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‘The trek was dangerous,’ say Haitians arriving in Florida from Mexico

Haitians who recently arrived in the United States celebrate their first Thanksgiving

MIAMI, Fla. – There was plenty of tasty food with a Haitian flavor, of course. But that was just the bonus because it was much more than that.

Outside at the Oasis near Little Haiti, the music moved listeners, perhaps perfectly planned to help with digestion.

In the crowd was the Jean Baptiste family who recently arrived in the United States after making the trek from Brazil, part of a group of Haitians who were, at some point, stuck in Mexico.

In Creole, Jean Wisner Jean Baptiste says being here feels harmonious and that there is a feeling of a fraternity, of love.

He describes the voyage as tough and dangerous.

His wife, Evena, and daughter, Amanda, are all together now.

“We’d like to welcome them because they’ve gone through so much. They are trying to come to the promise land,” said Emeline Alexis-Schulz, organizer of the event.

It’s the on-going story of South Florida, whether in Little Haiti or Little Havana, it’s the story of America.

Klaus-Peter Schulz, the co-event organizer, says: “Usually it’s a huge enrichment for a society the more they incorporate migrants.”

Organizers say this is what it’s all about. Whether it’s the first time, or not, a chance for neighbors to feed neighbors.

To spend time together, to pray together and to get to know each other.

This Schulz organization has been doing this for 15 years and they did take a break last year because of COVID, but they are back this year and are hoping that next year, it’s bigger and better.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.