Your guide to being an expatriate in Haiti

Caffeinate Your Haiti Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Haiti, formally known as the Republic of Haiti, is a country located in the western part of the Caribbean Sea. It shares a border with the Dominican Republic and is the second-largest country in the Caribbean by size. Haiti gained independence in 1804, becoming the first black republic in the world. Known for its art, music, and literature, Haiti's unique cultural heritage reflects its complex and diverse history.


Expat destinations in Haiti

Demographics of Haiti:

Ethnic groups

  • Black Haitians: 95%
  • Mixed: 3%
  • Multiracial: 2%


  • Creole: Official (based on French)
  • French: Used in administration, courts, and commerce

Religion Overview

Haiti has a strong Christian heritage, and over 80 percent of the population is Catholic. Protestant denominations account for approximately 16 percent of the population, while other religions make up less than 1 percent.

Major Religions


Haiti has a tropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, relatively dry winters. The country experiences frequent and heavy rainfall during the rainy season, which runs from May to November.

Economy Overview

Haiti's economy is predominantly agriculture-based, with subsistence farming being the primary source of income for many rural communities. The service sector is also growing rapidly, particularly in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The country is ranked as one of the poorest in the world, with high levels of poverty and inequality.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing (primarily textiles and assembly operations for foreign-owned companies)
  • Mining (gold, bauxite, and limestone)

Major Companies

  • Haiti Brewing Company
  • Haiti Cement
  • Teleco (telecommunications)
  • SEKA Investments and Development Company (a joint Haitian-Japanese company involved in forestry, paper production, and agribusiness)

Culture and Language Overview

Haiti's culture is rich and diverse, reflecting its history of African, European, and indigenous influences. Music, dance, and visual arts are central to Haitian culture, often used to express social criticisms and political commentary. Creole is the primary spoken language, while French is used for official purposes.

Cultural Highlights

  • Carnival: held annually in late February or early March, this vibrant celebration features music, dance, and elaborate costumes.
  • Vodou: An Afro-Caribbean religious tradition blending elements of West African religious practices, Catholicism, and indigenous beliefs.
  • Garde: A traditional rural dance characterized by its energetic footwork, especially prominent in southern Haiti.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Haiti's stunning natural landscapes include rugged mountains, verdant valleys, and pristine beaches, with tropical rainforests covering much of the country. The island is also home to several significant geological features, including the cave system of Grotte Marie-Jeanne and Lake Azuéi.

Notable Landmarks

  • Citadelle Laferrière: A huge hilltop fortress built in the early 19th century to defend against foreign invasion.
  • Château Doudou: A historical royal palace turned hotel with spectacular views of the Bay of Gonaïves.
  • Lake Azuéi: A serene and picturesque volcanic lake surrounded by lush forest and mountains.
  • Grotte Marie-Jeanne: A limestone cave system filled with stunning rock formations and underground lakes.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Independence Day (January 1)
  • Ash Wednesday (date varies)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Labour Day (May 1)
  • Assumption Day (August 15)
  • St. Theresa of Lisieux (October 1)
  • All Saint's Day (November 1)
  • Independence Day Celebrations (November 18)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Political Stability

Haiti has experienced significant political instability in recent years, with military coups, protests, and political assassinations. The country has struggled with corruption, violence, and poverty, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. Haiti's future political stability and economic development will depend on factors such as institutional reform, foreign aid, and democratic governance.

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