The Francophone world is vast and includes countries and regions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, including the Caribbean. One of the Francophone countries found in the Caribbean is Haiti. Formerly claimed by Spain and then France, the country gained its independence in 1804. While the country has developed various uniquely Haitian traditions and customs, the French influence looms; French is one of the official languages of the country.

The Boston metro area is home to the third largest population of Haitians in the US, behind New York and Florida, according to data from the US Census Bureau. Many people in this community live in the neighborhoods of Mattapan, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Hyde Park. How can you dive further into the Haitian culture around Boston? Read on and find out!

Visit Farah’s Cafe Restaurant


Situated in the neighborhood of Hyde Park, Farah’s not only has several authentic Haitian dishes on its menu but the sounds of the Caribbean can be found there as well. Listed as one of BostonEater.com’s  “Four Standout African Diaspora Restaurants in Boston” this past January, this institution serves Haitian dishes like fritay, pikliz, and griot.

Dance with Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE)


Founded with a mission to share Haitian Folkloric dance with Boston and beyond, JAE provides exciting opportunities to dancers and audiences alike by mixing professional dance performances, educational programming, and community building. Artistic director and co-founder Jean Appolon received his early dance training in Haiti and then studied in the US with the Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Joffrey American Ballet School in New York. JAE produces regular performances and holds dance classes around Boston and Cambridge. Even during the pandemic, it still maintains its connection to its dance program in Haiti.

Join the Parade on Haitian Flag Day


Haitian Flag Day, the day that celebrates the adoption of the Haitian flag and commemorates Haitian independence from France, falls on May 18. Accordingly, May is Haitian Heritage Month in the city of Boston. In non-COVID times the day is celebrated with a parade down Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester and Mattapan. Hopefully 2022 will see the return of this festive event!

How have you experienced Haitian culture in Boston?



Natalie Collet

Former Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French!

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