In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola, and in 1697, Spain ceded the western third of the island to the French, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti’s nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint Louverture. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first black republic to declare its independence in 1804.
Haiti is now the least-developed country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world ranking 146th of 177 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index.
Inappropriate economic policies, political instability, a shortage of good arable land and environmental deterioration are factors attributed to the economic stagnation of the country. Severe deforestation makes the country extremely vulnerable to hurricanes, droughts, floods and other disasters that often times paralyze the entire population.
Heifer's Work in Haiti
Established in 1999, Heifer International Haiti works in seven of the ten departments in the country partnering with communities providing livestock, seeds and training to improve their living conditions empower them to brake the never-ending cycle of poverty and despair.
The program’s approach is characterized by strengthening small farmer organizations through agroecology and literacy training. Livestock, seeds and training are the main resources present in all of Heifer Haiti’s projects.
Current project work takes place in six departments in the country located in the following regions: north/northeast, Artibonite, west and south/southeast.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Promoting rural, diversified and sustainable production system, Natural resource conservation, Spreading practices and expertise about ancestral farming, Using native livestock, Agro-ecological production, Livestock savings accounts, post-disaster
Post-harvest management and processing: Training in performance monitoring and evaluation techniques
Market development: Community livestock enterprises, REACH market development
Technology: Water filtration and purification
Nutrition: Replenishing livestock populations to promote food security
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
In late October, Hurricane Sandy barreled through the Caribbean Sea and up the eastern seaboard leaving a path of destruction.
The future of Haiti begins in its soil but will come to fruition only in the marketplaces of the Caribbean, Central and South America and beyond.
From the time he was a child and on into adulthood, Louis Desira walked to a river two kilometers away from his home in Maniche to get water for the day.
The Big Moo Canoe is raising awareness and donations for Heifer International's REACH program — the largest animal project of its kind in Haiti's history.
Greetings, from Purdue University! Our names are Katelyn Jackson and Josey Holscher, and we are both senior students in Animal Sciences. We have been involved with Heifer International on Purdue’s campus for close to three years and since then we have
A Haitian Celebration of Agriculture and Labor