The little bookstore that could — and did

Little Haiti’s Libreri Mapou has been recognized as a Haitian cultural institution by the Library of Congress, and has one of the largest collections of Haitian literature, poetry, and history books outside of Haiti.

What started out as a 300-book booth from Jan Mapou’s personal library is now a bookstore with more than 7,000 titles translated into four of the most common languages spoken by the Haitian community — Creole, French, English, and Spanish. 

FUN FACT: Neighborhood artist and muralist Serge Toussaint painted Jan on his “Welcome to Little Haiti” mural honoring neighborhood icons.

And if Jan’s voice sounds familiar, you may have heard him on WLRN’s Radyo Lekol, a daily educational news program that airs from 9:05 to 9:30 p.m.

QUOTABLE: “In the nineties, I wanted to create something for the Haitian community in Miami to keep their culture, to keep their literature.” — Jan Mapou

MORE THAN BOOKS: Mr. Mapou also sells kremas, Haitian peanut butter and pikliz at the bookstore from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.