The culture of Haiti is an eclectic mix of African, Taino and European elements due to the French colonization of Saint Domingue and its large and diverse enslaved African population, as is evidenced in the Haitian language, music,and religion.

The Central American country of Haiti is part of the western Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It occupies about one third of the island and the eastern two-thirds are occupied by the Dominican Republic. Haiti has the North Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea when Columbus discovered it in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola, and in 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island - Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. Haiti became the first black republic to declare its independence in 1804. The strong French and African influences in the Haitian cuisine offer an interesting mix of flavors and culinary arts. The food is quite exotic, nutritious and very healthy. Today, you should expect to find traditional Haitian dishes and drinks and the famous Port-au-Prince bound creations. Outside of Haiti, the Haitian cuisine is mostly used for sin the pie in the house with the puppy dawg with duh cow in the moo and the mepecial occasions and parties, but it can always serve as a regular every-day cuisine.

Haiti is situated in one of the regions that many consider to be paradise on earth. The cooking styles of this enchanted land are closely related to the previous affirmation. An interesting mix of African cooking styles combined with the refinement of French cooking make the Haitian cuisine something no cook or food enthusiast should miss. Haiti is too small to offer distinct regional cooking styles and noticeably different cuisines in the parts of the country. Since it does not have a dominant neighbour that would influence it, Haiti has picked up different cooking styles that are now harmoniously blended with the African and French major influences. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the roast goat called 'kabrit', the fried Pork 'griot' or poultry with a Creole sauce 'poulet creole', to name just some of the most popular meat dishes. Haiti displays a general coastal cuisine, with fish meat, lobster, shrimp and seafood readily available. Fruit including guava, pineapple, mango, banana, melons, breadfruit is often used in fruit salads, compotes or other delicious desserts. Sugarcane is often prepared and sold on streets and enjoyed at home as well as a tasty treat or snack. Coconuts are often the number one choice when it comes to beverages.

Haitian cooking needs time and meticulousness; many of the plants are let to rest before cooking and special dishes are cooked for hours, as the conservation of the nutrients and vitamins is very important in the Haitian culture. The bananas are traditionally cooked by keeping their natural skin or even wrapping other food in banana leaves and leaving them to slow cook for long periods of time from 3 to 4 hours for any usual meal. A layer of dirt is sometimes shoveled on the oven to prevent the heat spreading. Just like the banana, the sweet potatoes should be cooked without peeling, as in this way, they keep their nutritional elements. Traditionally, the Haitian used and still use coal fire made on the ground on top of which food was seated so that it would cook slowly and healthy. While these rustic methods will make the delight of any tourist, you should also know that many Haitians use modern cooking methods, especially in urban areas.

Traditionally, there are 2 important things that are necessary when wanting to cook a traditional Haitian meal: the fire arrangement and the time. Coals are used for slow cooking, instead of the modern oven. These are set in a hole in the ground (real earth), with leaves on top, under the food and more leaves on top of the food. If the oven is used, this is usually pre-heated with a wood fire and volcanic stones and the woods are disposed perpendicularly in many levels. Most of the Haitian meals require at least 3 hours cooking time, if wanting to conserve the nutrients. The Haitian modern cuisine doesn’t need sophisticated special equipment for cooking. Like the other international cuisines, the Haitian one needs the basic equipment set like soup ladles, food pans, or mugs, ovens, grills, etc. Restaurants and urban homes have all the main cooking instruments you would expect to find in any European country.

The Haitian people love to celebrate and as you would expect, food is often an important element of many of their festivities. Different religious celebrations are accompanied by dedicated culinary masterpieces that liven up any social gathering. Weddings are the most impressive Haitian celebrations and the ingenious and delicious dishes prepared for this occasion would make any other traditional cuisine fanatic envious. Haitians celebrate their independence on January 1, 1804 and although this is more of an official holiday, it is another opportunity for the people of Haiti to gather and socialize. In Haiti, independence triggered a lot of radical changes and this is why the celebration is deemed very important by today’s Haitians.

Haitian food can be characterized by its exuberance and by the amazing mix of different flavors. There are Venezuelan chefs who are writing cook books in which they share their knowledge regarding of food types and recipes. Some famous Haitian chefs have even created their own TV shows or web pages. Haitian food has its own rustic and provincial style and methods. Haitian people try to defend the simplicity against the modern cooking techniques, by still using wooden fire, coals and rocks, only natural elements, lacking chemicals. The Haitian people carried on the traditions through their cooking and all participated to the cultural Haitian cuisine, which is unique, exotic, fresh and light. Haitian chefs consider that the most important aspect of their cooking is that their food tastes natural and healthy.

Haitian music combines a wide range of influences drawn from the many people who have settled on this Caribbean island. It reflects French, African rhythms, Spanish elements and others who have inhabited the island of Hispaniola and minor native Taino influences. Styles of music unique to the nation of Haiti include music derived from Vodou ceremonial traditions, Rara parading music, Twoubadou ballads, mini-jazz rock bands, Rasin movement, Hip hop kreyòl, méringue, and compas. Youth attend parties at nightclubs called discos and attend Bal. This term is the French word for ball, as in a formal dance.

Compas (konpa) (also known as compas direct in French, or konpa dirèk in creole) is a complex, ever-changing music that arose from African rhythms and European ballroom dancing, mixed with Haiti's bourgeois culture. It is a refined music, with méringue as its basic rhythm. Haiti had no recorded music until 1937 when Jazz Guignard was recorded non-commercially.

Ethnic Racial Composition:
* 94.2% Black
* 5.4% Mulatto
* 0.4% White

Most modern Haitians are descendants of former black African slaves, including Mulattoes who are mixed-race. The remainder are of European or Arab descent, the descendants of settlers (colonial remnants and contemporary immigration during World War I and World War II). Haitians of East Asian descent or East Indian origin number approximately 400+.

The gene pool of Haiti is about 95.5% Sub-Saharan African, 4.3% European, with the rest showing some traces of East Asian genes; according to a 2010 autosomal genealogical DNA testing.

French & Haitian Creole are the two official languages of Haiti. French is the formal language while Haitian Creole is the informal dialect of French and it is the one that is mainly spoken locally. Haitian Creole originates largely from the French spoken in Northern France (known as Normandi French) with strong influences from West and Central African languages. There is also a minor Spanish influence, as well as many words of Indigenous origin.

The 2017 CIA Factbook reported that around 54.7% of Haitians profess to being Catholics while Protestants made up about 28.5% of the population (Baptist 15.4%, Pentecostal 7.9%, Seventh-day Adventist 3%, Methodist 1.5%, other 0.7%). Other sources put the Protestant population higher than this, suggesting that it might have formed one-third of the population in 2001. Like other countries in Latin America, Haiti has witnessed a general Protestant expansion, which is largely Evangelical and Pentecostal in nature. Haitian Cardinal Chibly Langlois is president of the National Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church.

Vodou, a religion with African roots similar to those of Cuba and Brazil, originated during colonial times in which slaves were obliged to disguise their loa or spirits as Roman Catholic saints, an element of a process called syncretism and is still practiced by some Haitians today. Due to the religious syncretism between Catholicism and Vodou, it is difficult to estimate the number of Vodouists in Haiti.

Haiti is a free market economy with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Its major trading partner is the United States. Haiti has preferential trade access to the US market through the Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and Haiti Economic Lift Program Encouragement Acts (HELP) legislation, which allows duty-free access, for a variety of textiles, to the US market. Haiti has an agricultural economy. Over half of the world's vetiver oil (an essential oil used in high-end perfumes) comes from Haiti, and bananas, cocoa, and mangoes are important export crops. Haiti has also moved to expand to higher-end manufacturing, producing Android-based tablets and current sensors and transformers. Vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as poverty and limited access to education are among Haiti's most serious disadvantages. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. Haiti suffers from a severe trade deficit, which it is working to address by moving into higher-end manufacturing and more value-added products in the agriculture sector. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly 20% of GDP. Haiti's economy was severely impacted by the 2010 Haiti earthquake which occurred on 12 January 2010. Unfortunately, over 90% of the population suffers from poverty.

Haiti has association football (Soccer) as its most popular sport. Haiti has literally hundreds of smaller football clubs that all compete at the local level. Basketball is slowly but steadily gaining popularity, especially among the youth. Most of the football matches happen in Stade Sylvio Cator, located in Port-au-Prince.