Founded in 1981 by lawyers Patricia Perillies and Joaquin Dominguez Parada, the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) got its start defending the legal rights of Central American immigrants in the United States. With a tight budget and small…

Established in 1976, GALA (Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos) initially emerged as an eclectic group of artists, dancers, writers, and performers operating out of a townhouse in Adams Morgan. The ultimate goal of the original group was twofold: "to…

In 1968, a growing need for accessible youth services in the neighborhood resulted in the founding of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). Only ten years after its establishment, the Center had received enough funding to become an official…

In the late 1960s, growing numbers of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking immigrants of Catholic faith began to arrive in Washington upon fleeing civil unrest, war, and poverty in their home countries. Many settled in the contiguous neighborhoods of…

In the 1960s, businesses and shops catering to Hispanic and immigrant customers developed alongside the Latino presence in Washington, building in the former streetcar suburb and creating new cultural spaces. In 1962 DC’s first bodega, Casa Dilone,…

In 1982, a joint venture between Plenty International (a commune on 16th St NW) and CARECEN (Central American Refugee Center) launched a joint venture to provide bilingual medical care to the undocumented immigrants who were pouring into DC (for…

In 1975, a small group of artists established the Spanish-American Community Arts (SACA) Project as part of the umbrella organization Fondo Del Sol. By 1976, the SACA Project renamed their group El Centro De Arte Inc. (commonly referred to as El…