Stories of Change

Leonardo. Photo: Kristin V. Rehder

Meet Leonardo, a Cuban refugee in the United States

I am from Cuba and I lived in Cuba for 30 years. I studied there and got an engineering degree. For my safety, I was given the chance to come to the United States. I received a lot of help from Church World Service. They introduced me to the Lancaster people and showed me how to apply for work. They helped me to improve my English. When I got my permit for work they helped to find me a job quickly. Recently, I applied for my citizenship and they [CWS] helped me with the application. I am an American citizen now!

Refugee people are just people who are trying to be happy– for their family, for their life. They just don’t have the opportunity because they are in countries of war or under corrupt government. People want to be in the United States because this is a great country that has given opportunity for all these years. I hope that this doesn’t change because I am one of these people that came here and am happy now. I have a really good life.

Leonardo is a Cuban refugee who CWS helped resettle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.