1998.jpgCARECEN moves into its 30,000-sq.ft. Community Center at 2845 W. 7th. Architect Oscar Ovalle creates a light-filled and innovative design that integrates the three top floors of the Center. Through the Capital Campaign, CARECEN introduces its programs to an increasingly broad group of corporate leaders.

Over an intense three-day period, CARECEN legal department helps over 200 Central Americans file for relief from deportation pursuant to NACARA and assists 2,000 more through free information sessions. 

CARECEN and MALDEF join to establish a pro bono program for NACARA applicants and begin to help an additional 200 low-income families gain permanent residency.

The anti bilingual education Proposition 227 is approved by California voters. In response, CARECEN begins to restructure its youth and family education programs to keep pace with the growing needs of the community. Education programs are restructured to begin building toward a long-term plan for technology, education and leadership needs of its first and second-generation Central American/Latino students.

CARECEN, the Korean Youth Community Center and the Youth Empowerment Project of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference create the Multiethnic Youth Leadership Collaborative. 

CARECEN supports Hondurans United of Los Angeles (HULA) in their organizing efforts to create the first community-based organization working to represent the interests of the Honduran community in Los Angeles.

In late October, the world is shocked by news of the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch, the worst storm to hit the Atlantic Coast of Central America in the 20th century. More than 12,000 people die from floods and landslides, 10,000 people are reported missing and 1 million are homeless and in need of basic necessities.

The community donates necessities and raises funds for victims through a benefit concert featuring Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos and Keb Mo; more than $100,000 is raised.  CARECEN, the Central American Coalition of Los Angeles, Central American Emergency Relief Fund, HULA, El Rescate, Casa Nicaragua, Guatemalans Unity Information Agency (GUIA) and United Way provide relief for victims of the hurricane. Over 28 containers of food, clothing and medicine are delivered by the Coalition to non-governmental agencies in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Due to the disaster, the U.S. government designates Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans and Nicaraguans, allowing them to work in the U.S. for 18 months.  CARECEN assists the Honduran and Nicaraguan community with TPS applications.

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