“Haitians in Tapachula” is a series that takes an in-depth look at Haitians in Tapachula, a city in southern Mexico about 20 miles north of the Guatemala-Mexico border. Many Haitians who make it here spent years in Brazil and Chile before continuing toward North America in the ongoing search for better lives. In Tapachula, which serves as a migration waystation, many contemplate how to proceed.

This is the second installment in the series. Read the first installment here.

Asylum seekers wait for NMI to allow people into the Tapachula offices for processing on Apr. 8, 2022.

TAPACHULA, Mexico — Jean, a father of two, sells chicken kebabs in the market area of town. The Haitian asylum seeker, who has been in Tapachula for six months, waiting for his documents, earns about $11. It supports Jean, his wife, and two children.

“We go through so much calamity to survive,” said the 40-year-old, who asked that his full name not be used to protect his immigration case. 

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Leonardo March is Brooklyn-based visual journalist from Puerto Rico. In a previous life Leonardo was a photographer and graphic designer, skills he’s refocusing to cover the Haitian Diaspora in the US. Leonardo can be reached at Leonardo@haitiantimes.com