Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis on February 24th honored Salvadoran community leader Isabel Cardenas, whom she referred to as “an institution in her community and in Los Angeles”.
Supervisor Solis presented Cardenas with a scroll during the Board of Supervisors meeting on that date. “Her community owes her a debt of gratitude for her work on their behalf”, she said.
Cardenas’s family immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1930s, to escape the armed conflict occurring at the time. Her involvement with her fellow salvadoreños and with her country of birth has been constant throughout her life.
She was involved in philanthropy since she was a young adult, and created the first solidarity group with El Salvador in Los Angeles, working wih other Salvadoran leaders in the late 1970s.
As war again broke out in her country at that time and refugees started streaming into the United States, Cardenas worked with others to respond to the crisis.
In 1983, with other leaders of the community, she co-founded the Clínica Oscar A. Romero. In 1999 She co-founded the Salvadoran American Nacional Association (SANA).
Cardenas was also behind the creation of “El Festival del Día del Salvadoreño” held every year in Lafayette Park. That event has grown along with the community and it attracts tens of thousands of people every year.
In 2006, Cardenas and Supervisor Solis worked together on the resolution that created the “Día del Salvadoreño” at the federal level.
In receiving a scroll last week at the Board of Supervisors meeting, the activist thanked Supervisor Solis for the special recognition.
“I am humbled by this honor. It’s been a struggle, but now that the Salvadoran people are organized in this country, we plan to do a lot for our people and for Latinos in the County of Los Angeles”.