Thousands of Haitians have settled in Rockland County over the years, and many have made the Village of Spring Valley their home. The first wave of Haitian immigrants came to Rockland in the 1920s through the early 1950s to places like Nanuet. The construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Palisades Interstate Parkway in the 1950s allowed many Haitian workers to commute from New York City to work in Rockland factories, with many choosing to move to Rockland to be closer to their jobs. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Nyack was the center of the expanding Haitian community in Rockland. As Haitian immigration increased, however, in the 1970s, Spring Valley started to become the center of Rockland’s Haitian community. Most Haitian owned businesses were established in the village.
In 1992, IFG production, Inc. was formed in response to a lack of consistent support and visibility for cultural offerings produced for and by the Haitian community. The result was the initiation of the annual Haitian Day Parade of Unity which aimed to celebrate Haitian Flag Day in Rockland County. The event has always been a fun-filled, family-friendly day of cultural exchanges, music, food, arts, and crafts. The retirement of many key players led to a renewal effort that resulted in the founding of the Haitian Cultural Heritage Preservation, Inc. (HCHP). HCHP works in collaboration with past IFG production members to foster a permanent presence for Haitian historic celebrations, to preserve the culture of the motherland, and to engage in activities that promote cultural exchanges within the rich ethnic diversity of Rockland County.