Little Haiti


Prominent human rights activist and Haitian community leader Jean-Robert Lafortune died earlier this month after enduring a long chronic illness. He was 63-years-old.

Lafortune, who was locally and nationally recognized for his role in seeking relief for Haitian immigrants throughout the U.S. and abroad, died Oct. 15, according to an obituary circulated by his relatives and colleagues.

Nadege Green / WLRN

James Valsaint is concerned about displacement in Little Haiti. He knows the neighborhood’s high elevation is attractive to developers and perspective homeowners because it doesn’t flood. He questions how the majority low-income residents in the area will fare as rent costs balloon and where they will go.

Damian McNamara is a homeowner in Morningside, less than a mile from Little Haiti. His neighborhood is affluent, as is the case with most coastal enclaves in South Florida.


A controversial mega-development planned for 18 acres in Little Haiti has led to a lawsuit from a neighbor.

Warren Perry, who lives in an apartment on Northeast 62nd Street across the street from the “special area plan” zone known as the Magic City Innovation District, is suing City Hall over commissioners’ denial of his request to intervene in the June 27 debate over final approval of the development plan. The Real Deal first reported on the suit.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Schiller Sanon-Jules greets a group of women who walk over to his set up inside the Caribbean Marketplace in Little Haiti.

It’s a Thursday and although it’s called a marketplace, Sanon-Jules is just one of two vendors.

Aaron Sánchez-Guerra / WLRN



After over a year of vocal protests and intense debates, the commercial and residential development known as the Magic City Innovation District received final approval to be built in Little Haiti. 


The Miami city commission voted 3-0 after 1 a.m. Friday to approve it after hours of heated discussion and public testimony from both sides of the matter. Two commissioners, Ken Russell and Joe Carollo, were not present for the vote.



A massive and controversial plan that would bring a high-rise mini-city to the heart of impoverished Little Haiti won final approval from Miami commissioners, but only after a prolonged hearing that began late Thursday night and stretched past midnight as elected officials wrung some last few concessions from the developers and each other.

Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

Presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington visited Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood Tuesday morning on the eve of the first Democratic debate. His main focus: climate change.

Sam Turken / WLRN

A massive residential and commercial project in Little Haiti received initial approval from the Miami City Commission early Friday morning, a step forward for a plan that has divided community residents over what is best for a neighborhood that has historically experienced disinvestment.

For years, the Caribbean Marketplace in Little Haiti, also known as Mache Ayisyen, sat empty and in disrepair. 

Nadege Green

Johny Silionord points to the gaping hole in the floor when he opens the front door to his first-floor apartment in Little Haiti.

“Look at this. This is what I’m paying for,” he says in Creole.

Three white buckets sit alongside a wall in his room. They come in handy to collect the water that pours through the ceiling during a rainstorm or to catch the water that seeps through when his upstairs neighbor flushes the toilet.

Kathleen Dubos / WLRN news

A Miami filmmaker is highlighting flea market culture in his latest project. Nicanson Guerrier, 38, grew up in Little Haiti and his mother and brother worked at the Opa-Locka Hialeah flea market. 

Guerrier spent his time playing with other kids, buying candy and helping his mother and brother at the market.

His film, a comedy called "The Flea," recently debuted at the American Black Film Festival. Guerrier said it was important for him to show the people who buy and sell at flea markets because he felt nobody was telling their story.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Solar panels are not going to fix sea-level rise.

They're an energy source that does not release carbon into the atmosphere. So, switching to solar panels will limit the carbon in the Earth's atmosphere in the future. That could help prevent sea-level rise from getting worse.

But solar panels do not take out the carbon that’s already there — the carbon that's already begun to cause global warming and rising seas.

At a roundtable in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson got that fact wrong.

Haitian Compas Music Festival Opens For 20th Year

May 18, 2018

As much as Afro-Cuban rhythms are a part of Miami's musical heritage, so is Haitian Compas music. The genre is credited to 1950s saxophonist Nemours Jean-Baptiste, who incorporated brass into a wide range of Caribbean rhythms.

C.M. Guerrero

After claims of racial discrimination on its platform, home-sharing site Airbnb is partnering with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to attract more black hosts and guests to its site.

And they're launching the national program in Miami-Dade County.

Airbnb and NAACP will pilot the effort in Miami Gardens and Little Haiti, the partners announced Wednesday. They expect to expand to other cities nationwide in the future.