Roger Garcia has been executive director of El Centro de las Americas since November 2012. He can be reached at elcentrodelasamericas.org/ or at 402-474-3950.
How do you help refugees and immigrants?
We provide educational services to them, such as GED tutoring, citizenship tutoring, English classes, and computer classes. We also have a youth tutoring program. Furthermore, we provide domestic violence support, resource navigation, translation services, health education, and leadership programming for youth.
What is the most common question you get from refugees and immigrants? (And how do you answer it?)
All clients come in with different circumstances and questions. Many involve job applications, government questions, and questions on where to find resources for their family.
What is the most difficult part of your work?
Financially self-sustaining our much needed services.
What does the wider community of Lincoln need to know about refugees and immigrants?
Immigrants and refugees bring more diverse cultures into our community that we can embrace and enjoy. Furthermore, despite the cultural differences, we all share the common attributes of trying to provide for our families and lead healthy, self-sustaining and happy lives.
What do the refugee and immigrant communities need to know about Lincoln?
That resources and agencies are available to help them through all the circumstances that they may encounter as we help to welcome new neighbors into our community.
If you could offer people new to Lincoln only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Always strive to achieve all your goals, despite any barriers, as Lincoln and Nebraska are great places to raise a family and have many opportunities for all families.