Bien Hecho: Latino Pastor In Alabama Becomes A Citizen

An interesting story came to us this week from Alabama, where Panamanian pastor Cristobal Echevarria recently earned his U.S. citizenship. His is a long story, starting with a violent life in Panama when the U.S. invaded when he says he dodged bullets, to coming to the U.S. in 2000, then having to work for years to bring all his children here, to finally becoming a citizen himself.

He was a military officer in Panama when he became a Christian and has worked with the Latino community in Alabama for several years, becoming a citizen himself earlier this year. The Anniston Star reported:

For the last nine years, from his small office inside Greenbrier Church of Christ in Anniston, the 60-year-old Echevarria has helped people like the young woman sitting on his couch — Hispanics who need help with immigration problems or marriage matters. He runs the Hispanic ministry at Greenbrier, preaching the gospel twice on Sundays and again on Wednesday nights.

He spends hours each week translating at the Calhoun County courthouse and at area hospitals. He regularly travels to the immigration office in Atlanta…

What worries Echevarria now is the uncertainty that the Hispanic community feels about Alabama’s new immigration law. He said he noticed families packing up and moving from the area soon after the bill was signed.

Basically, it’s an awesome story, definitely worth checking out. In our weekly segment, “Bien Hecho,” we note the good deeds and achievements of Latinos across the U.S. and Latin America. If you feel that someone you know is deserving of recognition, let us know at [email protected].

[Photo By Bluszczokrzew]

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