Haitian cuisine find popularity in Mexican border city of Tijuana

Latin America

The latest Central American migrant caravan is moving across Mexico, headed to the U.S. Their goal is the city of Tijuana, but they aren’t the first migrants to arrive. 

CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock reports on Tijuana’s talent for absorbing migrant culture.

Poulet creole, djon-djon, and fried plantains are all staples of Haitian cuisine. But they’re now being served in Mexican restaurants in Tijuana.

Three years ago, more than 3,000 Haitian refugees arrived at the Mexico-California border. Many had their asylum pleas rejected by the U.S., and instead settled in Tijuana.

Seeing an opportunity, local restaurants started serving Haitian cuisine, offering customers a taste of home. Tijuana boasts three eateries offering Haitian cuisine, and they’ve grown popular with local residents.

Cesar Palencia runs the local government migrant program. He shared that surprisingly, the Haitian community’s integration in the city has been easy.

“They were people who came seeking a dignified life and employment, and we were amazed that despite not speaking Spanish, they very quickly found work and sought ways to be included,” Cesar Palencia said. “The Haitians have been a perfect example of how to settle in a town that opens its doors to migrants.”