As Eritreans were fighting for their freedom, their country was devastated.
The countryside was in ruins and many Eritreans left to escape the intense fighting.
Most Eritreans under the age of 50 will probably speak some English, as it is now being taught in Eritrean schools. Although some Eritreans speak English well, medical terminology may not be understood or be directly translatable.
Consequently, it is important to use an interpreter when explaining technical medical information.
Many come illegally across the Mexico border, seeking asylum here.
It is about the size of the state of Mississippi, roughly 120,000 square kilometers.
From the refugee camps, some Eritreans went to countries such as Germany, Sweden, Italy, the United States, and Canada.
For many Eritreans in Seattle, the United States is their second, third, or even fourth home.
The armed struggle continued until 1991 when Eritrea was able to gain its independence.
During the thirty years of fighting, the country was in a state of civil war.