Haiti, or officially the Republic of Haiti is a Caribbean nation, formed in 1804, that occupies the west side of the island of Hispaniola, with the Dominican Republic covering the slightly larger eastern side. It is the poorest nation in the Americas, and has suffered from political violence and natural disasters for much of its history.

About Haiti

Haiti is unique among Caribbean nations in that it was the first Latin American nation to become independent, it is the only nation besides Canada in this hemisphere to have French as an official language, and it was the first republic in the world to be self-governed by black people.

The nation has been through both political and natural upheaval over the centuries. Former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc’ Duvalier was driven out of the country in 1986, Jean-Bertrand Aristide led the country from 1990 to 2004 before he was also driven out of the country.

In 2010 a devastating earthquake killed about 316,000 people and left 1.6 million homeless, leading to massive infrastructure problems and a cholera epidemic.

Haiti remains one of the poorest nations in the world, and the slow recovery from the earthquake and subsequent epidemics and hurricanes has caused massive unrest and loss of life.