LITTLE HAITI, Fla. – The vision of a Haitian destination in South Florida, where Haitian immigrants could live, work, worship and do business was dreamed up by Viter Juste.
"If you could go through life and change one life, you have done something good with yourself," Patrick Juste said about his father’s philosophy on life.
Viter Juste was a Haitian-born businessman, community leader and activist who is credited with being the first to call a section of the Northeast Second Avenue corridor "Little Haiti."
"We need to create something for us, " Winnick Blain, Viter Juste’s grandson said. "It doesn't make sense for you escape a country, and then come here, a country where there are opportunities, and still fall back to the same thing you were doing in the other country. Take advantage of it. He led the process. He showed the way."
Earlier this year, when Miami city leaders unanimously designated Lemon City as Little Haiti, crowds cheers inside city hall.
"You can't say welcome to Little Haiti without putting the pioneers of Little Haiti" Serge Toussaint, an artist, said.
Toussaint, a Haitian-born artist, is painting a mural off Northeast 59th Street and Second Avenue featuring Viter Juste.
"If you go on Calle Ocho, Little Havana, as soon as you walk up in there, you have a sense of the Cuban community, " Toussaint said, adding he wants that same cultural feeling to come through when entering Little Haiti.