About two years ago my Grandma went to Haiti with her friend to visit when she came back she was so sad but yet so kind and appreciative of the little she have. She went to Port Of Prince as that’s where her friend Jean lived at the time ( R.I.P Jean).
The situation she describes to us is one which was never though of ever in our dreams, she told us that the people were very less fortunate, they eat mud cakes. Could you just imagine MUD cakes? That’s not a name for a cake it’s actually the ingredients that the cake is made of, which is the mud from the ground.
So prior to this devastating earth quake the Haitian people were already in a very bad situation,.
Christopher Columbus arrived at the island during his first voyage to America in 1492. During his arrival he founded the settlement of La Navidad on the north coast of present day Haiti. On his return the subsequent year, following the disbandment of La Navidad, Columbus quickly founded a second settlement farther east in present day Dominican Republic, La Isabela, which became the first permanent European settlement in the Americas and today is the second largest Caribbean island.
The island was inhabited by the Taínos, one of the indigenous Arawak peoples. The Taino were at first tolerant of Columbus and his crew, and helped him to construct La Navidad on what is now Môle Saint-Nicolas, Haiti, in December 1492. European colonization of the island began earnestly the following year, when 1,300 men arrived from Spain under the watch of Bartolomeo Columbus. In 1496 the town of Nueva Isabela was founded. After being destroyed by a hurricane, it was rebuilt on the opposite side of the Ozama River and called Santo Domingo. It is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas. The Taino population of the island was rapidly decimated, owing to a combination of disease and harsh treatment by Spanish overlords. In 1501, the colony began to import African slaves, believing them more capable of performing physical labor. The natives lacked immunity to smallpox and entire tribes were extinguished. From an estimated initial population of 250,000 in 1492, the Arawaks had dropped by 1517 to 14,000.
In 1574, a census taken of the Greater Antilles, reported 1,000 Spaniards and 12,000 African slaves on Hispaniola.
As Spain conquered new regions on the mainland of the Americas, its interest in Hispaniola waned, and the colony's population grew slowly. By the early 17th century, the island and its smaller neighbors (notably Tortuga) became regular stopping points for Caribbean pirates. In 1606, the king of Spain ordered all inhabitants of Hispaniola to move close to Santo Domingo, to avoid interaction with pirates. Rather than secure the island, however, this resulted in French, English and Dutch pirates establishing bases on the now-abandoned north and west coasts of the island.
In 1665, French colonization of the island was officially recognized by King Louis XIV. The French colony was given the name Saint-Domingue, which became present-day Haiti. In the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain formally ceded the western third of the island to France. Saint-Domingue quickly came to overshadow the east in both wealth and population. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Antilles," it became the richest and most prosperous colony in the West Indies and one of the wealthiest in the world, cementing its status as the most important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from Europe. After independence for Haiti, this reversed and Haiti became one of the poorest countries in the Americas and the Dominican Republic developed into the largest economy of Central America and the Caribbean.
I am saying this to say that Haiti was not always a very poor country and also to point out the fact that REP.Dominicana and Haiti is the same island only separated by a border.
I said this earth quake is the best thing that could have happen to Haiti due to the fact that the people of Haiti were already going through unbearable poverty, I few life were lost that is never a good thing especially for the kids who are now left without parents. (But it might just the the price they had to pay to help the Island)
But now the international community is finally stepping up the effort to help these people who have been begging for help years ago, I have read and heard a lot of negative things said about the Island by some very arrogant people which got me pissed for the most part, the reason why this island goes through so much devastation from natural disaster is due to its location, Haiti is located in the middle of the hurricane belt and from June to October the nation often experiences severe storms. There are also periods of drought throughout the year and flooding and earthquakes both pose serious issues to the inhabitants of this small but populous country, so to those who say Haiti made a deal with the devil check your facts before you talk smack.
To be continued…