OREGON, USA — Haitian Heritage Month is a celebration of the rich and precious culture of Haiti. Each May, members of the Haitian diaspora within the United States hold various events commemorating the culture and heritage.
Haiti, meaning "mountainous," is a Caribbean country located on the island of Hispaniola. Haiti is bordered on the east by the Dominican Republic, with the two nations sharing the island.
During the month of celebration, Haitian Flag Day is observed annually as a national holiday in Haiti on May 18. In homage to the country's independence from France, the red and blue flag was proudly hoisted for the first time on May 18, 1803. The flag was originally sewn by Catherine Flon with guidance from her godfather, Haitian revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Dessalines emerged as a military figure during the Haitian Revolution and became the first ruler of a newly independent Haiti. It became the first free Black republic on Jan 1, 1804, what would become Haiti's Independence Day.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of PNW Haitian businesses to support during Haitian Heritage Month:
Creole Me Up is a brand that specializes in creating organic, healthy and allergen-free Haitian food products, offering catering services and cooking lessons pertaining to Haitian food. The brand offers products in several stores within Oregon.
This Haitian-owned winery is focused on bringing people together and creating community while opening up dialogues about diversity. The owner of the winery, Bertony Faustin, is the first known Haitian-American Black winemaker in Oregon. The vineyard has tasting rooms in North Plains and downtown Portland.
Tribes Nations Scarves provides high-quality polyester satin chiffon that is soft to the touch and feels like charmeuse. Offering an array of colorful styles, including the Haitian coat of arms, menorah scarves, Haitian nationals and masks.
One Taekwondo is a space where young and old can master the art of taekwondo. The academy promotes respect, self-discipline, and confidence through a distinctive merge of traditional and modern training of the mind and body.
Off-The-Cliff is a nature inspired brand that empowers consumers to feel that there's no limitations to the things one can do when chasing dreams. The brand offers various creative clothing styles and colors.
This Caribbean kitchen provides flavorful Haitian cuisine, offering catering services for many event needs and often hosting pop up events all across the Pacific Northwest.
Kwa'Litty is a streetwear clothing brand providing high quality apparel such as hats, hoodies, sweat suit sets, beanies and of course "litty" vibes.
Negre Marron Wellness is a Haitian co-owned brand run by two naturopathic doctors based in Federal Way, Washington. The wellness center specializes in pain management with a mind-body approach, offering physical medicine, counseling, biofeedback and IV/IM injection therapy.
This online apparel brand based in Portland was created for the classy, chic woman on the go. It seeks to empower women who look to build confidence through fashion and style by providing current yet functional pieces.
RJ's BBQ Smokehouse travel across the Pacific Northwest offering catering and personal chef services and providing signature meals such as the Caribbean and Southern Style Platters — Barbecuing on the go at family reunions, corporate events, weddings, graduations and birthdays with a 14-foot mobile Smoker "Mino."
My Fresh Kicks is a sneaker brand inspired by its mantra "Time to walk in faith in your very own fresh kicks". The brand also has a clothing line called Forever: Fresh & Fly.
Frantz Visuals is run by a Haitian photographer based in Seattle offering a plethora of creative photoshoot options. From headshots, graduations, maternity, family, product and event photoshoots.
Kompa Night is a social group that puts on various events year-round, fixated on curating a space where Haitians and community members in the Pacific Northwest can gather. The group focuses on highlighting Kompa, which is a cultural music and dance form that originated in Haiti during the mid-20th century.
The social group will be hosting their annual Haitian Flag Day celebration on May 20 at the Rumba Notes Lounge in Seattle, Washington.
Polish Oregon is a cleaning service based in Oregon and offering quality, reliable cleaning services that are insured and bonded. Cleaning offices, banks, hotels, restaurants, homes, garages, doing yard work, dealership parking lot car washes and regular car washes and details. If you're seeking some help with spring cleaning, they are your go-to.
From Port-Au-Prince, Haiti to Portland, Oregon. Colas Construction was created by a Haitian man who came to America chasing the American dream. Trial and error lead to the creation of the company building generational wealth as a family owned business. The brand has overseen multiple projects across the Portland Metro area.