Julio Viaje, 30, had lunch last week in a Haitian restaurant in Tijuana and watched a European soccer game with friends while waiting for his bartending shift
One of more than 3,000 Haitian migrants living in Tijuana, Viaje works at an upscale restaurant in the city called Los Arcos. When he arrived at the Mexican border two years ago, he worked in a migrant shelter. Today, he rents an apartment.
Since more than 6,000 Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana this November, the city 's residents and politicians have lauded the Haitian community to an example of how to assimilate to life in Mexico.
press conference, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said the Haitians came with a clear vision. They got jobs and did not cause any problems.
“It makes me proud that Mexicans speak well of us,” Viaje said. “We worked very hard.”
“If they come to work they will do well,” he said. “But if they do not want to work they will suffer. How are they going to buy food? The people are not going to support them forever. “
Haitian migrants in Tijuana have gotten jobs as street vendors, cooks, security guards, mechanics, business owners or workers in maquiladoras.
Tijuana residents. Others have become Tijuana residents and citizens who work closely with the city's
Jeff Kenson opened a barber shop in Tijuana about 20 months ago. His customers are both Mexicans and Haitians.
“It makes me happy to see Haitians with cars and houses,” said Kenson, 29.
One of the big differences between the Haitian migrants and the Central American caravan is that the They had a lot to do when they arrived in Tijuana in 2016. Many worked construction jobs in Brazil The World Cup stadiums and left the country when the economy collapsed
Kenson owned his own barber shop in Brazil. He originally saw Tijuana as a stopover on the way to the United States, but he thought it would be very difficult for him.
Although there are several success stories among Tijuana's Haitian populations, they are not universal
Privert Prophete, a 52-year-old construction worker says he struggles to make ends meet.
He currently has a work in progress and is eligible for a visa. Tijuana from Haiti
“I am alone here,” he said. “If I get sick, I have no one. If I die, I die alone. “
The Haitians' assimilation to Tijuana has not always been a smooth transition.
More than 500 people have joined, said Philocles Julda, 44, one of the founding members.
” We thought that we would not be able to do that, “he said.
Initially, the association has made it easier. Julda said, Julda said, “The majority of Haitians in Tijuana would not be more likely to be in this country.”
be back home but they know there are no jobs so they do the best they can with what they have in Mexico, he added.
“We earn enough to live,” he said. “It's better than not having anything. That's why people stay here. “
There are about 70 Haitian migrants living in a church-run shelter, El Templo Embajador, according to Pastor Gustavo Banda.
(19659003) Banda credits the Haitian community's success to their religion and said they should be an example to everyone.
“They, they are eligible to bring their families to Tijuana. “he said,” he said. “I did not see any of them smoking marijuana or drinking in public.”
Word of Tijuana's Haitian community has spread throughout Latin America. Eva Auguste, 24, moved to Tijuana from Venezuela 3 months ago.
Her plan was to go to the U.S. but when it did not work she decided to stay. She earns about $ 70 a week braiding hair.
“The whole world wants to go to the United States,” she said. “But if I can not go here. This is better than Venezuela. “