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Updated: Oct 1, 2022

Home> Countries> North America> Haiti

Country Name

Haiti, or officially the Republic of Haiti, was formerly founded as Hayti.


Haiti is one of the Caribbean countries that occupy the western three-eighths of Hispaniola Island.

The country lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Haiti shares a land border with the Dominican Republic, which occupies the rest of Hispaniola in the east. To the west and the south, it is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and to the north by the Atlantic Ocean.

Haiti also shares maritime borders with the Caribbean countries of Cuba, Jamaica, and The Bahamas.



Reason for Naming the country

The name Haiti (or Hayti) derives from the ancient Tano language, which was the traditional name given to the entire island of Hispaniola and translates as "country of high mountains."

With a respect to the Amerindian forebears, Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines reinstated the name as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue.

In French, Haiti is known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" (La Perle des Antilles) because of its natural beauty as well as the wealth it gathered for the Kingdom of France during the 18th century; the colony was the world's biggest producer of sugar and coffee during that time period.

In French, the h is silent, while the h in Hati bears a diacritical mark to indicate that the second vowel is heard independently, as in the word nave.

 In English, this norm for pronunciation is frequently ignored, hence the spelling Haiti is used. There are several anglicizations for its pronunciation, including HIGH-ti, HIGH-EE-ti, and haa-EE-ti, all of which are still in use, but HAY-ti is the most c