One in every nine residents of Orlando moved to the city since 2010, and approximately half of those new residents originated from another country. Orlando is not only the most visited city in the United States as well as one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country; it is also an emerging global city.
Orlando is also home to a large Haitian community. More than two-thirds of Haitians in the U.S. live in either Florida or New York, and the Haitian population in the United States has tripled since 1990. In fact, the second largest national/ethnic identity across the state of Florida is Haitian.
Orlando is home to approximately 40,000 Haitians. Having roots in the city for decades, many new arrivals from Haiti find their way to Orlando where they can connect with family or friends and get a fresh start among Caribbean neighbors, businesses, shops, and restaurants.
Many Christians, missionaries, and organizations have worked tirelessly to serve people living in Haiti, and investment in communities of the island nation and strengthening the church in Haiti should continue. And for Floridians in Orlando, thousands of their neighbors are Haitian families building a life in the growing multiethnic metropolis of Central Florida. Cross-cultural disciple-makers may find an opportunity to impact Haitian peoples by reaching the nations next door and seeking to make & multiply disciples in Orlando.