Casa Chirilagua is a community of people “learning together to love their neighbors as themselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. We are a faith-based Christian, 501(c)(3) non-profit with nine staff members and over 100 weekly volunteers who serve more than 80 children (1st-8th grades) and their families via multiple programs. Our mission is “Developing relationships with families to see the Chirilagua neighborhood transformed by Christ.”
What does “Chirilagua” mean? The Arlandria/Chirilagua neighborhood is home to a sizable Latino population, mainly from Central America. When civil war broke out in El Salvador in the 1980′s, many families immigrated to the U.S. seeking safety including a group of people from a little Salvadoran village called “Chirilagua.” As several of those individuals started their new lives in Alexandria they referred to their new home as “Little Chirilagua.” Today our neighborhood is very diverse, including a significant remnant of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and other parts of the world.