Believe it or not, the island country of Haiti used to be the hottest vacation destination in the Caribbean. Sadly, due to poverty and natural disasters tourism in Haiti has plummeted over the last decades, while still remaining strong in the Dominican Republic with whom Haiti shares an Island. Even though it no longer tops the list of vacation spots, Haiti still has a lot to offer and regularly welcomes tourists and cruise ships.
Keep reading for 5 reasons you should visit Haiti as well as how you can help end child slavery on this struggling island nation.
Visit Haiti for the History
Haiti was the first independent black republic in the world, winning their freedom from French colonists in 1804. This strong spirit is still visible across the island and the story of how Haiti moved from slavery to freedom is displayed in both the architecture and monuments built to commemorate freedom. For instance, the Sans-Souci Palace and the Citadelle Laferrière were some of the first buildings erected after Haiti gained independence and have miraculously survived the earthquakes and natural disasters of the past 200 years.
Visit Haiti for the Culture
The culture of Haiti is colorful and vibrant. No matter what disaster strikes the Haitian people, they seem to rebound with vibrance and spirit. The dances, music, and unique religious practices of the Haitian people are something you won’t experience anywhere else as they are a unique mixture of French, African, Spanish, and native Taino influences.
Visit Haiti for the Landscape
Although Haiti is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and is known for beautiful beaches and fantastic surfing, it also boasts steep and stunning mountain regions. Haiti is home to some of the tallest peaks in the Caribbean, which make for beautiful vistas and difficult farming.
Visit Haiti for the Food
The food of Haiti will surprise and delight you with its flavors, freshness, and unique cultural influences. One night you can dine on traditional French cuisine and the next you can enjoy a regional dish consisting of fish, crab, okra, and local spices.
Visit Haiti to Help Children in Need
Despite all of its richness and bounty, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and struggles with ongoing poverty and hunger. By supporting tourism in Haiti, you are helping families and children in need as you increase the revenue of local businesses.
Give Freedom To Haitian Children
One of the plagues facing modern day Haiti is a form of child slavery known as the restavek system. Sadly, many parents don’t have enough food for their children, forcing them to send them to live with other families in hopes of survival. Oftentimes, these families put these children to work as child slaves, meaning they spend their days not at school or play, but doing backbreaking labor on meager rations.
Restavek Freedom is one of the top charities working on the island of Haiti and our goal is to end slavery in Haiti in our lifetime. We utilize child advocacy, education and creative communication to help put a stop to this system and improve child welfare across the island. You can partner with us through creative fundraising, donations, child sponsorship, and by raising awareness to the plight of the restavek children.
Join us today to end slavery in Haiti and give these children back their childhoods and the ability to enjoy their rich and vibrant culture.