The Haitian gourde is the currency of Haiti. In April 2011, the exchange rate was 40.85 gourdes = 1 US dollar. Although traders are required by law to quote prices in gourdes, almost everything is quoted in “dollars” – not US dollars, but Haitian dollars, which is equivalent to 5 gourdes. This practice is a relic of the American occupation of Haiti in the early 20th century, during which the gourde was set at 5 gourdes to the US dollar.
Haiti has become known for its lively, very informal but interesting market. Everything from strangely attractive to boring is sold here at rather low prices. Haggling is both wise and advisable, as most Haitians charge foreigners at least double the market price. There are several large retail supermarkets in the capital offering a variety of items at fixed prices. Haiti has a world of handicrafts just waiting to be sought out.