Since 1981, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) has fostered the comprehensive development of the Latino population in the Washington metropolitan region by providing direct services, while promoting grassroots empowerment, civic engagement, and human rights advocacy.
CARECEN’s mission is to foster the comprehensive development of the Latino population in the Washington metropolitan region by providing direct services, while promoting grassroots empowerment, civic engagement, and human rights advocacy.
Inspired by Central American justice struggles, CARECEN envisions a Washington metropolitan region where all communities thrive in solidarity and dignity, enjoy a prosperous life, and work towards achieving social justice and political empowerment.
All of our work is meant to facilitate the process of transition for immigrants to an integrated life in their new home. We also strive to foster human rights advocacy and leadership skills so that all of those who participate in our programs and services can, in turn, play a role in promoting the advancement of their community.
CARECEN takes pride in our rich history of building a collective voice against human rights violations in Central America and serving and empowering Central American immigrants as they deepen roots in the United States, while showing solidarity with a region that has been long torn by civil wars, violence, poverty and natural disasters.
CARECEN has a dedicated multicultural and bilingual staff dedicated to serving all members and clients with professionalism, respect and cultural sensitivity. Both staff and Board members act as a team and are committed to empowering our community.
All of us at CARECEN embrace diversity and multiculturalism. CARECEN reaches across differences in race, gender, age, language, geographic origin, physical characteristics, disability, sexual orientation, education, profession, economic status, parental status, lifestyle, religion, and more. We continuously work to build bridges across generations of Latinos. Likewise, we seek to foster relationships between Latinos and other immigrant and non-immigrant residents and stakeholders in an effort to guarantee everyone the opportunity to enjoy the full potential of our multicultural metropolitan region.
At CARECEN we are engaged in continuous learning. We believe that learning is a determinant factor in reaching our organizational goals and that everyone must have access to career development opportunities. We also strive for consistent improvement and renewal of our services. CARECEN seeks to respond to our community's needs and challenges by taking account of prevailing social trends as well as changes in the political and economic environment.
The focus of our work is the well-being of our community members. CARECEN is located in the heart of the Latino community in Washington, DC and our programs and services are available to low and median income Latinos living in any part of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
- Immigration Legal Services - Increased number of Latino immigrants who maintain or obtain lawful status that enables them to live and work in the United States;
- Housing and Economic Development - Improved living conditions for low and medium income Latino families, improved access to affordable housing, increased homeownership and asset creation among low income Latinos;
- Citizenship and Civic Participation- Increased number of Latino U.S. citizens and greater participation of new citizens on advocacy issues central to the well-being of the Latino community;
- Community Support Services - Better informed and educated constituents and a self-sufficient and economically stable community;
- Advocacy - A community whose members are equipped to voice collective needs and the adoption of legislation that protects and advances the civil and human rights of Latino immigrants, locally and nationally