Central American Resource Center San Francisco (CARECEN San Francisco) is a left-leaning immigrant advocacy group focused on the Central American community in the San Francisco Bay area.
Immigration Legal Program
CARECEN San Francisco provides services for immigrants, supporting asylum applications, consular processing, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) requests, naturalization procedures, and removal hearings. CARECEN also provides legal support for immigrants before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). 1
Second Chance Youth Program
The second chance youth program is a gang-and-violence-intervention initiative that assists former gang-members with transitioning into normal life. The program was started by Brian Contreras, who spent 16 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. 2
Tattoo Removal Clinic
The tattoo removal program provides free tattoo removal for people ages 12-25 seeking employment or a lifestyle that can be compromised, either by safety or stigma, by tattoos. [someone] says that tattoos can identify someone as a former gang member which can make them vulnerable in public. 3
Family Wellness Program
The family wellness program provides services for individuals and families in migratory crisis. The program connects participants with local recourses including health, social, and advocacy components. 4
Health Promotion Program
The health promotion program promotes healthy lifestyle habits such as healthy eating and exercise. The program provides nutrition classes, support groups, field trips, and cooking classes. 5
Lariza Dugan-Cuadra is the executive director of CARECEN San Francisco. Prior to joining CARECEN in 2012, she worked in state policy and community development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from New College California and, per CARECEN’s 2018 tax returns collected a salary of $114,587 with an additional $11,901 in various compensation. 6 7
Father Richard Smith is the vicar for CARECEN. Smith is a left-progressive clergyman known for being an openly gay priest in the politically left-leaning Episcopal Church. He earned a Ph.D. in ethics and social theory from the progressive Graduate Theological Union Berkley. He integrates his social agendas into his ministry, focusing on police reform, immigration, and LGBT interests. 8 9
CARECEN has been critical of the Trump administration, specifically regarding immigration and foreign policy. In a January 31, 2020 press release, executive director Lariza Dugan-Cuada described the administration’s foreign policy agendas as “xenophobic” and “racist.” The release was a response to the administration’s decision to add countries to the travel ban list. 10
- “Central American Resource Center (San Francisco Office) – National Immigration Legal Services Directory – Nonprofit Resource Center.” a project of immigration advocates network. Accessed June 8, 2020. https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/organization.392672-Central_American_Resource_Center_San_Francisco_Office.
- Wu, Amy. “Brian Contreras: About Second Chances.” The Salinas Californian. The Californian, October 24, 2016. https://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/local/2016/10/22/brian-contreras-second-chances/92475344/.
- “Tattoo Removal Clinic.” CARECEN SF, February 20, 2020. https://carecensf.org/programs/tattoo-removal-clinic/.
- “Family Wellness Program.” CARECEN SF, June 28, 2019. https://carecensf.org/programs/family-wellness/.
- “Health Promotion Program.” CARECEN SF, January 20, 2020. https://carecensf.org/programs/health-promotion-program/.
- “Lariza Dugan-Cuadra.” Lariza Dugan-Cuadra. Accessed June 8, 2020. https://carecensf.org/staff-board/lariza-dugan-cuadra/.
- Central American Resource Center of Northern California. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/943036508/201922039349301407/full
- “Father Richard Smith, Ph.D.” Central American Recourse Center San Francisco . Accessed June 8, 2020. https://carecensf.org/staff-board/father-richard-smith-ph-d/.
- “Richard Smith: Profile.” LGBTQ+ Religious Archives Network, February 2013. https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/richard-smith.
- Rivera, Juan. “Trump Demonstrates Racism Against Immigrants of Color with Expanded Muslim Ban Issued Today.” CARECEN SF, January 31, 2020. https://carecensf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Press-Release-CARECEN-SF-Condemns-Expanded-Muslim-Ban.pdf.