Our Charlotte NC based Camino Community Development Corporation was originally started in 1995 as World Reach Inc. Our purpose was to relieve a humanitarian crisis in Cuba through providing medical supplies and medicines to the hospitals and clinics. We grew to become the largest provider of medical donations from the USA to Cuba for many years.
In 2002 we were invited to Guatemala. The need was overwhelming in the rural areas we visited. In response to the need we leveraged our experience and resources and began to do outreach there as well.
Then in 2004, our outlook drastically changed. After the preventable untimely death of a good friend, we became aware of the great need in our local Latino community—specifically with health care. Rather than having to go overseas to serve, we recognized there was great need all around us. Our first response was to start a free medical clinic for the uninsured Latino population of Charlotte, NC. Bethesda Health Center became a place of hope and health for many of our Latino neighbors. As we served these people, we became aware of many other needs. We responded and started a pantry, a homeless outreach, and a thrift store.
In order to be more efficient, we united the different services into what is now Camino Community Center. Over the past few years we have seen incredible growth and development as a center. Our integrated model now serves over 20,000 people a year. What was started as a service to the Latino community has now become a place that serves all people in need. We are still very proud of our Latino heritage and the sacrificial service of many Latinos who started many of our outreach programs and continue to serve our whole community.