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Seeing Haiti through native eyes

Melvin Bui, Reporter|May 13, 2021

Heather Suggitt

Houses built on the mountains just outside of Port-au-Prince. By Heather Suggitt on Unsplash

Haiti is not a poor country, it’s rich in culture and wondrous natural landscapes. Associated Students Adventure Outings gave students a free virtual tour of Haiti on May 4. It was facilitated by Jean Chrislot Michaud, a Haitain-born Wildcat. He was born in Port-Au-Price, the capital of Haiti.

Michaud was delighted to share some history, traditions and popular cuisines from his homeland.

Haiti is a part of the West Indies Islands, which is surrounded by the Carribean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, which has a collective 19 million inhabitants. It’s sandwiched between Cuba and Puerto Rico and neighbors Jamaica along with thousands of other small islands.

The indigenous people of Haiti were the Taino of the Carribean. They gradually died off as Spanish and French colonizers overworked them by exporting coffee and sugar cane, so slaves from Africa were brought over to take their place. Haiti is the first Black independent country. The slaves overthrew their colonizers during the Haitian Revolution, a 13-year war between slaves and France. They gained independence in January of 1804...


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