Welcome to the community!
Tell us about yourself, about where you come from.
Thank you for welcoming me into your community, it’s an honor!
I am Bernhard Henry Poitevien, Founder & Executive Chairman of the International Association of Moringa (IAM) which conducted Research & Development and pioneered Moringa Oleifera farming in Ayiti (Haiti), its principal country of operations which apparently resulted in a chain reaction throughout the entire Caribbean and Latin American region back in 2007. Soon hopefully, it’s planning on launching in other tropical & subtropical countries the: “IAM GOIN” (International Association of Moringa Global Organic Initiative Now).
I was born at the Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y, then was brought to Ayiti (Haiti) at the age of 3 years old where I was raised initially by my grandparents and hold many of my fondest memories.
Today you are going to share your experience in Haiti. What part of Haiti do you know of the most? Tell us a little about it.
My experience in Ayiti (Haiti) can be resumed in two words “Love/Hate”.
Love because it’s one of the most unique and beautiful places out of the 7 countries I’ve lived in and among the 24 countries that I’ve visited thus far.
Hate because many of its own people fail to see and appreciate how beautiful of a gem it is and therefore is essentially contributing to all the bad press/media being portrayed.
Overall I’ve traveled 70% of the entire island; knowing 60% of Dominican Republic and 90% of Ayiti (Haiti). The parts I know the most on the French & Creole speaking west side of the Island is: Port-au-Prince the capital, its surrounding areas such as: Pétion-Ville where I grew up, Kenscoff/Furcy, Croix-des-Bouquets in La Plaine du Cul-de-Sac founded in 1846 by the 1st appraiser of the region Merlin Liautaud the uncle of my living grandfather Antoine Vilvaleix Liautaud and younger brother of the world famous sculpture artist “Georges Liautaud”.
In addition, we are related to another world renowned artist the late Jean-Michel Basquiat who recently has been nominated in the United States’ top artist of all times after the sale/purchase of one of his paintings at Sotheby’s for $110 million dollars. Here is a link to the NY times articles about the most recent Basquiat painting sale:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/arts/jean-michel-basquiat-painting-is-sold-for-110-million-at-auction.html
Port-au-Prince was initially conceived and built for a population of 250,000 people now it is reaching near a population of 2.5 million (10x more) which is the cause of many problems including but not limited: to traffic, overpopulation and, in some areas insecurity.
How do you recommend traveling to the location? Where to stay? Is there/how is the transportation there?
My recommendation to travel there is by flight from several available airlines: Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines, Delta, American Airlines, Air France, Insel Air, etc…
The most known hotels are: the iconic Hot Olofson, Karibe Hotel, Kinam Hotel, Best Western, Marriott, Mont Joli, Hotel Roi Christophe, Hotel Florita but I also suggest to search for some nice bed and breakfast or Air BnB.
Of course, there is transportation there. If it’s your 1st time, would advise fetching a yellow cab to avoid being cheated by renderers from the standard transportation fares. (but I am also including my email: email@example.com for inquiries and assistance)
Is it a touristic place? Is there a clear language barrier or lodging and transportation employees speak other languages as well?
Ayiti (Haiti) was prior to 1986 the Caribbean’s top destination where most celebrities to name a few: Jacqueline Onassis, Mike Jagger even Bill & Hillary who had their honeymoon in Ayiti (Haiti) just came for vacation or a simple weekend getaway because of the intimacy Ayiti (Haiti) continues to offer from paparazzi’s and its natural beauty composed of beautiful mountains and exotic beaches.
Today, tourism is not as prominent as it used to be but it is slowly increasing and the best places to visit are: Labadie, Cap-Haitian – Kabic, Jacmel – Port Salut, Ile-a-Vache which was “Captain Morgan the Pirate” favorites hideout.
The main spoken languages are Creole & French but it is common to find English & Spanish speaking people as well.
What kind of sightseeing, activities or shows you could enjoy in that city?
In Boutillier, Pétion-Ville at the Observatory (Observatoire in French) restaurant & lounge owned by dear friends of mine, you can find the most amazing view overlooking the Capital, its surrounding areas as well as the entire magnificent bay of Port-au-Prince.
On the other side of the mountain called Kenscoff/Furcy you can quickly access and experience beautiful nature as you are drifting away from noise and pollution and find great hiking places. Ayiti (Haiti) which means mountainous land in the language of the native Indians who once habited the islands, probably has more hiking places than most countries in the world. I can assure you that there is not a single place where you will find yourself standing and not spot a mountain nearby or far from.
Downtown next to the ruins of the National Palace, one can go to the MUPANAH (Musee du Pantheon National d’Haiti) to indulge in the history of this island, dine at its luxurious restaurant and right across from it lays the Champ-de-Mars park, the notorious theater Triomphe and several things to contemplate.
Anything to take/learn from the culture and the locals?
Artisanal artworks mostly made of wood, leather, metal, rocks and paintings are the most common cultural items to bring back as souvenirs which you can find near Port-au-Prince’s International Airport, at the park of “Champ-de-Mars”, “Place St Pierre” in Petion-Ville and other areas like Jacmel, Cap-Haitian and Port Salut.
I insist on going to visit my great uncle’s village in Croix-des-Bouquets called: “Village Nouailles/Musée Georges Liautaud” for great pieces of metal artwork.
Village Nouailles/Musée Georges Liautaud is an open village museum and, is a legacy Georges Liautaud left as a national heritage for the Ayitian (Haitian) people and for the world by becoming the global pioneer of metal sculpture art. His artwork can be found at the “Musée du Louvres in Paris, France – the Chelsea and the Museum of Modern Art New York.
Aside from introducing the Moringa Oleifera as a national cultivation crop that started in Lassère/Croix-des-Bouquets also the birthplace of the world famous artist Wyclef Jean; on a side, yet important note, the Moringa Oleifera is the best solution known for Ayiti’s (Haiti) environment rebuilding offering the most efficient mean of reforestation and soil erosion curing among much other health, wellness, nutrition and purifying properties . Notice that I keep stressing on Moringa because I know it is the root of solving many of the countries unsolvable issues ( in another article or blog ill be happy to elaborate more on this matter)
Essentially, we can learn from the Haitian culture courage & happiness because even during the most adverse conditions that life has been offering for most that are born and raised in Ayiti (Haiti); the Ayitian (Haitian) people are always ready to share a smile, provide assistance or advice.
From the locals, one can learn to use their imagination in ways never thought before in the most creative manner since resources are still limited.
How is the cuisine there? What are your favorite dishes?
The cuisine there is flavorful, rich in spices and fulfilling to the taste buds, to say the least. The Ayitian (Haitian) cuisine is a melting pot consisting primarily of African dishes mixed with French, Spanish, Indian and English.
Being now a vegetarian since 3 years, my favorite dishes are a little bit limited to legumes, sautéed local vegetables, bouillon, soup joumou, Tchaka, labouilli, akassan, mais moulin and the various exotic fruits that keep my soul and tummy overly happy!
What is your favorite spot in Haiti?
Oh Gosh! That’s a very tough question since there are so many favorite spots for me to choose from lol. Usually, it depends on my humor or what my soul or body needs at that moment; but if I were to be confined with only one choice, I would have to choose: Boukan Guingèt located in Résinier, Môle Saint-Nicolas where my paternal lineage is from, area where Christopher Columbus arrived on December 5th the year he discovered the America’s in 1492 implementing there the America’s first seaport and 1st Roman Catholic church.
Why should people visit it?
I believe people should visit Ayiti (Haiti) because it offers the experience of a rich culture and is one of the world’s most famous historical heritage; the birthplace of Freedom/Liberty as well as the abolition of slavery in 1804 which was designed specially for black slaves and simultaneously for all people of all race and color which were offered to take refuge and be free once they would touch Ayiti’s soil.
The Republic of Haiti is the result of the action of two great men that shaped & changed the faith of slavery worldwide. The amiable “General & Governor Toussaint Louverture” also called the “Black Georges Washington” or “Black Napoleon” & the merciless “General Jean-Jacques Dessalines” who became “Emperor Jacques 1er” the last Monarch of the Americas. These two great men are the essence & real founders of Human Rights.
A decade ago, I was visiting the Versace mention on South Beach Miami and a wonderful surprise was waiting; the late Gianni Versace had placed two statue figures across from each other: The Great Toussaint Louverture facing The Great Julius Caesar. That right there says a lot; because Versace believed that these two historical figures were the greatness men of all time, I certainly cannot disapprove of it!
Any tips for future visitors?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice or for references to good local people who can assist with better tips and experiences (my group of friends and I are willing to take individuals or groups for excursions at a fair fee)
Do you visit often? If so, how do you do it? Any recommendation of an airline, ship you rely on?
Yes, I live there for most of the time when I’m not myself traveling and exploring. I’ve talked about flights already above, yet another method of traveling is by commercial bus, small commercial and private planes, helicopters or private vehicle crossing the border from the Dominican Republic.
How can we see more about you and your trips? what is your website or/and social media?
You can see more of my trips on my Instagram profile: @iam.bernhard or Facebook page: Bernhard Henry Poitevien
Thank you so much again for this collaboration! It is going to be very useful for future travelers, and thank you for even offer yourself for further questions or referrals.
Hope you liked this post. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate in commenting below or contact me. If you want to collaborate in the blog, with your experiences or your trip’s photos, get in touch!