| GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)|
The Republic of Haiti is found on the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. It covers 27,750 km2 of the island and is the home of almost eleven million people. 95% of these are Black Haitian, 87% Christians. Columbus got here in 1492, and actually ran his ship on ground, forcing him to create the first European settlement in the Americas, naming it La Navidad - after the day he crashed. It was pinched by the French in early 17th century, and during Bonaparte's wars, the local revolted and formed the sovereign state of Haiti on 1 January 1804.
The climate is tropical, but due to the mountains (up to 2.680 metres), here are colder areas as well. There are nine life zones, from low desert to high cloud forests, as well as four mountain ranges, and hundreds of rivers and streams and the coral reefs in the seas that surround the islands. That is the perfect setting for a vide range of plant and animal species. Beside from the rich marine life, here are around 5.600 plant species of which 36% are considered as endemic to the island. The nation has 300 orchids and 600 fern species.
Among the many mammals that once was found here, the Hispaniolan solenodon; Solenodon paradoxus, kind of a giant mouse is one of the few surviving - and only barely. The birds are doing a bit better with around 300 species.