Painting of Haiti


My grandmother left Haiti  between 1980 and 1981 for a better life being that in Haiti there is a lot of poverty. She left behind her family and friends to come to Queens, NY, where she stayed with her older sister. My mom was born in New York,  which means that she is not an immigrant, but a child of an immigrant. She remained in New York until the age of 1 where she spent the next 2 years living in Haiti. From 4 to 9 my mother continued to live in New York moving between the Bronx and Queens and lived in Canada for one year. Despite all of this moving, my mom would go to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, every summer; but since the age of 9, my mother hasn’t been back to Haiti. Because of safety reasons, I have never been to Haiti. A lot of the time because of the tragedies that have happened in Haiti, I can only visualize a poor country. Sometimes, I don’t feel connected to Haiti being that my mother doesn’t really make Haitian food, and I don’t speak French or Creole, which are the primary languages spoken there. A couple years ago, my mother’s uncle gave her a painting of Haiti that shows a family living their daily life. The painting depicts this more positive version of Haiti; there is no sign of unhappiness. I’ve always enjoyed looking at this painting, but I never realized how much it means to me. It connects me to another country I’m from.

Place(s): New York, Haiti, Canada

– Mia

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant