|Language:||Haitian and French|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='ht' />|
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|<map lat="19.029267311993" lng="-73.218174970151" zoom="7" view="0" float="right" />|
"I hitched the southern half of the island for two months. I found hitching to be quite various depending on where you are. There is a highway leading from Port-Au-Prince to Petit-Goave to Aux Cayes that has lots of traffic including public transport, people will not understand what you are doing hitching and not trust you if they do understand you are looking for a ride. The road from Leogane to Jacmel is also similar to this though probably a bit more hitchable. On smaller roads people will understand what you are doing because of the lack of traffic and will often stop. Many roads have very little non-motorcycle traffic, I normally would start walking roads like this and only turning around to hitch if I heard a car, oft time people driving motorcycles would stop and give me free rides, a basic knowledge of French is important for this. Spanish is pretty common along the border and among adult males who have worked in Dominican Republic. English is relatively common among teenagers. If you already know some French then Creole is quite easy to learn, most words besides the basic connecting words are the same and the grammar is totally unrelated to French and much simpler and actually closer to English grammar. The phrase for hitching in Kreyol is Rue Libre, meaning free ride and is almost universally understood. The farther I got from the capital the easier hitching got, anywhere West or North-west of Aux Cayes the hitching was very easy. Police are rare and don't bother you.
On main roads its probably best to take public transport. The best form of public transport is pick-up trucks known as "tap-taps" or sometimes "camionettes", just flag them down and discuss the price before going, a normal price is about 50 cents american between towns. There are also motorcycle taxis known as "motos", it's one of the most common jobs in Haiti and competition is very fierce so they will often be practically begging for you to buy a ride. These moto taxis are normally prohibitively expensive (for me at least) but often they are the only available transport if you aren't willing to walk. The price of these is for some reason cheaper on the far west side of the peninsula where the tap-tap prices are higher. The final option is the eighteen-wheelers which can be found on some routes. They are by far the cheapest way to get around and are quite easy to convince the drivers to take you for free. They transport cargo from village to village and stop extremely often to load or unload things at every village, a very slow but nice way to see the country. Sometimes it's acceptable to just jump on one of these trucks as it's passing by and ask someone when you get on to it if you have to pay or not.
Some things to know about Haitian culture is that it's a very frivolous culture in which people are constantly buying things they can't afford, begging for things and giving away things. As a foreigner you will be constantly asked for money or food, it is rude to say no but telling people possibly another time will normally satisfy them. The phrase for "I am hungry" is "M Grangou", and many people especially along the Dominican border are hungry much more often then they are full. Getting invited to people's houses to sleep, especially when people realize you would instead be sleeping outside is generally quite common. Most people who invite you to their house are people who have meet foreigners before such as people who have worked with NGOs or sailors. When in someone's home they will often give you all that they can down to their last coin and people without anything will often ask politely if you can buy food for yourself or them. Haitian culture is extremely status based and people will judge you quickly. They are extremely confused by travelers in their country, and may believe you are in an NGO, the CIA or are just literally insane even if you tell them otherwise. Outside of the capital violent crime is extremely rare but thievery is quite possible. I've had people go through my things to see if I had anything of value and let go when I told them I was crazy and they didn't find anything. I've also had people want to see what is in my bag quite angrily and who would have tried something I'm sure if they weren't in the public eye. This makes the back roads the most dangerous places outside the capital, not that it seems so, it just takes someone fed-up with their situation and pushed to the point where they don't care about consequences. The North side of the island which I haven't visited is according the stereotypes of the people I meet more "civilized", richer and more money-oriented, has better roads, less sharing, less beautiful, more dangerous, and more "historical" than the South. -JRG"
User:Jackfang I had a great time hitchhiking across Haiti as "the Chinaman", in Feburary 2016. I went across most major cities by hanging at the back of Camionettes. Being able to speak French, it was somewhat easy to find people who speak some French. It was hard for me to understand Haitian Creole. Most people were very welcoming. Many people asked for money. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHfnVyZRPh4