Tijuana’s Haitian Immigrants Seen as Model for Newcomers From Central America

A Haitian family leaves after a Sunday mass at the Embajadores de Jesus church, in the suburbs of Tijuana, Mexico on March 11, 2018. (Credit: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)

A Haitian family leaves after a Sunday mass at the Embajadores de Jesus church, in the suburbs of Tijuana, Mexico on March 11, 2018. (Credit: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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 to start.

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 construction and slept in a migrant shelter. Today, he rents an apartment.

Since more than 6,000 Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana in November, the city’s residents and politicians have lauded the Haitian community as an example of how to assimilate to life in Mexico.

During a news conference, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said the Haitians came in an orderly way and with a clear vision. They got jobs and did not cause problems.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.