Haiti boasts a small but burgeoning adventure sporting industry led largely from the private sector. Niche hobbies such as paragliding and swimming competitions are luring tourists back to the Caribbean island once a chic destination for celebrities and A-listers.
Avid adventurer Jim Chu saw the opportunities for extreme adventure sporting years ago when he first arrived in Haiti as a humanitarian aid worker. He invited his friends to spend their vacation time with him in Haiti paragliding over the natural mountain ranges and challenging them to swim from beach to beach in the crystal blue waters off the coast of Cote-des-Arcadins.
Recently, Chu took to the skies with another paragliding enthusiast over the mountains of the Artibonite and down to the white sand coast of Montrouis. A number of appropriate launching sites allow adventurers to fly over the island -- from Les Anglais to Tiburon, Aquin over the mountains to Léogâne -- gliding over the colorful Caribbean scenery.
Chu’s friend Nick Greece launched from the side of the UNESCO Heritage Site “Citadelle Laferrière” and flew around the imposing structure for several hours capturing the Caribbean’s largest fortress in all of its glory.
On January 28, the fifth annual Swim For Haiti competition will return to the Cote-des-Arcadins. Olympian Naomi Grand’Pierre alongside defending champion Diego Lopez will return to participate in the open water swim. For more information, visit swimforhaiti.org.