Tour de la Francophonie: Haïti

HAITI: A Misunderstood Nation

with Lionel Dorismond

Wednesday 19 May, 7-8pm
En Français

Hearsay and misconceptions abound when it comes to Haiti; the country seems to be shrouded in mystery. In this presentation, Haiti native Lionel Dorismond will debunk some of these myths, and share some fascinating facts to replace the gap they leave.



Haiti, officially the Republic of Haiti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola, east of Cuba in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. It has an area of 27,750 square km. Haiti occupies the smaller western part of the island that it shares with the Dominican Republic.  The Bahamas, Colombia, Cuba, and Jamaica have maritime borders with it.

The name Haiti comes from the word Ayiti meaning ‘Land of Mountains’. This name was given by the original inhabitants of the island, the Taino people.  Haiti’s mountain peaks reach over 8,000 feet making it the most mountainous of the Caribean islands.


Port-au-Prince is Haïti's capital and largest city. French and Haitian Creole are its official languages. Haiti is the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere after The United States. It gained its independence from France in 1804.

Haiti has a rich cultural heritage that reflects in its art and music. In the recent years, it has gone through a great deal of economic and political turmoil including the 2010 earthquake.  It has a long way to go before it can achieve peace and financial stability but looking beyond all these, Haiti has much to offer through its landscape and culture.

This event is free for all

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Lionel Dorismond was born in Jérémie, a city on the Southern coast of Haïti.  He moved to Quebec in 1975 with his parents and siblings - except for his older brother who stayed in Haïti.  .  He graduated in Electric Engineering and obtained an MBA in Finance from Montreal University, where he also met his wife Myriam.  Their 2 daughters were born in Montreal.

Lionel worked with Canadian Marconi and Nortel in Montreal. The latter offered him a position in North Carolina where Lionel and his family relocated in 2000.  Today Lionel lives in Cary and works as a Project Engineer with Ribbon Communications.