As an immigrant worker from El Salvador, Pablo Alvarado has a special connection to predominantly poor, Latin American immigrants who have traveled far from homes in search of work to support their families. Alvarado volunteered from 1991 to 1995 as program coordinator for the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA), where he developed and implemented literacy programs for immigrants.
In 2002, Alvarado became the national coordinator of the newly created National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), currently a collaboration of about three dozen community-based day laborer organizations. Under his guidance, NDLON works with local governments to help establish worker centers to move job seekers into places of safety. There, they learn how to handle exploitation, improve skills and gain access to essential services. NDLON strengthens and expands local worker groups and builds immigrant leadership by acting as a central resource for information.
Mr. Alvarado is the recipient of the Next Generation Leadership Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, which recognizes entrepreneurial, risk-taking and fair leaders who seek to develop solutions to major challenges of democracy. In 2004, Pablo was also recognized by the Ford Foundation's “Leadership for a Changing World Program.”In August 2005, TIME Magazine named Pablo among the 25 most influential Hispanics in the U.S.