Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)

Cause Area

  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Homeless & Housing
  • Immigrants & Refugees
  • Justice & Legal


1460 Columbia Rd NWSuite C-1Washington, DC, DC 20009 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

CARECEN is a 501(c)3 community -based organization that provides legal, education, empowerment and other services to the Central American/Latino community in the Washington, Dc metropolitan area. CARECEN's mission is to promote the comprehensive development of the community by responding to its changing need as it deepens its roots in the United States.


Founded in 1981, CARECEN, a nonprofit community-based organization, was originally established to protect the rights of refugees from Central America's wars and to provide direct legal services that would ease their transition. Over time, the organization has evolved and grown with the community into broader areas of community service and economic development, establishing itself as a strong and visible advocate on critical local and national legislative and policy issues, particularly those relating to immigration and housing. CARECEN provides the information, access, direct services and life-skill and civic training necessary for clients to attain a safe and stable environment for their families. Our work promotes human rights advocacy and leadership skills so that all our immigrants can ultimately also play a role in promoting our community's development. All of our programs are available to low and moderate income Latinos living in any part of the Washington metropolitan area, though the majority of our clients reside in Washington, D.C., concentrated primarily in Wards 1 & 4, with lesser concentration in Wards 5 and 8. One-third of the people we serve are from nearby Maryland, particularly Prince George's and Montgomery counties, and one fifth from Virginia. CARECEN runs a branch office in northern Virginia for general community outreach, and for citizenship classes and citizenship application preparation. We serve a population representative of all Latin American nations and all the stages of the long and complex migration process, and deal with all the legal and policy issues affecting them each step of that journey.


Would you recommend Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)?
2 reviews Write a review
by Fabiana P. (April 24, 2017)
I have been volunteering with CARECEN on and off for over five years and would recommend it to everyone looking to make a difference in the Latino community. The staff at CARECEN works very hard with very limited resources. They are very appreciative of volunteers as are their clients, hard-working men and women who come to CARECEN for help with housing, employment and immigration issues. Here's some other reasons to get involved with CARECEN. - CARECEN is located a few steps from the Columbia Heights metro, so it's super convenient. - They always need volunteers and will always be happy you came - Their clients are wonderful and very deserving of your time - The staff is very organized and very helpful I returned to CARECEN to volunteer this year because I believe that I could do more in front of one of their classrooms than I could at a protest with a sign. If you feel the same way, definitely get involved with them.

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