In two square kilometers,Little Haiti boasts
the largest
concentration of Haitians outside
the Caribbean country.

B Y  M A G G I E   S T E B E R


Photography by Maggie Steber

Little Haiti in Miami, Florida is part of North America’s immigrant narrative. A cultural mecca for decades, Haitian refugees fleeing everything from a dictator’s secret police and political violence to natural disasters have flocked to Miami, the most immigrant city in America.

In two square kilometers, Little Haiti boasts the largest concentration of Haitians outside the Caribbean country. More than 30,000 Haitians reside and work there. Creole is the lingua franca, vodou is practiced, art flourishes and locals dance to the latest tunes from Port-au-Prince.

Like so many others in South Florida, Haitians have lost jobs or had their hours cut back, reducing their income and ability to help their families back in their home country. Some have lost their homes. The aim of the project is to show how the Haitian immigrant community, separated by language and culture, works to lay the groundwork for new arrivals hoping to establish new lives in the United States. It examines an immigrant community that is largely self-sufficient due to the efforts of the diaspora and in turn examines the immigrant experience for all immigrants through the eyes of those who have escaped from political and economic turmoil.

These immigrants make our own country richer. Through their activism, small successes and the import of new ideas, diaspora communities make the United States, a nation of immigrants for generations, a better place. Haitians helping Haitians in Little Haiti offers a look at how a beleaguered people builds a new community and a second chance at life.

Ozarks cow


A woman prays to a statue of Jesus out in the yard of Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood on  a sunny morning on January 3, 2013, a few days after the New Year.  Members of the Catholic church, where masses are given in the Creole language, come often to spend time in the large yard and pray.

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