For many media outlets and even fellow citizens, the crossing of Latin American immigrants toward the United States is lost in a mountain of paperwork and immigration laws. However, what this means in terms of human rights is not really understood. And if that does not matter much, even less is said about the significance of the presence of people and institutions that seek to build bridges with the diasporas produced by economies or wars.
With a great sense of community and an understanding of what revolutions did to the population of their countries, a group of Salvadoran youths that had organized the Central American Solidarity Committee, later called the Farabundo Martí Committee, established in 1983 the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN).
CARECEN fulfills its social and community role by helping immigrants who come to a country that is not theirs and in many cases, do not understand the language when they get here. In the political realm, CARECEN has participated and promoted the NACARA law and the creation and extensions of TPS for several communities who have arrived into the U.S.
In its 30 years, the center’s efforts have not stopped. Even though it began as a center for the survival of refugees, CARECEN is now an institution that advocates for immigrants and gives them advice in legal, employment and educational matters.
CARECEN is important because its work has evolved in every area of immigration in the U.S. and changes according to the waves of immigration. That is why it is so significant for the history of immigration in this country, and also for every one of the immigrants who has benefited from its services throughout these 30 years.