Haiti is located on the western side of the island of Hispaniola, an island shared with the Dominican Republic. There are approximately 10 million Haitians, making it the second-most populous country in the Caribbean. Haiti has endured much, from government unrest to armed revolts to a hurricane that killed more than 2,400 people. Haiti has the lowest Human Development Index in the Americas.
Roman Catholicism is the official religion of Haiti, but many consider Vodou to be the country’s national religion. About 80 percent of Haitians claim to be Catholic while 16 percent identify as Protestant. Vodou, a religion with African roots with a heavy focus on spirits, has syncretized itself with Catholicism over the years making it difficult to distinguish the number of Vodouists in Haiti.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Haitian culture with hundreds of small soccer clubs that compete at the local level. Haiti has a multi-purpose stadium, Stade Sylvio Cator, named after Sylvio Cator who won the silver in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games for long jump and is responsible for helping to popularize soccer in Haiti. Basketball is also gaining traction amongst the youth in Haiti.
FCA was established in 2010 after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti, attempting to bring hope and normalcy during a time of crisis through sports camps. Staff and volunteers offer their own time, resources and funds to reach their communities for Christ. FCA Haiti is making an impact in the lives of coaches and athletes in a significant way as they recruit and train coaches for their various sports leagues and provide team chaplains for each team. They are also partnering with existing schools and other organizations to establish an FCA presence in different parts of the country.
FCA Haiti is experiencing firsthand how utilizing sports is opening the door to opportunities to present to coaches and athletes the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.