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Interpreting the Evidence

Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) 20th Anniversary Newsletter, 2003

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Contemporary United States (1965 - present)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    Long Island
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) 20th Anniversary Newsletter, 2003 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) 20th Anniversary Newsletter, 2003 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Pamphlet for the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN), 2003.
Historical Context
The 2000 Census found a total U.S. population of 281.4 million, 31.1 million (or 11.1%) of whom were foreign-born. Individuals from Latin America represented 52% of the foreign-born population (16 million).

Of the 16 million from Latin America, 11.2 million (36%) were from Central America (including Mexico), 3 million (10%) were from the Caribbean, and 1.9 million (6.2%) were from South America. The foreign-born from Mexico accounted for 9.2 million people — 30% of the total U.S. foreign-born population — making Mexico the leading country of origin of the foreign-born.

The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) was founded in 1983 by a group of Salvadoran refugees whose mission was to secure legal status for the thousands of Central Americans fleeing the torture and brutality of civil war. During the 1980s and 1990s, over 52% of the one-million-plus Salvadorans and 59% of Guatemalans fleeing these atrocities came to Los Angeles.    

The transition for individuals from refugees to permanent U.S. residents challenged CARECEN to expand its capacity to meet the community’s need for social and economic empowerment. CARECEN’s new community center was specifically designed to meet these challenges. In 1998, CARECEN moved into a new 30,000-square-foot, four-story community center in the Pico/Union neighborhood. There, it serves as a hub for educational and cultural enrichment, immigration and legal services, and proactive programs created to foster citizenship and civic participation. The community center and CARECEN’s website are just two of the resources that meet the changing needs of the community.
Essential Question
How does immigration and migration impact a society?
Check for Understanding
Identify the main idea of this brochure and explain the role of CARECEN in the process of immigration.