Our experiences in Haïti have been incredible, even in the face of the devastation and tragedy that the country has suffered. The friendly, smiling faces that greet us, and the enduring spirit of the people, make every trip and every effort profoundly rewarding. A beautiful country of approximately 11 million people (World Bank, 2017), Haïti was originally inhabited by the Taíno people, who called the island Ayiti, meaning “high grounds”. Its rugged terrain is made up of stunning mountain ranges scattered with small coastal plains and river valleys. In 1804, after a slave rebellion against the French, Haïti became the first independent nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the first Black-led republic in the world.
Despite its strong, vibrant culture and wealth of natural beauty, Haïti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the world. Nearly 58.5 percent of the population live below the national poverty line (UNdata, 2012). Many people struggle to grow enough food to feed their families and are plagued by deadly waterborne illnesses.
Our history in Haïti dates back to 2000, expanding to full WE Villages programming in 2010. Focusing our efforts in the most rural and underdeveloped area of the country, the Central Plateau region, we work in six rural communities in the mountains outside of Port-au-Prince to:
In every country where WE Villages operates, we tailor our programs to meet the unique needs of the communities we work with, while still adhering to our five Pillars of Impact. Read how these have been implemented in Haïti.