In a section of eastern New Orleans called “Versailles” resides the most dense ethnically Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. The name refers to “Versailles Arms,” the New Orleans East public housing project where a group of Vietnamese refugees was first resettled in 1975. This unusually tight-knit group – most of whom are devout Catholics with roots in the same three rural North Vietnamese villages – fled from North to South Vietnam to escape communist persecution in 1954, and then came to New Orleans during the Vietnam War through the Catholic Church’s refugee-resettlement program.
Here’s a short documentary of how this Vietnamese community rebuilt itself in post-Katrina New Orleans East. Watch the video.