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Travelers-Guide

Getting Around In Haiti: Shop & Explore

SHOPPING

 

Handicrafts industry produces a wide variety of aesthetic and practical articles made chiefly from mahogany, sisal and straw. Haitian craftsmen are very skilled in woodcarving, weaving, straw-work and embroidery; their products are available in shops, markets and sidewalks of Haiti. Hand-carved wooden goods are especially interesting. Sculptures of mahogany, plaques with intricate designs, and furniture, particularly chairs with caned backs and seats, are very popular.

 

SPORTS

 

There is a variety of sports activities in Haiti. Soccer is the national sport, and games are attended at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au-Prince and other soccer fields throughout the countrysides. Tennis courts are available in Port-au-Prince, Pétionville and beach resort hotels.

The Iron Market in Port-au-Prince - Below a soccer game

Haiti vs Honduras during a soccer game

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HAITI AFTER DARK

 

As the sun goes down in Haiti; some social and cultural activities take place particularly on weekend. Movie theaters featuring haitian and foreign films, cultural centers, hotels, bar restaurants, nightclubs provide special entertainments to please ambiance lovers and relaxation seekers. There are choreographic spectacles, buffets laden with seafood and Creole delicacies; cabarets, and elaborate outdoor fried foods like accras (fish batter ball), griot (deep fried pork served often with fried plantain), tassot (turkey, beef, or goat in a spicy sauce), and poolside dancing waved by live troubadour rhythms, Haitian Compas, rasin music up to your pick.

 

VODOU

 

Getting around in Haiti inevitably evokes visitors' interest in music, folklore, and vodou ritual dances. Vodou (derived from the word “voudoun, vodun” and the Fon word, describing the concept of a world alive with spirit and energy meaning spirits) has often been misunderstood, stereotyped (Hollywood B movie) and particularly confused with black magic. This misconception is a way to put the Haitians down as a proud people. Because, they will never forgive Haiti for being the first black nation to be independent in the world in 1804. So, since then to this day, many foreigners associated everything in Haiti with all kind of negativities and the idea that any black religion other than Christianity derived from the Devil. Essentially, vodou is a religion dealing with “loas” (gods) and the complex rituals that keep the individual in harmony with them. An ancient tradition, vodou represents the determination of the Haitians to maintain their African heritage. Many sacred dances are similar to those practiced by the inhabitants of forest and coastal regions of Africa.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

Place of the Heros of lndependence:

Statues of Haiti's national heroes such as Toussaint louverture, Henri Christophe, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Petion are located in front of the former National Palace and further up the Champ-de-Mars. Most impressive is the bronze statue of the unknown slave blowing the conch shell used to sound the call to the revolution of 1791 which culminated in victory in 1804.

 

The National Museum:

The Mupanah-Museum of National Pantheon houses Haitian relics, early costumes, representative paintings and historic documents in a beautiful building located on the Square of the Heroes of Independence.

 

Iron Market:

This is one of the busiest markets in Port-au-Prince overflowed with sellers and buyers making the area a dizzy spectacle. With every conceivable item from produce to jewelry on sale every day at discount prices, it is a custom to bargain all kinds of items or produces as in other native markets.

 

Former Defly Mansion:

A good example of some of the 19th century French gingerbread houses standing further up the Champ-de-Mars. These historic homes were designed by Haitian architects who were inspired after visiting Paris.

 

The Museum of Haitian Art :

Opened in May 1972, this museum houses today the works of Haiti's acknowledged masters and contemporary arts and paintings.

 

The Observatory at Boutiliers:

Located in Boutiliers at 3,182 feet above Port-au-Prince, the Observatory offers a breathtaking view of Port-au-Prince bay and surrounding areas.

 

Jane Barbancourt Distillery:

In the lofty heights of Laboule, this 18th Century distillery provides different varieties of liquors such as mango, coffee, hibiscus, coconut, orange and other natural spices.

 

Fort Jacques:

Built under the command of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in the cool mountains of Fermathe, this 19th century fort offers an excellent view of Port-au-Prince harbor, and the Haitian-Dominican border lake Azuei.

 

The Baptist Mission Craft Shop:

This is a colorful example of a typical Haitian market nestled in Fermathe. Hand-made furniture, wooden ware, wrought iron and other handicrafts are available at reasonable prices.

 

In Furcy:

A small village situated at more than 4,921 feet above Port-au-Prince. Here lies Haiti's most beautiful eco-touristic zones with a cool climate and biological agriculture. It's a mountain town, perfect for picnicking, horseback riding, mountain biking or camping for a day's outing.

 

The Arcadins Coast:

Just 45 minutes north of Port-au-Prince, the Arcadins coast extends a long stretch of white sand beaches and clear water that litterally enchant visitors. A public beach is also available for low-price beach adventurers.

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