The border city of Tijuana is hosting more than 2,000 Haitians who have arrived over the last two months.
A local food stand in downtown Tijuana, Mexico, known for its quesadillas and delicious ranchero-style steaks switched to an all Haitian menu to serve the increasing number of the Caribbean refugees a taste of home as they migrate through Mexico, seeking asylum in the United States.
Fusion’s Martha Pskowski spoke to the tacos stand’s owner who said she decided to change her menu after several Haitian women came by asking for their local food.
“The women asked if I would allow them to cook some food for themselves in the kitchen,” Fausta Rosalia, owner of Loncheria Dulce, said. “They don’t like the food from here.”
It seems one of the five Haitian women proposed to Rosalia that she would cook the food and sell it at the stand and share the profit. “What if we cook our food and sell it? I will work with you.”
Rosalia welcomed the proposal and took the women to the local market to get the ingredients for the Haitian food and kick off Tijuana’s first Haitian restaurant.
The new menu was such a success that the stand is no longer selling Mexican tacos and is only serving Haitian fried chicken plates with vegetables, rice and beans for about US$2.
“After three months of travel, we are fortunate enough to eat chicken with a taste of Haiti,” Charles, a Haitian immigrant who asked that his last name be withheld, told Pskowski. “A lot of people didn’t make it all the way here.”
The border city of Tijuana is hosting more than 2,000 Haitians who have arrived over the last two months amid a new wave of refugees trying to cross into the U.S. through California.
Many of those refugees are coming from Brazil where they had settled following the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Haiti was also hit by Hurricane Matthew last week, destroying whole villages and killing at least 1,000 people, according to the latest estimates.