President Trump may have given Haiti an unlikely boost when he labeled the Caribbean country a “sh–hole” last month.
The comment — made during an immigration meeting in the Oval Office — has prompted a spike in Google searches and general curiosity about this much misunderstood country, spurring visits like the one filmed by late night host Conan O’Brien for a recent TBS special.
Pristine beaches, mountaintop fortresses and eclectic artist enclaves are not what spring to mind when most Americans consider Haiti. Poverty, political strife and natural disasters have long shaped the narrative around this Caribbean nation, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.
But, as Haiti continues to recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010, its natural assets and cultural treasures are returning into focus, and growing increasingly accessible.
Tourists have actually flocked to Haiti for centuries. The first, Christopher Columbus, landed in the port city of Cap-Haïtien in 1492. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Mick Jagger and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis leisured in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Today, aid workers and NGO contractors outnumber vacationers.