Resource Center of the Americas

Our mission is to develop social and economic justice in our community and beyond, by empowering local Latino communities through civic engagement and economic development, developing reciprocal understanding between established residents and Latino immigrants, and educating on U.S. policy and the Latin America region. (about /Mission).

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History /Founded in 1983 – Central-American Solidarity: The Resource Center of the Americas is a non-governmental 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1983 in response to the wars in Central America and the growing realization that there was another side to the story promoted by our government and reported in the press. 

Working in solidarity with the people of Central America, the Resource Center, known at that time as the Central American Resource Center, began educating and organizing concerned citizens around another reality, relying on first-hand accounts from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, reports from delegations returning from Central America, and news stories that escaped the attention of mainstream media.

1990s Transition: Examining the Impacts of Globalization:

In the early 1990s the organization broadened its mission and changed its name to the Resource Center of the Americas as new challenges began to present themselves in the form of globalization. Since that time our work has focused on the impact of corporate globalization on communities throughout the Americas: devastating local economies, eroding democratic processes and fueling an increase in the migration of economic refugees to the U.S. The Resource Center acts as a bridge-building organization, informing, educating and organizing to help people understand and address these issues. We build bridges between the peoples of the Americas and bridges to understanding a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.

La Conexion

Founded 2005:

Founded as City South Cluster Ministries by five collaborating South Minneapolis Lutheran churches, the organization emerged in response to a dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis. The organization began as a way to engage in collaborative social outreach and with the vision of creating a vital public space where recently arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking available resources while building a network of supportive relationships in the community.

Later renamed to La Conexion, the organization worked to connect Latino communities to educational, economic and community resources and opportunities throughout the Twin Cities, with emphasis on South Minneapolis. Working with over 2,000 clients each year, La Conexión operated for its five years out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood, composed of a vibrant Latino immigrant population.

2010 Merger – La Conexion de las Americas:

February 1st, 2011, Resource Center of the Americas and La Conexión formed a merger. The underlying drivers for a merger were both mission-based and financial. Both organizations were fundamentally motivated to reshape themselves to become yet more meaningful and effective, while simultaneously establishing better financial footing and achieving critical mass. The merger decision was made in the context of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Together, the new organization – La Conexion de las Americas – continues and expands the programming of both organizations, with an eye toward transforming underlying system problems that result in inequalities of power and resources. Everything each organization is doing today will become more meaningful and effective, and we’re creating a platform to enhance services or ramp up specialized future projects including research and advocacy. We are developing the framework for a powerful, multicultural organization that will educate, empower, connect, research, organize and advocate.

The newly defined purpose of the organization is to:

  • Create a two-way learning experience to develop reciprocal understanding, respect and adaptation between established residents and Latino immigrants;
  • Create educational programming on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. relationship with the region;
  • Empower the Latino community throughout the Twin Cities by providing and connecting participants with resources and educational, economic and community engagement opportunities;
  • Utilize our knowledge and experience as educators and service providers to transform underlying system problems that result in inequalities of power and resources.

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