Six Ways To Celebrate Haitian Heritage Month This May

Medically reviewed by Dr. April Brewer, DBH, LPC
Updated April 23, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Haitian Heritage Month is celebrated every year in May, and it serves as an opportunity to learn about and celebrate Haitian and Haitian American history and culture. Haiti, one of two countries that make up the island of Hispaniola, has had a significant influence on the United States and the rest of the world. During the month of May (and beyond), you can learn more about the rich history and culture of Haiti. Below are several activities that you can do to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month and learn more about this unique and diverse Caribbean nation.

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What is unique about Haitian culture?

The Republic of Haiti’s location and history have led to a diverse blend of different traditions, religions, languages, and arts. First occupied by the indigenous Taíno people, the region was claimed by Spain until the early 17th century. It was then claimed by France, after which people who had been enslaved were brought to the country to work on sugarcane plantations. The Haitian Revolution then led to the abolition of slavery, making Haiti the first nation in Latin America to become free from colonial rule.

This history has impacted the culture of Haiti, making it a unique blend of cultures from around the world and the indigenous peoples of the region. Haitian culture has Taíno, African, and European influences, which are visible in the religious, musical, linguistic, and artistic traditions prominent in Haiti.

How to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month

Below are six ways to explore the history, traditions, and influences of Haiti and celebrate Haitian Heritage Month.

1. Support the Haitian Heritage Museum

The Haitian Heritage Museum (HHM), located in Miami, Florida, has information, resources, exhibits, and events designed to help visitors explore the history and culture of Haiti. Founded in 2004, the museum was established to commemorate Haiti's bicentennial and now serves as a hub for Haitian Americans and others to enjoy Haitian culture, art, artifacts, music, literature, and more. 

Locals and visitors of Florida can view current and past exhibits—and even apply to be a volunteer. The museum has also organized educational and community programs that are designed to maintain and expand cultural awareness.

There are also several resources available on the museum’s website for those who do not have the opportunity to visit in person. Much of the community programming events take place virtually, allowing anyone to join in and hear from speakers, and learn about Haitian culture.

In addition, the Newsroom and Blog sections offer regular articles, videos, and resources about Haiti and Haitian culture. In addition to exploring the resources on the site, you can support the Haitian Heritage Museum by setting up a one-time or regular donation.

2. Learn about the history of Haiti

Educating yourself on the history of Haiti is another way to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month. With numerous online resources, you can take a deep dive into the fascinating history of the country, which has helped to form its unique culture over hundreds of years. If you are not able to check out online resources, you might visit a local library for books, magazines, films, and educational courses about Haiti and Haitian culture.

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3. Explore the Haitian Art Society

Like other aspects of the culture of Haiti, Haitian art is unique and diverse. From intricate metal sculptures to vibrantly colored paintings, Haitian art extends across all mediums and offers a glimpse into the country’s culture. There are plenty of options for exploring Haitian art, including viewing it online or through books, watching a documentary, or exploring the resources from the Haitian Art Society.

The Haitian Art Society was founded in 2003 as a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Haitian art, artists, and culture. The organization is made up of artists, scholars, researchers, art enthusiasts, and museum professionals worldwide. The society’s website features a large virtual library of Haitian art, an updated current events blog, academic papers on Haitian art, and many other resources.

The site also includes a database of Haitian artists categorized by medium and theme, such as Afro-Atlantic history and flag compilations. You can also find external links to other content, recommended books about Haitian art, and a list of museums, galleries, and exhibitions. 

4. Donate to an organization supporting Haiti

Haiti has faced a number of challenges in the past 15 years. Along with a history of political unrest, Haiti has experienced multiple natural disasters, including two devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2021. Recently, the country has been dealing with the aftermath of the earthquakes, which produced thousands of fatalities and severe damage to infrastructure. Donating money to relief causes may be a constructive way of showing your support for Haiti during Haitian Heritage Month.

Several organizations aim to support Haiti, its people, and Haitian Americans. For example, Hope for Haiti is a nonprofit focused on addressing concerns like poverty and environmental justice. This month, you might consider searching for an organization that works to address these challenges and support that organization by donating, spreading awareness, or volunteering.

5. Listen to a podcast

Produced by the Haitian Heritage Museum, the Haitian Arts Podcast Series (HAPS) offers informative interviews with Haitian and Haitian American individuals. Supporting the podcast by regularly listening may improve your understanding of Haiti and increase the podcast's popularity.

Other podcasts include the Haitian Millennial Podcast, which covers the experiences of three millennials in the United States and how their heritage has impacted their life in the US. You might also listen to the Haitian-American Diaries, which offers in-depth conversations and personal stories about friendship, family, traditions, and reactions to current events; and Epi Dat’s It, which discusses the experiences of first-generation Haitian Americans. 

6. Attend an event near you

Many major cities in the U.S. have planned events to recognize Haitian Heritage Month, including educational programs and cultural celebrations. You might also find Haitian art exhibitions, food festivals, speakers, or other offerings that acknowledge and appreciate Haiti and its culture. 

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If your region is not yet offering any planned activities, you might consider scheduling an event of your own. You can plan a trip to a museum or gather friends for a book club covering works by Haitian or Haitian American authors. Also, you might consider contacting a local Haitian restaurant to see if you can organize an event that helps support the restaurant and allows the community to explore Haitian cuisine. 

Culturally sensitive mental health care through online therapy

One of the potential benefits of Haitian Heritage Month is greater awareness of the health needs—including mental health needs—of Haitians and Haitian Americans. Sometimes, people can face challenges specific to their unique culture and community, and culturally relevant therapy can often make a difference in the lives of those individuals.

Studies show that online therapy can be a useful method of providing mental health care that is socially conscious and responsive to cultural differences. For example, in a study on the efficacy of culturally adapted therapy for depression for those living in Colombia, researchers found that culturally adapted therapy could be conducted online. These findings add to those of a growing number of studies that point to the efficacy of online therapy in a variety of contexts.

With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can connect with a licensed therapist who has knowledge about your cultural background. You can connect with an online therapist via phone, live chat, or videoconferencing. With BetterHelp, you also have the option of reaching out to your therapist outside of sessions through in-app messaging. If you have a question or want to mention something you forgot to say during therapy, you can send your therapist a message, and they will respond as soon as they can.


Haitian Heritage Month offers an opportunity to celebrate Haiti’s unique imprint on the world. You might consider the above activities if you’re interested in learning more about Haiti and exploring Haitian food, art, history, and traditions. 

Also, if you’re looking for a therapist who understands your experiences and cultural background, consider getting matched with a mental health professional online. BetterHelp has a network of more than 25,000 licensed therapists, so you can be matched with a therapist who understands your cultural background—and may even be from a Haitian background. Take the first step toward getting support and reach out to BetterHelp today.

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