Carlos Antonio H. Vaqueráno is a crusader of human, legal and social justice, and political representation among Central Americans and Latinos. In 1980, Mr. Vaqueráno fled from his native country of El Salvador to the United States. He could not forget his brother's admonishment: "Never forget that you have to fight so that justice exists in our country." Moved by his experience, Mr. Vaqueráno's fervor to help Salvadorans and the Latino community led to the founding of the Los Angeles based nonprofit organization, Salvadoran-American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), in 1995.
Mr. Vaqueráno has served as SALEF's executive director since its inception. Under his leadership, SALEF has become one of the nation's leading Central American organizations. It tenaciously informs about the importance of civic participation, educates about the significance of representation in the federal government, and also advocates and provides educational opportunities for Salvadorans and Latino students. Through SALEF's Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship Fund, more than 950 students and counting have been awarded with scholarships. In addition, SALEF played a key role in the adoption of A-G curriculum as a graduation requirement for LAUSD. Aside from his work with SALEF, Mr. Vaqueráno is also involved with and serves on several boards and committees, such as: Clínica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero (and Monseñor Oscar Romero Charter School), California Hospital Medical Center, Bert Corona Charter School, Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park Foundation, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Education Advisory Council, Rebuild L.A., Habitat for Humanity and the Community Advisory Council for the President of USC, to name a few.