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MES DE LA HERENCIA PUERTORRIQUEÑA
Editors: Blánca Vazquez & Teresa Santiago
Typography & Design: Blánca Vazquez
Puerto Rican Nacionalista
For decades, Adelfa Vera has been an inspiration to generations of Puerto Ricans in New York City, Puerto Rico and beyond. A sweet and loving woman, her dedication to the independence of her patria was legendary. Frank Velgara of Pro-Libertad called her the "comadre of the movement." In 1994, Comité Noviembre recognized Doña Adelfa as truly "Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad."
Doña Adelfa Vera led by example. In January of this year, she was arrested in front of the United Nations, along with actor Rosie Perez, in an act of civil disobedience sponsored by Mujeres for Peace and Justice in Vieques.
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, in 1917, doña Vera and her sister joined the Hijas de la Libertad (Daughters of Liberty) of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico in the 1930’s. She was arrested in 1934 for her nationalist activities and shared the adjoining cell to Don Pedro Albizu Campos. Doña Vera remembered Don Pedro protesting to the authorities because of the disrespectful treatment shown to the women prisoners.
In 1945, economic conditions and political repression forced Adelfa to move to New York City, where she worked and lived in the Clinton section of Manhattan. There she met her husband and together they raised five children. Following her husband’s death and after raising her children, Adelfa and her sister involved themselves again in their country’s struggle, joining the Movimiento Pro Independencia. On a community level, Doña Vera volunteered at local senior citizens’ centers and community programs to combat drug use among young people. And "because the mango does not fall far from the tree," Doña Vera’s children inherited her combative spirit as they fought to maintain the ASPIRA Club in their school against the opposition of school authorities when they were younger and support the fight in Vieques now.
Doña Vera saw herself as a rank and file member of many organizations, saying, "I never desired a high ranking position within any organization, but rather to be useful to the struggle." Doña Vera’s dedication brought young people into the struggle and kept the flames alive for all the veterans and always with honor, integrity, pride and immense joy.
There will be a memorial dedicated to our beloved Adelfa Vera on December 2, 2000, at 6 PM, at the Martin Luther King Center, 1199, 330 W 43rd St. (8th–9th Aves.). For information, call Rosa Escobar at (718) 409-3595 or Frank Velgara at (718) 601-4751.
Paul Ramos, who was honored last year as "Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad," was a passionate community advocate for better access to healthcare for the Lower Eastside community and for Latinos in general. As executive director of Betances Health Unit, he oversaw a healthcare center that combines alternative medicine with traditional medical care and which respects the cultural differences of its patients. This humanistic and holistic approach to healthcare attracted thousands of HIV positive and AIDS patients from throughout the city.
Nearly 30 years ago, Paul Ramos and two colleagues created the Betances Health Unit to provide affordable, accessible health care and social services responsive to the needs of the low income, primarily Latino/a residents of the Lower Eastside. Starting as a mobile medical unit, the organization evolved into a community healthcare center providing a full range of medical and social services. It established its first permanent primary care clinic in a brownstone owned by the Henry Street Settlement while continuing to use its mobile unit to service the homeless and people at shelters throughout Manhattan, providing outreach services to community groups and public schools. Today, Betances Health Unit is a full-fledge health center that offers culturally sensitive care to over 33,000 patients annually. It stands as a tribute to the dedication and tireless efforts of this gentle man. Paul Ramos also served as chairman of the board of the AIDS Service Center and was a member of the board of the Latino Commission on AIDS. Paul Ramos will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched and helped to heal.
Table Of Contents
Message On Behalf Of Comité Noviembre 2000
Comité Noviembre - Fifth Annual Gala
Gala Foto Album (PuertoRicans.Com)
History And Mission
About The Poster
About The Artist
Comité Noviembre 2000 Spokesperson Dave Valentín
Celebrities Come Out For Comité Noviembre
Celebrando Lo Mejor De Nuestra Comunidad
ASPIRA Of New York, Inc
Exceptional Puerto Rican Youth
Comité Noviembre Scholarship Program
Eugenio María De Hostos Community College
Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund
Taíno: Ancient Voyagers Of The Caribbean
El Museo Del Barrio
New Boricua Books
National Congress For Puerto Rican Rights
History Revealed: FBI Releases Files On Independence Movement
Las Carpetas: The Book
Institute For The Puerto Rican / Hispanic Elderly
Day Of Community Service And Social Responsibility
Vieques And The U.S. Military: The Struggle Continues
Intergenerational Message From Vieques
In Memoriam Adelfa - Vera Puerto Rican Nacionalista
In Memoriam - Paul Ramos Health Care Advocate
Comité Noviembre De New Jersey, Inc
New Jersey 2000 Honorees
Comité Noviembre - 1999
Copyright ©Comité Noviembre 2000 / Reprinted With Permission