This week we attempt to make you green with envy as we pass through the lush landscapes of Latin America and Asia.
Explore the Caribbean’s hidden gem
Haiti is a place where tourists don’t go, but where real travellers venture. A place that is off the beaten path, this seductive island will have you changing your perception of this country the moment you touch its soil. Known as the "Pearl of the Antilles," this rugged place is full of beaches, waterfalls, caves, and an alluring personality rich in music, art, vodou, and of course, rum.
Haiti is full of natural beauty with its white sandy beaches and mountains that gently graze the sky. But it also has hidden gems that few know about, like Bassin-Bleu – a secluded oasis where you can jump off waterfalls and soak in turquoise basins.
“There is more to Haiti than most people have ever imagined. From picturesque coastal towns and long stretches of beach to the vibrant and unique local culture, there is much to be discovered.”
Oana D – video producer
Fall in love with a beautiful culture
Haiti is rich in flavour, music, and art. Explore this creative culture by venturing to Jacmel where you’ll meet the famous papier mâché sculptors and to Port-au-Prince where you’ll watch artists of the Atis Rezistans turn rubble into intriguing works of art.
“Haitian art has been on the radar of renowned art historians for decades, and after the earthquake it’s more clear than ever that this deep-rooted art culture continues to thrive. Artist communities and workshops have literally sprung up out of the rubble and bit by bit the cities across Haiti are being reborn with colourful mosaics, iron works and paintings. ”
Rachel W – Innovation manager, Classic
History comes to life
Haiti is filled with stories, and you’ll get to hear them all, starting with the Citadelle Laferrière, a UNESCO designated mountaintop fortress. Then introduce your lips to Haitian rum while exploring Cap-Haïtien’s sugar fields, and finally embrace vodou culture at the Iron Market.
“Who knew that the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere was built atop a mountain in northern Haiti? An incredible building that has withstood earthquakes and witnessed nearly two centuries of Haitian history, the Citadelle Laferrière was built to defend a newly independent Haitian nation from invaders. Never attacked, it still has neatly stacked pyramids of unused, rusty cannonballs standing at the base of its walls.”
Leah G – Innovation manager, Yolo & Local Living
Find the joy in giving back
Get to know the Art Creation Foundation for Children, a grassroots community initiative in Jacmel that teaches at-risk Haitian children traditional art while providing hot meals and a second home.
“Visiting Haiti was like being invited into a secret, unknown place full of hidden treasures. It was just so different – the French Creole language, the unique history that can be explored by visiting ubiquitous ruins of old forts, the vodou-inspired art and friendly artists, I wasn't sure what to expect but was so pleasantly surprised by everything. Great food, really good service everywhere, and really nice people. Seeing some of the art villages where people literally live among their creations was an incredible experience. On top of this, it's a Caribbean island with beautiful natural sites such as caves, swimming holes, and beaches. It has a ways to go, of course, and there are still development issues that are being focused on by the government, but things are moving in Haiti; more and more, people are starting to see it as a place of opportunity and change is happening now.”
Kelly G – Planeterra program & operations manager, Americas