Casa Yurumein and Hondurans Against AIDS held a series of meetings on January 31, 2023 as part of their annual advocacy day in Albany, a delegation of more than 50 people representing Garifuna organizations from Central America gathered to share with legislators their priorities and needs and find opportunities to work with their office to improve the quality of life for Garifuna in New York.

Some of the requests posed to the New York legislature include:

  1. Creation of the Garifuna Caucus that will help educate about who the Garifuna community is, elevate the challenges we face and identify resources for policies and programs aimed at improving the quality of life of the Garifuna community.
  2. Passage of a bill to allow New York to be a sanctuary state, in the past Assemblywoman Karines Reyes has introduced legislation for that purpose, encouraged the various offices to speak with Assemblywoman Reyes and reintroduce the bill in this legislative cycle.
  3. Support for the initiatives led by Hondurans Against AIDS and Casa Yurumein in the areas of health, education, culture and citizen participation; most of our work is self-managed with the few resources the organizations have.
  4. Request for support for legislation that seeks to improve the quality of life of thousands of low-income families or those who are vulnerable due to their immigration status.

We are happy and proud to represent our community, both in New York City, the United States, the Central American region and around the world. We know that the challenge is great, but we are ready to work and achieve our objectives.

We are grateful for the solidarity support of Alianza Americas and the backing of our champion in the legislature, Assemblywoman Karines Reyes. As well as to each of the Assemblymen and Senators who received us in their offices to learn about and seek alternative solutions for our community. It was overwhelming and meaningful to witness the opening of session and receive a salute by the full legislature at the Capitol in Albany. We continue this week with several follow-up meetings.

Casa Yurumein Board of Directors