV/AIDS 1.9% (120,000)

In poverty 80%

Military 0.9% of GDP (RANK 141 of 195)

Languages French, Creole

Religions Roman Catholic 80%, Voodoo 50%, Protestant 16%, none 1%

Gov’t Republic

GDP/capita $1,300

Agriculture coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum, wood

Industry apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee

PCVs 1982-87, 1990-91, 1996-2005, TTD 516

Focus word for 2014 - "Home"

Creole (official): kay (kai)

indigenous design from Nepal

Copyright © Julie Olsen

Map of the world


Does the President have AIDS?
Director: Arnold Antonin (2007)

Herby, Jazz and Haitian Music.
Director: Arnold Antonin (2012)



A Promise in Haiti
by Mark Curnutte, 2011
Book Description
A reporter chronicles the devastating poverty and havoc of earthquakes and hurricanes, and his involvement in people’s struggles and triumphs.

Kids' Books

Bouki Cuts Wood: A Haitian Folktale
by St John & Revell
2011. 24 pages.
ISBN-13: 978-1609731359
Ages 5-up