The story of TiChapo begins with Roldye Azard whose passion for carnival began as a child in Haiti. She participated in Caribbean carnivals in Trinidad and throughout the United States for over twenty years, but always felt a void. Over a decade ago, she began having masquerade parties during the time of Carnival to reenact the “spirit” of the season to those who did not travel to Haiti for carnival. Her love for the Haitian culture, dance, and music began the birth of “Bal TiChapo” where participants wore decorated hats to attend.
In 2007, she founded a masquerade group and involved the Haitian community of South Florida to participate in the Caribbean Carnival with other members of the Broward Caribbean Carnival Association. Thus, begins the history making of TiChapo in South Florida. The masqueraders of TiChapo are Haitian professionals, students, youths and adults who take part in the annual Carnival parade proudly wearing their costumes.
In 2010, we portrayed « 271 Days of Devastation, Sorrow and Hope » in memory of the earthquake in Haiti. TiChapo had three sections in the band: “L’Union Fait La Force”; “Banda” and “Hope”. We won several prizes in many different category. One of Haiti’s most popular DJs, DJ Fanfan and DJ Kiki, a Haitian DJ from Florida performed on our float. We made the front page of Miami Herald and Le Floridien, the only Haitian newspaper of South Florida.
We were honoured to have the support of the City of Jacmel (Haiti), the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad, the Haitian Ministry of Tourism, the Haitian Ministry of Culture and Communication, The Haitian Consulate of Miami and the office of The Honorable Commissioner Richard P. Dunn II, City of Miami(District 5).
This year our costumes were showcased by the Minister of Tourism of Jacmel(Haiti). They were also worn by masqueraders in the Carnival parade of Jacmel on February 27th, 2011. One of our goals this year is to have 150 masqueraders to proudly represent Haiti at the Miami/Broward One Carnival Parade.