Photo Credit: TN
Traveler Story: A Heartwarming Journey Through Haiti
Beyazmin Jimenez is a blogger based in Boston who chronicles her travels on thefuschiafiles.com. Here she tells Travel Noire what inspired her to visit Haiti and shares how the people of the nation stole her heart.
Travel Noire: Why did you decide to go to Haiti?
Beyazmin: My partner and I chatted about traveling to Haiti since we first started dating. I have always been an avid traveler and when I first met him, I was appalled at the fact he did not own a passport and had never traveled outside of the U.S., including to his home
country of Haiti!
We decided to make our first trip abroad and to visit our motherland, so we started in
Dominican Republic, where I am from, and trekked our way through the full island of
Hispaniola (full name for the island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti). We
made our way to Cap Haitien, Haiti via a route from Santiago, D.R. and were welcomed
into a brand new world. The stark contrast between the two islands is very surreal, and
yet the more we explored Haiti, the more we fell in love with the culture and people.
Travel Noire: What was the coolest thing you did?
Beyazmin: Many visitors frequent Cap-Haitien to visit San Souci Palace and the Citadelle
Laferrière, a UNESCO heritage site depicting the slave revolt that took place in Haiti in
the early 1800s against the French army and that ultimately led to Haiti’s independence
and its title as the First Freed Black Nation.
We loved Labadee beach! Crystal clear blue waters galore! You can rent a small boat for
a reasonable price from any of the local fishermen in the town, and they will bring you to
Labadee Beach to spend the day. We brought food and beer along for the ride, and spent
the day swimming, soaking up the sun, and talking with local people.
Travel Noire: What would you do differently about your trip?
Beyazmin: If you plan to spend time in Haiti, it would benefit you and your party to hire a local driver. Getting around was not always easy, and haggling can be difficult as there are not many tourists in the area so prices are usually fixed. Hiring a driver will give you more
peace of mind, and enable you to view all the sights with a trusted companion. There are
now tour companies in Haiti offering reasonable daily rates for tourists looking to hire a
local driver for their trip.
Travel Noire: What surprised you the most about this destination?
Beyazmin: The hospitality and kindness of the Haitian people. The people we
encountered were eager to show us a good time, and determined to ensure we were
feeling good while visiting their beloved city- their attention to detail was incredible!
From the hotel staff at Habitation Jouissant, to the fishermen we met at Labadee beach, everyone extended their hand in kindness to receive us with genuine love. It is truly
fascinating to learn the history of Haiti from local residents and we found friendly faces
wherever we went.
Additionally, it is another reminder to come and see for yourself the beauty of Haiti, it is not the war-torn, poverty-stricken country you often see portrayed in the media. Indeed, Haiti can benefit greatly from our support as tourists and bring more business to an island recuperating from the damages of the 2010 earthquake.
Travel Noire: Would you go back?
Beyazmin: I would love to explore more of Haiti as the country has so much to offer. From
history, to beaches, to the kind people, Haiti should be on your list to visit!