Population: 2,543 (2019)
About: Bayou La Batre, AL, is located in the southwest corner of the state in Mobile County, and approximately three miles away from Coden, AL, another ENI community. The city sits on the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico and is affectionately known as the Seafood Capital of Alabama. Bayou La Batre became the first non-Indian settlement in the area of present-day Mobile County, which was under Spanish control at the time of colonization. After the French took control of the area, they placed cannons along the coastline, which was known as “the battery,” yielding the town’s original name as “Reviere D’Erbane,”and now “Bayou La Batre.” As the area developed over the following years, it became a popular tourist spot in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, in 1906, a hurricane destroyed many of the resorts and businesses. This caused the railroads to halt their transportation of tourists to the area. In the 1920s, the town’s economy was growing again with the boom of the seafood industry, which remains at the center of the city’s economy today, as well as the boat building industry.
Bayou La Batre is home to a large population of people who identify their race or ethnicity as Asian. As of 2019, the Asian American population consists of nearly 17%, of the whole population. Many of the Asian American immigrants and citizens trace their heritage to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Bayou La Batre became a popular destination for Asian American immigrants after the Vietnam war because of its thriving seafood industry. The city offers similar opportunities to those in the seafood industry in Vietnam.
Fun Fact: The ship that is featured in “The Pirates of the Caribbean” Disney films, the Black Pearl, was built in Bayou La Batre. The city was also featured in the 1994 film, and Winston Groom’s book, Forrest Gump, as the hometown of the character “Bubba.”
Celebrating the Lao/Thai/Khmer New Year | May 19, 2022
Bayou La Batre & Coden, AL Welcomes ENI | March 26, 2022
Meet the Bayou La Batre Community Liaison, Kim-Lien Tran
ENI is a community-focused, community-shaped initiative. Community Liaisons act as a resource to help communities shape ENI to fit their needs and wants. If you want to learn more or get involved with ENI, reach out to your Community Liaison.
Kim-Lien Tran is a community organizer in south Alabama. She currently works for Boat People SOS, a nonprofit located in Bayou La Batre, serving the South Mobile County, as the program coordinator/ community health worker for the OMH Health Awareness & Promotion Program (HAPP), navigating patients to their health care needs, ensuring that the language barrier to access is at a minimal, and organizing health events in order to educate the community as well as bring resources to the community in which the community could not access due to limited transportation access. She uses her bilingual skills in both Vietnamese and English to assist her patients in the most effective way possible. She is also a strong advocate for the rights of minorities and women.
Kim-Lien re-established the Mobile Advisory Board, a collaboration of community organizers after the BP Oil Spill in 2010 organized by Project Rebound to share resources throughout the communities and also to link organizations together to build stronger, more resilient communities. She is also serving as a board member for Mostellar Medical Center, Center for Fair Housing and Mercy Life of Alabama.
Kim-Lien has been through many trainings and certifications. She is certified as a Community Health Worker under Tulane University and University of South Alabama’s CRRC program, Community Health Advisor under American Cancer Society, VITA Tax Preparer in collaboration with the IRS, and Community Health Leader, Satcher Health Leadership Program under Morehouse School of Medicine, Community Interpreting in Social Service and Trauma-Related Setting under Community Interpretation Training Institute (CITI) conducted by Asian Women’s Shelter. She was also trained under the University of South Alabama’s CRRC’s Advanced Chronic Disease Management Course. Kim-Lien is also a certified and trained as a Medical Coding Professional through Virginia College.