Two Girls with Arms Around Eachother

Legacy and Contributions From Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Caribbean-American Heritage Month provides a time for Americans to honor the achievements and contributions of Caribbean immigrants.

The Diaspora and Multicultural Partnerships team at UNICEF USA is pleased to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month (CAHM). CAHM provides a time for Americans to honor the achievements and contributions of Caribbean immigrants and their descendants living in the U.S. Events are held throughout the month celebrating and educating the public about Caribbean-American history and culture.

“Caribbean Americans have added to our history, culture and communities in countless ways. The unique relationship between the United States and the Caribbean has enriched both regions, and this month is a wonderful time to celebrate our shared past and future.” - Congresswoman Barbara Lee

A teacher at a school in Haiti greeting students after they have received their school supplies. © UNICEF/UN0468989/Guillaume

Over 13.4 million Americans claim Caribbean heritage (including 10.3 million Americans of Hispanic descent from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico), ensuring the continued vibrancy of a growing Diasporic community. About 90% of Caribbean-Americans come from five countries: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Within the Caribbean, UNICEF has been instrumental in providing assistance to Caribbean children since the 1950s and established the first Area Office in Jamaica in 1976. Recently, UNICEF partnered with Diaspora organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to provide funds for emergency education in Haiti. Together with members of the Caribbean Diaspora, UNICEF works to protect the rights of every child while providing additional support necessary to engage and empower the most vulnerable children.

The Caribbean is highly prone to natural and ecological disasters. Diasporic partner organizations—such as the American Friends of Jamaica, the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals and many others—are essential in providing emergency aid to children and vulnerable groups. Working with domestic and international partners, UNICEF’s “Return to Happiness” program began after Hurricane Irma in 2017 to provide health and educational aid to over 17,000 children.

When natural disasters and emergencies affect the Caribbean, UNICEF and its partners work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every child. Throughout the year, but especially during CAHM we recognize the contributions of Caribbean immigrants in the US and all over the world.

Guino Sylvain & Micherline Jean-Pierre, hold their twin children at home in Jacmel, departement South-East, Haiti. Both parents attended a parenthood club that informs and prevent diseases as a result of malnutrition. © UNICEF/UNI266153/Meddeb

For more information, please contact:

Arantxa Moreno
Manager of Diaspora and Multicultural Partnerships, UNICEF USA 

Anne-Marea Griffin
Senior Director of Diaspora and Multicultural Partnerships, UNICEF USA

Top Photo: Estherline, 9, and Esther, 7 sit and observe the distruction caused by Hurrican Matthew, which hit Haiti in October 2016. 

© UNICEF/UNI274175/Bradley