Haiti’s mountainous terrain led the Taíno people to call the land Ayiti, the land of the mountains. Despite boasting mountain peaks that reach over 8,000 feet high, the entire country is smaller than the state of Maryland.
Nearly 11 million people call Haiti home, but roughly 80% of Haitians live beneath the poverty line and only about 60% of Haiti’s residents are literate (CIA World Factbook). To put this in perspective, imagine if 4.8 million of Maryland’s residents lived in poverty.
Throughout Haiti, only 76% of primary school-aged children are enrolled. Of these children, only 35% complete primary school. Statistically, only 27 of 100 children will complete primary school. Approximately 20% of eligible students are enrolled in secondary school, so this opportunity is highly valued. While there is no tuition to attend public school, there are fees for textbooks, uniforms, supplies, etc.