Driving Directions Haiti

HAITI occupies the western third of the large island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. It is a mountainous country consisting of five different ranges, the highest point being 2,680 meters or 8,793 feet at Pic La Selle. Deep valleys and plains separate the mountain ranges.

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The climate is tropical, but semiarid conditions can occur in the lee of the central mountains. Hurricanes and severe thunderstorms are common to occur­rence.

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Only a third of the country is arable, yet agriculture is the chief occupation, with around 80 percent of the population concentrated in rural areas.

Many farmers grow only enough to feed their own families. The export crops of coffee, sugar, and sisal are grown on large estates. Severe soil erosion caused by extensive forest clearance has resulted in both a decline in crop yields and environmental damage.

The country has only limited amounts of natural resources, although deposits of salt, copper, and gold exist. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and has experi­enced many uprisings and attempted coups.

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