Massachusetts and particularly the Greater Boston area has one of the oldest and largest Eritrean-American communities in the U.S. The earliest members of the community migrated to the Boston area in the early ‘70s, mostly seeking higher education. A large influx was experienced in the1980s due to the escalation of the war for independence of Eritrea.
Concerned Eritrean-American residents of the Greater Boston area met and took action to organize around issues affecting their families, their community and their homeland. They formed The Eritrean Community Center of Greater Boston (ECC-Boston) in 1983. The organization is one of the first grassroots Eritrean community development corporations founded and operated by Eritrean refugees and immigrants in the U.S.
In its first year of operation, ECC-Boston leased space in the Margaret Fuller House (Cambridge, MA) where it stayed till 1995. Between 1995 and 2000 it was housed in another leased space in the Somerville Corporation building (1 Summer Street, Somerville, MA). In 2001, ECC-Boston purchased its current home at 590 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA.
The Eritrean community in Greater Boston has grown significantly over the last two decades in numbers as well as in its critical needs. Total number of the Eritrean-American community in the greater Boston area is estimated to be upwards of 700.
ECC-Boston aims to help alleviate some of the problems faced by Eritreans in the Boston area by bridging the cultural and linguistic barriers and by helping its members integrate and contribute their share in the society. It provides a forum for members to organize and work together to find solutions to the challenges that its members are facing in the US, while addressing issues affecting their country of origin.