As a first-generation Haitian who has never been able to visit home, I strive to create a feeling of home right here in the city. While there are struggles I and I’m sure many have with fully feeling connected with my culture in a home away from home, Boston and Massachusetts at large is the home to increasing numbers of immigrants and diaspora members from across the Caribbean. Our communities are here, and thriving, creating vibrant neighborhoods that serve as a warm welcome to those seeking a home away from home, too. Through the music, food, and practices we bring from our homelands in various ways, we keep our cultures alive and remind us of the connectedness of us all. It is through this ever-present heart of our people and our homelands that we are able to create unique and beautiful communities that replicate feelings of home.
“Nou La”, or “We’re Here” in Haitian Creole is a representation of that feeling of “home away from home.” It’s a fusing of the realities of our cities and neighborhoods, and the traditions we bring from home. The communities we build together make it clear that we’re here, and here to stay.