Welcome to Haiti!
From tap-taps (Haitian taxi) to heartfelt worship, our country is full of rich culture and color! People seem to miss the beauty of Haiti when they focus only on the many challenges facing the people in our country. While it is true that we have had a long history of slavery and exploitation, many people here would love to work. There simply aren’t enough jobs. Too many of us are simply living to survive. Many never had a chance to dream about their future … until LSM supporters came alongside them.
Join us as we share about our beautiful country!
What Does Life in Haiti Look Like?
Church in Haiti
Protestants are a significant minority with less than 20% being Christians. As Home of Hope parents, we model the love of Christ and pray for our children’s salvation. Our Home of Hope family has daily devotions, attend our local church, participate in youth groups and church choirs. Our family also enjoys visiting other Home of Hope churches throughout the year!
Throughout Haiti, open-air markets are in many villages and towns. At the marketplace you can buy food (produce, grains, meats), charcoal, household items, used clothing and shoes. Vendors sit in the hot sun every day in hopes to make enough money to support their family. Women typically sell much of their family harvest and use the money to buy household foods.
Les Cayes, Haiti
In Southern Haiti, there are beautiful beaches, rivers and a vibrant culture! However, this region is both a strength and a threat for families living here. During the rainy seasons, flooding causes many hardships. Erosion and deforestation also contribute to these problems. Hurricane season and floods affect many families who watch the loss of their home, livestock and crops which results in loss of income. We have many challenges and people can often miss the beauty of our country!
There is a long list of daily tasks for each family member. Women are responsible for cooking, house cleaning and washing clothes by hand. Women and girls are responsible for securing water and firewood and helping with planting and harvesting. Men and boys typically care for the animals and maintaining crops on the family’s plot of land.
Most Haitians are too poor to afford a car. The most common form of transportation is the use of brightly painted pickup trucks or buses used as taxis called “tap-taps”. Another common form of transportation often seen are motorcycles. In rural Haiti, donkeys are used as a way of transporting goods to market or to carry things up the mountain side to small villages.
Medical facilities in Haiti are poorly funded and understaffed. Most health care workers are not properly trained. There is less than one doctor per 4,000 people. Malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis and intestinal parasites are common health issues. As a result, many people have tremendous faith in informal healing procedures such as witch doctors.
Food We Eat
Haitian diet is largely based on a staple of rice (which is locally grown) and beans. Another common food we eat are plantains, which look similar to bananas. They are often used as a vegetable side dish. On occasion we can afford meat such as chicken, pork, goat or fish. Haiti also has many tropical fruits such as avocados, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, and guava.
Typical Haitian Homes
In rural parts of Haiti, most homes are single-story, with two rooms, usually with a front porch. Houses are constructed of rock with mud, native palm, pine and local hardwoods or cement blocks. Many Haitian homes have thatched roofs and dirt floors. Take a look inside our Home of Hope on the “Kid’s Room” page!
Haiti has over 10 million people and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Haiti is a 90 minute flight away from Florida, it is a world away with 80% of the population living in poverty. Many Haitians are small farmers who work small plots of land. The sights, smells and sounds of Haiti are wonderfully unique but they can’t compare to the beauty and spirit of the Haitian people!
Try an Authentic Haitian Recipe
A meal brings families together all over the world.
Haitian Pork Griot
- 1 small Scotch bonnet or habanero chile
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley, more for serving
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more thyme leaves for serving
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup cane vinegar or cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 pounds pork shoulder, not too lean, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted) or olive oil, more as needed
Quarter the chile and remove the seeds and membranes. Finely chop one quarter; leave the rest in whole pieces. Transfer quartered and chopped chiles to a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid. Add onion, bell peppers, parsley, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Stir in vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in pork. Cover pot and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove from refrigerator at least 1 hour and no more than 3 hours before cooking. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place pot over high heat and bring liquid to a simmer; cover and put pot in oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from pot, allowing all excess liquid to drip back into the pot and picking any bits of vegetables or herbs off the meat. Transfer meat to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle meat with 2 tablespoons oil and salt to taste, and toss gently to coat. Strain braising liquid, discarding any solids. Return sauce to pot and simmer over high heat until reduced by about half, about 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Broil meat, tossing occasionally, until meat is evenly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. You want it nicely browned in spots but not so brown that it dries out.
Pray for Haiti
Together we can lift Haiti up in prayer! Pray for:
- Haiti to be built on the foundation of Christ.
- Those who are trapped in Voodoo practices and sacrifices.
- Godly leaders who will lead this country to Christ and address its generational problems.
- Those who are in hopelessness and despair.
- End the cycle of corruption.
- Men and women may be raised up to transform this culture for Christ and establish justice, righteousness and long-term stability.
- The Lord’s protection from death for those most vulnerable, such as pregnant women, children and elderly people.