When I met my husband Endy (then-boyfriend), he would tell me all about Haiti. He would tell me stories about growing up with his siblings, his best friends. He would tell me about the journeys they had to get to school, the funny stories of dressing up in their parents clothes and the soccer games they played on the roof of their house. He would tell me how beautiful "The Real Haiti" was. I mostly just listened, and quietly doubted that a place I always heard was a "third world country," could be beautiful.
What? You're going to Haiti on vacation!?
It took years of convincing to plan a trip to Haiti...7 years actually! Endy planned everything for our 10 day adventure. Although I was excited, my worried mind kept playing questions over in my head like, "what if we can't find water to drink?" and "what if we get TB or yellow fever?" As I type these ridiculous things (that I never actually said out loud), I can't even believe I thought such judgmental things about a place I'd end up falling in love with!
As an innocent Italian-American, red-headed, 28-year-old, I really had no clue what Haiti was really like. I had no clue that visiting Haiti would change my life. As our vacation plans neared, I secretly wanted to back out or hoped for some reason we weren't going to end up going (sad, but true).
The time came and we flew from Florida to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. My life was forever changed and my eyes and heart were opened like they had never been before. For more of an in depth look about what I saw and experienced, read my blog about things I noticed while in Haiti. Before my first trip, my husband encouraged me to start a blog about Haiti to share what we saw. I wasn't fully on board with the idea, but I did. When I was there and then returned home is when I started blogging about all-things-Haitian and really fell in love with the idea of blogging. I embraced the culture and through my experiences, I had to share all of the amazing things that were so new to me.
Since I started The Real Haiti, Endy and I got married and have two little boys now! Although we don't get to travel to Haiti as much anymore (adulting too much), promoting the Haitian culture, food, people and life in Haiti is still my passion! I couldn't find one place online with resources for teaching kids about Haiti and Haitian Creole so I created my own for my boys and am sharing it with you!
The Real Haiti has a kids section (there's also a tab above) where you can find a variety of resources to teach your kids or students about Haiti
What's new with The Real Haiti
After developing a variety of digital resources about Haiti that focus on cultural education and celebration, we evolved into a membership style resource center called The Real Haiti Academy. You can now enjoy the option of a "pay what you can" model starting at $0. You have the option to pay $0, $15, $25, $50 or $99. No matter how much you pay, you will be getting the same access to the membership with all of the digital resources.
As a member of TRHA, you’ll connect with a community of Haiti lovers who are passionate about keeping the Haitian culture alive. Be proud of your (or your family's) heritage. Encourage multicultural diversity as you're raising your children at home and in your community.
Find out exactly what's included in The Real Haiti Academy.
In this time of uncertainty, one thing I am certain about is that I am not in control of anything. God is in control. I have been given a God-given talent and passion to develop this website and these resources. This is how I am sharing with my digital community who has supported The Real Haiti in one way or another.
"My family and I love exploring, learning about and celebrating our Haitian heritage through The Real Haiti Academy. Our 9-month old son loves the songs, videos & virtual field trip - and the resources keep coming. We're looking forward to using more of the resources as he grows. It's even been fun for my husband to have Creole resources (rather than French). Such an awesome tool! - Kara Jeudy
While all of this started as a fear of Haiti, then a love for Haiti, it's now my business and a huge part of my life. I am so grateful for all of you for following my page for all of these years. Lastly, thank you always for your encouragement! Happy anniversary of The Real Haiti blog and business. Mesi anpil!!!
If you're new to The Real Haiti, sign up below to subscribe to the blog!
Blog post updated 7/26/20 - eight year anniversary of The Real Haiti as a business.
Happy February, friends! I love February because of Valentine's Day and it's my birthday month!
I will never forget this cute little window in this picture. We were hiking up the mountain in Cap Haitien to see the Citadelle Laferrière when I spotted the pink window with a heart on it.
Have you wondered about Valentine's Day in Haiti? Do Haitians celebrate Valentine's Day? Is Valentine's Day a big deal in Haiti? I was curious about Valentine's Day in Haiti so I asked my family and friends for more information and here's what they said.
Valentine's Day in Haiti is...
It was so fun learning about how Valentine's Day in Haiti is celebrated. How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
Jwaye Nwèl! Merry Christmas!
Christmas is such a magical time for everyone, including for Haitian people! We've spent a few Christmas holidays in Haiti, but since I didn't grow up there, I had to do my own research through my family and the Internet about what Christmas is like (mostly as a child) in Haiti. We are raising our two little boys to appreciate their Haitian heritage and to learn the Haitian Creole language.
Christmas in Haiti brings the same universal magical feeling to everyone, especially kids. Here are some Haitian Christmas songs, traditions and printables to teach about Christmas in Haiti! You may also find yourself reminiscing about Christmas holidays in Haiti!
Christmas Songs in Haitian Creole
Christmas Traditions in Haiti
On Christmas Eve, children place their clean shoes full of straw, under the tree on the porch. They hope that Tonton Nwèl (Santa Claus) will remove the straw and put presents in and around the shoes.
Guests usually lend their visits a little before or around midnight to attend La Messe de Minuit (Midnight Mass for Catholics). Or, some leave to go party or caroling. There is also the Revellion, French for Christmas supper, eaten after midnight mass. Traditionally, the meal served is rice, beans, and fried chicken.
Read a beautiful 1960's memoir written by Jean-Marie Florestal titled Christmas In Jérémie. What a great read...I could really picture the scenes!
Haitian Christmas Printables
Free Download: Haitian Creole Christmas Carols.
How is it mid November ALREADY?! This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving in US and then Black Friday! I don't know about you, but the holidays always sneak up on me quick. The same goes for holiday shopping! Skip the mall and same old gifts. Shop our unique items in our gift guide for Haiti lovers <3
Consider shopping from small businesses who work to show the beauty of Haiti. The Real Haiti Inc. is a registered corporation and with your purchases, we are able to bring more awareness of the other side of Haiti that we all love so much!
November 24th is Small Business Saturday!
I hope you find these freebies useful to teach your children, friends, family or students about Haiti and the Haitian culture! Use it at home, at a family gathering, for a school presentation, or in your classroom to help teach diversity and culture awareness!
Get a FREE 4-page worksheet/poster bundle of Haitian Cultural highlights with Haitian Creole and English!
Where in the world is Haiti?
Numbers in Haitian Creole
Colors in Haitian Creole
Popular Authentic Haitian Food
You may use these online, but please link back to TheRealHaiti.com please!
If there are other topics you'd like us to cover, just let us know! ENJOY!