| By Amanda Aguilar |
In December 2005, a Filipino migrant came to the United States from the Philippines to work as a nurse in a health care facility.
Not even a few months after that, Reynante Cabanban was diagnosed with cancer. He had no health insurance, no money and no relatives in the U.S.
Before Cabanban could start his job as a nurse, he passed away—with no relatives in the U.S. to arrange his burial services.
“How do you help a person like this?” asked Grace Valera-Jaramillo, founder and executive director of the Migrant Heritage Commission.
The Migrant Heritage Commission is a non-profit, service-oriented organization that recognizes and preserves the cultural identity and rights of Filipino immigrants, grew from this moment of need. It has since grown to serve the growing and geographically scattered Filipino immigrant community across the D.C. Metro area in a wide variety of ways, from cultural education for the second generation to aiding victims of human trafficking.