The native Arawak Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Columbus in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island - Haiti.
The French imported African slaves to work the land. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE and after a prolonged struggle, declared its independence in 1804. Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history since then, and it is now one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Location: - Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, west of the Dominican Republic
Area: 27,750 sq km - about the size of Maryland
Population: 7,063,722 (est 2002)
Language: French /Creole
National Motto: L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Union Makes Strength)
Estimated statistics as of 2002
Education - One of the greatest needs:
It's estimated that only 35% of the population age 15 and over can read and write. (1980's statistics)
Compassion of Christ World Mission offers an adult literacy program for the parents of the children of the school and for the local community we serve. We've also established a church and medical clinic to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the people.