Haiti Earthquake 


of 2010

According to reporting news sources, 

approximately 3 million people 

were affected by this catastrophe in the Western 

Hemisphere's poorest nation.

 In Your boundless Spiritual home,


dear God, we are all known.


A magnitude-7.0 earthquake forcibly hit southern Haiti, 


on the afternoon of January 12, 2010. 


Cars came to a screeching halt, while in the streets 


buildings were crumbling, collapsing, and


flattening, power lines were everywhere, and pedestrians 


were left running for their lives. 



The 7.0 magnitude earthquake


was reported to be the equivalent to the energy


of several nuclear bombs.  


Haitians were reported to have been 


clawing at chunks of concrete


with bare hands and sledgehammers,


trying to free those buried alive. 


Roughly 250,000 lives were lost and 300,000 people

 

were injured. About 1.5 million individuals 


were forced to live in makeshift displaced persons camps.

Years after the 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti,

 

an unsound relief effort has meant ...


the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere 


still has not fully recovered 


from the disastrous earthquake of 2010.

 God hears the groaning of his people.


When we hurt and cry out to God,


He attends to us. 


“For God has not ignored or belittled


the suffering of the needy. 


He has not turned His back on them,


but has listened to their cries for help”


Psalm 22:24 

Haiti (pronounced /ˈheɪtiː/


French Haïti, pronounced: [a.iti]Haitian CreoleAyiti),


officially theRepublic of Haiti (République


d'Haïti ; Repiblik Ayiti) is a Creole- and French-


speaking French-speaking Caribbean country. Along with 


the Dominican Republic, it occupies the island 


of Hispaniola, in the Greater 


Antillean archipelago. Ayiti (Land of high mountains) was 


the indigenous Taíno orAmerindian name for the 


mountainous western side of the island. The country's 


highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft).


The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres 


(10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince.


Haiti's regional, historical, and ethnolinguistic position is 


unique for several reasons. It was the first independent 


nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial 


independent black-led nation in the world, and the only 


nation whose independence was gained as part of a 


successful slave rebellion. Despite having common 


cultural links with its Hispano-Caribbean neighbors, Haiti 


is the only predominantly Francophone independent 


nation in the Americas, and one of only two (along with 


Canada) that designate French as an official language; the 


other French-speaking areas are all overseas 


départementsor collectivités, of France.

Haiti is located in the Carribean


on 1/3 of the island, it occupies the western part


of Hispanola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North


Atlantic Ocean, neighboring west of the Dominican


Republic.



Total Area: 27,750 sq km


Area comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland.


Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east


cut off trade winds.


Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous.


Natural resources: bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate,


gold, marble, hydropower.


Population: 8,308,504 (July 2006 est.)



There are 14 airports in Haiti, however only one is an


international airport (in the capitol Port-au-Prince), and


only 3 additional airports have paved, but short runways


(the others are unpaved).



Haiti's age structure: 0-14 years - 42.4%,


15-64 years - 54.2%,


65 years and over - 3.4% (2006 est.)



Infant mortality rate: 71.65 deaths/1,000 births (2006 est.)


Life expectancy at birth: total population - 53.23 years


(2006 est.)


Total fertility rate: 4.94 children born/woman (2006 est.)


Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%


Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16%,


none 1%, other 3% (1982).


Languages: French (official), Creole (official)


Literacy: 52.9% 


(definition - 15 and over can read and write)



GOVERNMENT


Government type: elected government


Capital: Port-au-Prince


Independence: 1 January 1804 (from France)


Chief of State: President Rene Preval



ECONOMY

 

Population below poverty line: 80% (2003 est.)


Labor force by occupation:

 

agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9%


Unemployment rate: widespread unemployment


and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor


force do not have formal jobs.



Industries: sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement,


light assembly industries based on imported parts.


Agriculture products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice,


corn, sorghum, wood.



Export commodities: manufactures, coffee, oil, cocoa.



Import commodities: food, manufactured goods,


machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials.



Currency: gourde (HTG)


Exchange rate: gourde per US dollar -


38.4 (September 2006).

 THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION

The Slave Rebellion of 1791


The Haitian Revolution (1791–1803) is


the period of violent conflict


in the French colony of Saint-Domingue,


leading to the elimination of slavery and the establishment


of Haiti as the first republic ruled by


people of African ancestry.



Although hundreds of rebellions occurred


in the New World during the centuries of slavery,


only the revolt on Saint-Domingue, which began in 1791,


was successful in achieving permanent freedom.



The Haitian Revolution is regarded as


a defining moment


in the history of Africans 


in the new world.


Although an independent government was created in Haiti,


its society continued to be deeply affected by the patterns


established under French colonial rule.


The French established a system of minority rule


over the illiterate poor by using violence and threats.


The racial prejudice created by colonialism and slavery


outlived them both.



The post-rebellion racial elite (referred to as mulattoes)


were descended from both Africans and white planters.


Some had received an education, served in the French


military, and even acquired land and wealth. 


Violent conflicts between white colonists and black slaves


were common in Saint-Domingue.


Bands of runaway slaves, known as maroons (marrons),


entrenched themselves in bastions in the colony's


mountains and forests, from which they harried


white-owned plantations both to secure provisions


and weaponry and to avenge themselves


against the inhabitants.


 

As their numbers grew, these bands,


sometimes consisting of thousands of people,


began to carry out hit-and-run attacks


throughout the colony.


This guerrilla warfare, however,


left an estimated 6,000 dead.



Many Haitians point to the maroons' attacks


as the first manifestation of a revolt against


French rule and the slaveholding system.


The attacks certainly presaged the 1791 slave rebellion,


which evolved into the Haitian Revolution.


They also marked the beginning


of a martial tradition for blacks,


just as service in the colonial militia had done


for the gens de couleur.

The arrangement that enabled the whites


and the landed gens de couleur to preserve the stability


of the slaveholding system was unstable.


In an economic sense, the system worked for both groups.



The gens de couleur, however, had aspirations beyond the


accumulation of goods.


They desired equality with white colonists,


and many of them desired power.



The events set in motion in 1789 by the French Revolution


shook up, and eventually shattered, the arrangement.

 

The National Assembly in Paris


required the white Colonial Assembly to grant suffrage


to the landed and tax-paying gens de couleur.


(The white colonists had had a history


of ignoring French efforts to improve the lot of the black


and the mulatto populations.)



A slave rebellion of 1791 finally toppled the colony. 


Launched in August of that year, the revolt represented 


the culmination of a protracted conspiracy among black


 leaders.  Accounts of the rebellion describe widespread


torching of property, fields, factories, and anything else


that belonged to, or served, slaveholders. The inferno is


said to have burned almost continuously for months.



 Reprisals against nonwhites were swift and every bit as


brutal as the atrocities committed by the slaves. Although 


outnumbered, the inhabitants of Le Cap (the local 


diminutive for Cap Français) were well-armed and 


prepared to defend themselves against the tens of 


thousands of blacks who descended upon the port 


city. The rebellion left an estimated 10,000 blacks and 


2,000 whites dead and more than 1,000 plantations sacked 


and razed.



Even though it failed, the slave rebellion at Cap Français


 set in motion events that culminated in the Haitian


 Revolution.  Sentiment in the National Assembly


 vacillated, but it finally favored the enfranchisement of


gens de couleur and the enforcement of equal rights.


Whites, who had had little respect for royal governance in 


the past, now rallied behind the Bourbons and rejected the 


radical egalitarian notions of the French revolutionaries. 


Commissioners from the French Republic, dispatched in 


1792 to Saint-Domingue, pledged their limited support to 


the gens de couleur in the midst of an increasingly 


anarchic situation. In various regions of the colony, black 


slaves rebelled against white colonists, mulattoes battled 


white levies, and black royalists opposed both whites and 


mulattoes. Foreign interventionists found these unstable 


conditions irresistible; Spanish and British involvement in 


the unrest in Saint-Domingue opened yet another chapter 


in the revolution.



On January 1, 1804, Haiti proclaimed its independence. 


Through this action, it became the second independent 


state in the Western Hemisphere and the first free black 


republic in the world. Haiti's uniqueness attracted much 


attention and symbolized the aspirations of enslaved and 


exploited peoples around the globe. Nonetheless, Haitians 


made no overt effort to inspire, to support, or to aid slave 


rebellions similar to their own because they feared that the 


great powers would take renewed action against them. For 


the sake of national survival, nonintervention became a 



Haitian credo..


 Haiti, is the poorest country


in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the people


below the UN poverty line


(for singles: less than $1/day income).



    • The unemployment rate is hard to measure,                      
    •  but it is at least 66%.
    •  
    • The highest source sets the median income at                    
    • $160/year, i.e. less than 50 cents a day. The average          
    • income is at most around $480/year.
    •  
    • There are many sources putting these numbers at              
    • about half these values.

    • There is a highly inadequate supply of potable water.

    • Their language is (Haitian) Creole; more educated            
    • people know French.

    • Haiti gained independence from France on Jan 1,             
    • 1804.

    • The population is 8.9 million people. 

    • The median age is 18.5 years, that means half the              
    • people are adults and the other half are children. 

    • Life expectancy is 57.5 years.

May we never forget 


the common humanity 


we all share.

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