Little Haiti's cultural and public memory spaces
Also known as Mache Ayisyen, the nine thousand square foot Caribbean Marketplace is the largest space within the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. The Little Haiti area in Miami is a neighborhood which embodies a rich history concerning Haitian immigration to Florida. Museums and murals alike seek to develop new narratives about the transnational nature of the small neighborhood. The religious institutions have a history of activism and continue to participate in social justice programs that enhance the livelihood of their constituents.
Notre Dame D'Haiti holds a special place in the formation of the Little Haiti neighborhood and the subsequent steady settling of Haitian immigrants to that particular area, known as Lemon City at the time.
Even before the creation of the murals known today as the 'Wynwood Walls,' Little Haiti's artists used public art to create new narratives and embrace the rich multiplicity of their history and experiences. These sites range from small actions of resistance to large projects meant for buildings. They especially use imagery and symbolism present in the homeland to enunciate the uniqueness of their experiences as Haitian Americans in Little Haiti.
This monument park unveiled by the City of Miami in 2005 plays a role in continuing the victory against systematic oppression even in new spaces. The symbol and history of a revolutionary who ultimately freed slaves can be used as a way to fuse activism and history together in public spaces.
Many of the first Haitians who arrived in Miami joined existing congregations, but within a few years, Haitians also organized their own churches. Eglise de Dieu Sanctifiée Haïtienne (The Haitian Church of God Sanctified) was established in 1969. The First Interdenominational Haitian Church was established two years later. The church grew rapidly and in 1976 members purchased this building. This is one of the largest Haitian churches in Miami