Mr. Andrade has spent over a decade as an immigrant rights advocate at CARECEN, serving in different capacities including Civic Participation Director, Director of Policy, Technology, Education, Programs and for the past three years, as Executive Director.
CARECEN provides direct services to over 60,000 people a year from throughout Southern California and stands as the largest Central American community based organization and center in the United States.
Born in El Salvador, Mr. Andrade fled to the United States as a refugee, fleeing the civil war that torn his native country and devastated the Central American region throughout the early 1980s. In addition to his work at CARECEN, Mr. Andrade serves as an elected Executive Committee member for the Salvadoran American National Network, a national umbrella organization with an organizational membership of over 15 Salvadoran community based organizations in the United States with a reach of over a half million Central Americans and a combined budget of over 6 million dollars. He is also a board member for multiple organizations in Los Angeles.
Mr. Andrade grew up in the working class and long time immigrant community of El Monte in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. His experiences as an undocumented immigrant, English language learner, and 1986 Amnesty Law recipient, shaped his appreciation for the political process and its impact on the lives of immigrants.
He went on to study Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. After graduation, Mr. Andrade joined CARECEN and soon began his policy, advocacy, and organizing work in collaboration with other CBOs and labor unions to pursue his desire to help reform U.S. immigration laws, secure family reunification, preserve the protection of refugees, ensure the fair treatment of immigrant workers, and pass legislation with a path to permanent legal residence for undocumented immigrants residing in the United States.
As CARECEN Executive Director he continues to work on his personal mission to educate, empower and encourage the civic engagement of the immigrant Central American and Latino communities in the political process at the local, state and national levels.
Mr. Andrade is frequently interviewed and quoted in Spanish and English media on issues such as immigration policy, migration, political economy, and Latin American. He has written multiple opinion-editorials and has received multiple awards for his community service and commitment to social justice.