The Central American Refugee Center (former name of CARECEN) is founded by a group of Salvadoran refugees and human rights activists, following the model established in Washington DC two years earlier. In El Salvador, war and human rights abuses continue to intensify. Linton Joaquin becomes the first Executive Director, with Mario Salgado as Assistant Director and Samuel Paz as first Chair of the Board of Directors.
The population of Central American refugees in the Los Angeles area surpasses one half million due to the escalation of the war in El Salvador. CARECEN works with Salvadoran refugees to build and support the sanctuary movement by providing testimoni In December, CARECEN and CRECEN go on a 15-day hunger strike at La Placita Olvera to denounce deportations of Salvadoran refugees by the Reagan administration.als regarding human rights abuses in El Salvador. Continue reading
CARECEN and co-counsel litigate two important class action lawsuits: 1) Orantes-Hernandez v. Meese, a nationwide class action lawsuit that challenges the patterns and practices of INS in denying Salvadorans access to counsel and otherwise discouraging them from seeking asylum in the United States; and 2) Perez-Funes v. District Director, resulting in a nationwide injunction that requires the INS to cease coercing juveniles to waive their right to a deportation hearing and to provide detained juveniles access to legal advice. Continue reading
Years of organizing pay off as the Los Angeles City Council declares Los Angeles a City of Refuge (“refugio”) for Central Americans fleeing torture and political persecution in their homelands. The ordinance reminds Los Angeles police of Special Order 40 (instituted on November 27, 1979) which bars police officers from operating as immigration agents to question and deport refugees. Continue reading
CARECEN dramatically increases its education and outreach to the general public, focusing on the human rights for refugees. It publishes a Human Rights Bulletin documenting abuses in Central America as well as abuses of the rights of Central American refugees in the U.S. CARECEN forms the “Promotores de Derechos”(Rights Promoters) to inform Salvadoran refugees of their rights under the 1986 IRCA legislation. Continue reading
CARECEN wins a significant victory in the class action suit Orantes-Hernandez y Meese, on behalf of all Salvadorans detained by the INS. The court issues a nationwide permanent injunction to protect the due process rights of Salvadorans while in detention and the right to seek legal counsel and apply for asylum. CARECEN maintains more than 500 open asylum cases and, contrary to the norm of a 97% denial of asylum for Salvadorans, CARECEN prevails in nearly 70% of all cases adjudicated, a remarkable achievement. Continue reading
Ningun Ser Humano es Illegal campaign begins a hunger strike on the steps of the INS Federal Building. Their demands are for the U.S. to recognize refugees and to stop U.S. intervention in El Salvador and its support of the Salvadoran military.CARECEN and the national network of Central American Refugee Committees organize the Caravan for Peace, a nationwide campaign and tour starting in San Francisco and ending in Washington D.C. The caravan committee participates in 55 press interviews, contacts 25,000 people directly, conducts 250 presentations, visits 49 congressional and senatorial offices and generates over 1,700 emergence telexes to El Salvador. In addition, the caravan raised funds for economic aid to the refugees in Mesa Grande, Honduras. Continue reading
After the FMLN offensive, U.S. awareness that the war would not end soon in El Salvador, coupled with CARECEN’s Ningun Ser Humano es Illegal national campaign, leads Congress to require that El Salvador be designated for the new status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to give temporary refuge to those fleeing the war. Continue reading
In June alone, CARECEN processes nearly 8,000 applicants for TPS. By the end of the TPS application period, CARECEN registers 14,430 applicants – 7% of the national total of 200,000 and twice as many an any other agency nationwide. CARECEN, Legal Aid Foundation of LA, MALDEF and the National Immigration Law Center file CARECEN et al v. Daryl Gates. This case challenges the L.A. Police Department’s practice of illegally inquiring into people’s immigration status – victims and suspects alike – and calling the INS to pick up the victims of smugglers. As the crises in Guatemala worsens and the death toll rises, CARECEN devotes more of its resources to bringing international attention to the Guatemalan struggle. It participates in a national coalition to obtain TPS for Guatemalans so that they may remain in the U.S. until the war is over. In March 1991, the prestigious law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher sends four of its attorneys together with two CARECEN staff and an interpreter to El Salvador to conduct an intensive investigation of the January 19, 1991 massacre of 15 peasants in the town of El Zapote. CARECEN sends a delegation of attorneys, journalists and an aide to Congress member Richard Gephardt to El Salvador to investigate alleged violations of journalist’s freedom of expression. As a result of the delegation’s findings, CARECEN and the non-governmental Human Rights Commission file a complaint against the government of El Salvador before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on behalf of the only opposition newspaper in El Salvador, Diario Latino, which had been fire-bombed in February. Angela Castillo becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
Two major events impact CARECEN’s direction: 1) the Peace Accord between the Salvadoran government and the democratic opposition, FMLN, and 2) the Los Angeles civil unrest of April 29. CARECEN publicly denounces human and civil rights abuses perpetrated by INS, LAPD and the National Guard during the civil unrest. Attorney General William Sessions, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and other national figures visit CARECEN. CARECEN becomes an active member of several post-riot coalitions including Rebuild L.A., the Coalition of Neighborhood Developers, the Latino Coalition for a New L.A. and others. Following the civil unrest, many community-based organizations, including CARECEN, receive new government funds for youth leadership programs and economic development. CARECEN launches a summer youth employment and leadership development program known as Nueva Generación. In its first nine months, nearly 100 youth contribute to building civic responsibility and leadership skills and are employed at MALDEF, the office of City Council member Mike Hernandez, Rebuild L.A., La Opinión, the Center for Non-Profit Management and several labor unions. CARECEN youth organize a multi-ethnic youth conference with youth from the African American and Asian American communities to help create understanding between ethnic communities. In recognition of CARECEN’s central role during the civil unrest, ARCO donates $800,000 toward the purchase and development of the first Central American community center in Los Angeles. In recognition of their contributions to peace in El Salvador, CARECEN staff attends the historic signing of the Peace Accords at the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. In L.A., CARECEN and community groups organize a festival celebrating the signing of the Peace Accords where more than 10,000 Salvadorans attend to mark the end of the 12–year civil war. CARECEN monitors the implementation of the Peace Accords in El Salvador. In August, it coordinates a delegation with representatives from the offices of Congress members Connie Morella (R-MD), Edward Feighan (D-OH) and Howard Berman (D-CA) to urge the thorough reform and reduction of the Salvadoran Armed Forces. CARECEN in coordination with the Association of Salvadorans (ASOSAL) launches an international campaign for the extension of protected status, now known as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), which expires on June 30, 1993. CARECEN and ASOSAL mobilize Salvadorans for dozens of demonstrations at the L.A. Federal Building and meet with members of the U.S. Congress and Justice Department to build support for the extension. CARECEN organizes several delegations to El Salvador to build support for the campaign.
With the war officially over, the Salvadoran community in L.A. undergoes major shifts in focus. CARECEN changes its name to the Central American Resource Center to reflect that the ‘refugee’ period is over. The community builds permanent roots in Los Angeles and the legal and education programs at CARECEN reflect the transition. With global recession taking a strong toll in California, race and class tensions increase across the state. CARECEN and other organizations begin planning responses to indications that Governor Pete Wilson will launch Proposition 187, a major anti-immigrant initiative on the 1994 ballot. CARECEN in conjunction with other legal service providers files CARECEN v. Reno, a lawsuit challenging conditions and treatment of detainees at the INS San Pedro Detention Center. CARECEN provides legal assistance to 602 detainees in 1993. CARECEN achieves a partial victory for the extension of DED for Salvadorans which grants 18 months of safe-haven and work authorization for 187,000 Salvadorans in the U.S. With the assistance of approximately 200 pro bono attorneys, CARECEN represents hundreds of applicants who have complications in their cases with the INS. CARECEN advocates for the development of democracy in El Salvador. CARECEN’s human rights department holds the Salvadoran government accountable for the delays in its implementation of the Peace Accords and holds the U.S. government responsible for foot-dragging in the peace process. CARECEN’s continued commitment to human rights and democracy in El Salvador leads to additional death threats against staff, break-ins at the offices and other forms of harassment against the agency. Carlos Ardon becomes interim Director Roberto Lovato becomes Executive Director.
Vladimir Cerna, a CARECEN youth leadership intern, is one of the first Salvadoran students to speak out about the discrimination against undocumented youth seeking access to higher education. He is accepted at UCLA but due to his immigration status he is not eligible for any financial aid. He enrolls at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN). The Northridge earthquake causes massive destruction in Los Angeles. CARECEN and a handful of other organizations strive to meet the needs of the more than one thousand families in Pico Union left homeless and without public and little private support following the earthquake. Anti–immigrant Republicans move to deny emergency aid to undocumented persons. CARECEN organizes and draws attention to the needs of families sleeping in the parks and streets of Pico Union. CARECEN is selected by the City of LA Community Development Department to lead a Pico Union Earthquake Preparedness Network. It coordinates more than 34 service agencies with one thousand employees and thousands of residents. CARECEN staff and other Latino leaders travel to Sacramento to urge Governor Wilson not to support Proposition 187. Wilson reaffirms support for the measure. CARECEN joins with other immigrant groups to organize a May 29 march against Prop 187, pulling together 125,000 individuals and marking the largest march in Los Angeles in over a decade. CARECEN continues to play a central role in the national immigration debate. Proposition 187 passes. CARECEN and other Latino organizations challenge the constitutionality of the proposition in Gregorio T. v. Pete Wilson. There is an immediate injunction against implementation and the federal district court in 1995 declares the law unconstitutional. CARECEN works with the Street Vending Coalition of Los Angeles (SCVLA) to develop special vending districts and mobilizes hundreds of street vendors at City Hall, most of whom had never been to City Hall and most people in city Hall had never dealt with vendors. The historic interaction leads to the eventual passage of an ordinance creating vending districts. CARECEN continues to support the movement for democracy and justice in El Salvador. CARECEN organizes a 50–member delegation to observe the first democratic election in 60 years following the signing of the 1992 Peace Accords. Ruebén Aguillera-Samaniego becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
Nueva Generación youth organizer Vladimir Cerna is elected student body president at CSUN, the first Salvadoran and first undocumented student to hold that office.Five youth leadership interns graduate from high school and go on to local colleges and universities.CARECEN and the SVCLA work with architecture students participating in "Insurgent Urbanism" at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC) to design street vending carts to meet city design specifications.Attacks on immigrants escalate following the passage of Prop 187. CARECEN joins a protest march against the beatings of Mexican workers in South El Monte.CARECEN takes a delegation of board members and staff to San Salvador to establish a temporary office and investigate the possibility of a summer student exchange program.
CARECEN adjusts its mission to reflect the long-term vision for creating sustainable services and programs for Central Americans who are firmly rooted in the social fabric of Los Angeles. The mission is: CARECEN is dedicated to the empowerment of Central Americans in Los Angeles; to the defense of their civil and human rights; and to building bridges between the Salvadoran community in the United States and the people of El Salvador.CARECEN utilizes funds from the 1992 ARCO grant and a 1994 grant from the City of LA Community Development Department to purchase a four-story building at 2845 W. 7th Street in Pico Union.Youth education programs include partnership in the city-funded L.A. Bridges program, a strategic 12-member group focused on after school education programs for middle school youth in Pico Union.CARECEN joins with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and the Martin Luther King Dispute Resolution Center of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to present the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LIDR) program. LIDR is designed to support community leaders exploring interethnic collaboration in Los Angeles.Proposition 209 threatens to dismantle affirmative action, which has leveled the playing field for minorities and women throughout California. Many civil rights organizations, including CARECEN, come together to defend the rights and opportunities of communities of color. Prop 209 passes in November.CARECEN-LA works with CARECEN organizations in Washington D.C, Houston and San Francisco and other Salvadoran immigrant rights organizations including Centro Presente in Boston, Centro Romero in Chicago and CRECEN in Houston to establish the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN). Under the Clinton administration, the U.S. Congress passes the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) as part of the Republican Contract with America. The act eliminates suspension of deportation and surgically puts at risk over 250,000 Salvadoran and Guatemalan American Baptist Church (ABC) class members. CARECEN, the Central American Coalition of LA and SANN launch a national emergency campaign of marches and visits to Washington to educate legislators on how to regain lost rights. The ABC Emergency Campaign educates ABC class members about their rights as the face INS hearings. The Latino media, led by KMEX and La Opinion, aid significantly in informing Latinos about immigration issues with public service announcements. KMEX supports the publication of 20,000 ABC information manuals created by CARECEN’s legal department and distributed in 10 cities nation-wide by SANN. Univision features CARECEN attorneys and staff in their nationally-aired documentary Hora Cero that details the damage to families and individuals created by IIRAIRA.Angela Sanbrano becomes Executive DirectorHerbert Medina becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
CARECEN kicks off a capital campaign to raise an additional $1.5 million by the year 2000 to support the design and renovation of the community center. CARECEN’s legal department works with the Clinton administration to draft the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) in order to regain the rights lost under the IIRAIRA. CARECEN reactivates the ABC committee of class members, relatives and friends to work for permanent residency status. A partial victory is won when Congress passes NACARA, granting permanent residency to Nicaraguans and Cubans and giving limited rights to seek suspension of deportation to Salvadorans and Guatemalans. CARECEN supports the SCVLA pilot project which places vendors in semi-permanent stalls at three MTA plazas.The After School and Family Integration program is initiated in cooperation with Berendo Middle School as part of the LA Bridges program.CARECEN is part of an election observers’ delegation to El Salvador to ensure fair and fraud-free elections. The FMLN wins a large percentage of local elections including 52 major municipalities and 27 out of 84 seats in the legislative assembly.
CARECEN 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.
CARECEN joins with parents to call for completion of the Belmont Learning Complex and the Parent leadership program is initiated.The youth education program integrates technology into all of math, English, art and culture programs as they begin to expand to address serious gaps in public education in Pico Union.Poets work with After School & Family Integration Program and young writers from CARECEN visit counterparts in El Salvador.CARECEN has the first NACARA case in the nation to proceed at an Asylum Office.First Community Fair hosts 1,200 visitors to 7th Street in front of CARECEN.
Internet classes for youth introduced.Izote Voz, the first anthology of the Salvadoran Experience and featuring poetry and narratives developed at CARECEN, was published by Pacifica Radio.Sister Sharlet Wagner institutes CARECEN Detention Assistance at the Lancaster Detention Center.Glenda Martinez becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
The Salvadoran earthquake leaves one million homeless. CARECEN mounts financial campaign to assist devastated villages, raising $146,208 for projects in the departments of Cuscatlan, La Paz, San Vicente and La Libertad, El Salvador. Fifty-one homes are built, one school house and one regional market along with emergency aid.The attorney general announces the designation of Temporary Protected Status for 150,000 Salvadorans living in the U.S. when earthquake hit.The rock group, Jaguares, visits CARECEN to take part in a book drive for the Academic and Cultural Enrichment program.CARECEN provides over 5,000 individuals with information at presentations (charlas) and files 1,147 TPS applications in the month of March.An historic new alliance of labor, immigrant rights and religious leaders hosts march and immigrant workers forum at LA Sports Arena to call for immigration parity and justice for those who are currently victimized by employers due to the fragility of their immigration status. Over 20,000 join in march and forum.The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 radically changes the country’s view of immigrants; and derails movement towards a new legalization program that had been building momentum. CARECEN, Central American Coalition, Congress member Lucile Roybal-Allard, City councilman Mike Hernandez and KMEX sponsor a one-day free event to file family petitions at the Los Angeles Convention Center attended by 12,000 individuals. Three thousand I-130 applications were completed by over 100 volunteers and attorneys.The Coalition for Police Accountability is formed to address the Rampart scandal and assure police reform.The Quality of Education Campaign continues to fight for completion of the Belmont Learning Complex.Computer Open Lab begins with 450 visits per month.CARECEN initiates the Pico Union Revitalization Team (PURT) youth leadership program.
Morning Camp initiated to assist third and fourth graders with academic skills. After school homework assistance program offers small team tutoring and one-on-one academic assistance.Comite and staff collect thousands of post cards to send to President Bush urging the extension of TPS.CARECEN legal services add pro-se filing under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Serve 30 women in the first year.PURT youth leadership program offers for-credit course in Community Planning for high school students in partnership with LA Trade Technical Community College.Fourth annual fair is moved to Lafayette Park to accommodate the 2,000 people who attend.Martha Arévalo becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
The first Central American mural in Los Angeles installed at CARECEN resulting from youth and advisory group work with muralist Judith Baca and the staff ff the Social and Pubic Arts Resource Center (SPARC).Documentary filmmaker Pam Cohen presents a ten-week introduction video course for Belmont High School students and videos win local and national prizes.Vacation Afternoons initiated to assist fifth and sixth graders includes campus tour of UCLA hosted by the Central American Student Association (CASA).Parent involvement meetings provide opportunity for youth, parents, tutors and CARECEN instructors to discuss education concerns and questions.Quality of Education Campaign rejoices over Belmont go-ahead with newly named Vista Hermosa high school and addresses new issues surrounding the Ambassador Hotel site for a new school complex.Conectese With Technology begins first session.Antioch University offers Community Humanities Education program (CHE) at CARECEN.CARECEN works with Pico Union Neighborhood Council application for certification.Comité de Acción Civica gather 10,000 letters in support of broad legalization (HR440) and 2,000 letters in support of an 18-month extension of TPS for Nicaraguans, Hondurans and Salvadorans.Day Laborer site opens at Wilshire and Union, helping 100 men per day find work.CARECEN legal services assisted 3,391 clients with TPS applications and another 3,516 in renewing their TPS-related work permits.CARECEN begins Consumer Education program on telecommunications fraud in cell phone contracts.Aquiles Magaña becomes Board Chair.
New Voices Voter Education Campaign begins with 2004 election and contacts 6,718 voters in 18 Pico Union/Westlake precincts. Of those, 650 persons requested more information from CARECEN about quality of life issues.Organizations from New York, New Jersey, Texas, California (including CARECEN), Massachusetts, Delaware, Florida, Nevada and Washington DC form the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) to influence the immigration debate by including the voices of those most affected. CARECEN hosts first ever “Bi-National Conference of Salvadoran Hometown Associations in the United States and Local Developments in El Salvador.”Bush administration announces 18-month TPS re-authorization for Salvadorans who couldn’t return to El Salvador due to earthquake devastation.CARECEN wins Prop K grant to build out first floor as recreation and technology center.Legal Department assists 225 Hondurans and Nicaraguans and 2,500 Salvadorans who qualified for renewal of their TPS.Seventh annual fair participation bolstered by appearance of El Piolin, 4,000 people attend.
CARECEN launches the Belmont Educational Collaborative, including CBOs, LAUSD teachers and administrators and CIVITAS autonomous school founders.Department of Homeland Security expands its authority to deport immigrants.Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses OSHA meeting as a sting operation to corral and deport undocumented workers.LAUSD awards CARECEN Freshman Cohort Program award to develop outreach to eighth graders in order to assist their transition into high school. CARECEN joins curriculum design committee for what will be the first Pilot School in the Belmont Zone of Choice, CIVITAS School of Leadership. Design meetings are held at CARECEN.Central American Free Trade Act passes by only two votes.Community graduate of Know Your Rights seminars assists MTA bus riders kicked off bus for speaking Spanish. Raul Godinez becomes Chair, Board of Directors.
Angela Sanbrano attends Latino leadership meeting in Riverside, California to create unified response to HR4437 and attacks on immigrants.Angela Sanbrano elected chair of NALACC Executive Committee.CARECEN plays a key role in organizing the largest nation-wide mobilization, with 1.5 million people marching on March 25 in protest of HR4437, the Sensenbrenner Bill that would have criminalized, with a felony conviction, undocumented immigrants and anyone who assisted them in any way. CARECEN also participates in subsequent marches on April 10 and May 1, witnessing Wilshire Boulevard packed with marchers from MacArthur Park to La Brea. CARECEN is part of the development of the National Latino Congresso, the first gathering of its nature in over 30 years.
In February, the LAUSD school board ratifies a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a network of ten autonomous small secondary schools – the Belmont Zone of Choice Pilot Schools. The model is of small schools (500 students each) with collaboration and shared decision-making embedded at the school site, enjoying freedom from locally imposed constraints. The milestone agreement is the result of six years of discussion and negotiations between the community, teachers and the LAUSD.The Pilot School Network opens with CIVITAS, its first high school, in September. CARECEN oversees the youth leadership class on-site and work with CIVITAS students at CARECEN.CARECEN staff and parent leaders attend the initial Parent Organizing Network Summit. The summit brings forward the idea that all the groups working on parent organizing in Los Angeles need to find ways to work together in a more unified network in order to increase and focus impact. The Miguel Contreras High School and CIVITAS Pilot School opened as part of the Belmont Zone of Choice.In October, regulations were published allowing undocumented victims of certain violent crimes to apply for a U visa, leading to eligibility for permanent residency.The Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), a flawed bill that would have provided limited legal status and a highly torturous path to legal citizenship for the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, is discussed in the 110th United States Congress but ultimately fails. Marvin Andrade becomes Executive Director.
The wireless, laptop open environment entitled the Tech/Rec Center complete the capital campaign for building renovation. The interior space of 6,500-sq.ft and exterior space of 3,500-sq.ft. create the largest technology, arts and recreation facility available to Pico Union/Westlake residents.The LA City Council unanimously passes an ordinance requiring home improvement stores that exceed 100,000-sq.ft. to create day labor centers on site. The Council reiterated its support for the current day labor sites and promised to continue providing operational funding. CARECEN, CHIRLA and IDEPSCA and the National Day Laborers Union were pivotal in rallying support for the measure.The after school homework assistance center refocuses its programs to offer “Wings, Roots and Hopes for All Children” daily from 3 – 6 pm. In addition to helping with homework, the new format is based in curricula built around 1) Science and Nature, 2) Culture and Literature, and 3) Media and Arts.The CARECEN Get Out The Vote project spoke directly to over 3,000 voters for the June 2008 primary, increasing Latino turnout in Pico Union/Westlake by 20%. The Edward Roybal Learning Center and the Vista Hermosa Learning Center open as part of the Belmont Zone of Choic.CARECEN serves on the design committee of the UCLA Bruin Pilot School scheduled to open in 2010 as part of the Ambassador Hotel complex.Martha Arévalo becomes Chair, Board of Directors.