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Tijuana’s ‘Little Haiti’: Home to Stranded Haitian Migrants

IN PICTURES: Tijuana is expected to become one of the Haitian diaspora’s major hubs in coming years, according to Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior.

An estimated 3,500 Haitians are now living in the border city of Tijuana, Reuters reported, with some also living in nearby Mexicali.

“Our country has hit rock bottom,” Thea Nonce Jean, a resident of Tijuana’s “Little Haiti,” told Reuters. “Now we’ve decided to stay in Tijuana.”

While Haiti has seen progress since the 2010 earthquake, the negative impacts continue, exacerbated by decades of external interventions that impoverished the Caribbean nation.

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Paying thousands of dollars to human traffickers and crossing up to seven countries, Haitian migrants are usually deported when they reach the United States.
Paying thousands of dollars to human traffickers and crossing up to seven countries, Haitian migrants are usually deported when they reach the United States. Photo:Reuters
Some 3,500 Haitians are now in the border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, according to Mexican government data.
Some 3,500 Haitians are now in the border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, according to Mexican government data. Photo:Reuters
Rigo, a Haitian migrant, looks at his mobile phone inside his rental apartment in Tijuana.
Rigo, a Haitian migrant, looks at his mobile phone inside his rental apartment in Tijuana. Photo:Reuters
After hopes of asylum in the United States faded last year, Jean is stranded thousands of miles from home like hundreds from the Caribbean nation now seeking to make a life in Tijuana.
After hopes of asylum in the United States faded last year, Jean is stranded thousands of miles from home like hundreds from the Caribbean nation now seeking to make a life in Tijuana. Photo:Reuters
Amid the hammering of tools and the swell of songs from their homeland, dozens of Haitians are working to build the "Haitian Villa" in the Cañon del Alacran on the western flank of Tijuana.
Amid the hammering of tools and the swell of songs from their homeland, dozens of Haitians are working to build the "Haitian Villa" in the Cañon del Alacran on the western flank of Tijuana. Photo:Reuters
Tijuana is expected to become one of the Haitian diaspora’s major hubs in coming years, according to Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior.
Tijuana is expected to become one of the Haitian diaspora’s major hubs in coming years, according to Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior. Photo:Reuters
Haitian migrants comb their hair near a neighborhood known locally as the "Haitian Villa" where houses are being built for families of Haitian migrants at Canon del Alacran in Tijuana.
Haitian migrants comb their hair near a neighborhood known locally as the "Haitian Villa" where houses are being built for families of Haitian migrants at Canon del Alacran in Tijuana. Photo:Reuters
Haiti is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that rocked the country in 2010, killing 222,750 people, injuring thousands and leaving 1.5 million homeless.
Haiti is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that rocked the country in 2010, killing 222,750 people, injuring thousands and leaving 1.5 million homeless. Photo:Reuters
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