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Vivian Ortiz

National President

Vilma Colom
First Vice President

Sylvia Morrisroe
Second Vice President

Evelyn Figueroa

Bequi Ortiz

Edith Feliciano
Assistant Secretary


Evelyn Figueroa
President, Chicago

Edith Feliciano
Delegate, Chicago

Enoelia Vega
President, Indiana

Rosa Pol
Delegate, Indiana

Elizabeth Baez
President, Miami

Gladys Colon
Delegate, Miami

Vilma Colom
President, Northern Illinois

Mariaelisa Laracuente
Delegate, Northern IL

Katherine Ast
Delegate, Northern Illinois

Maria Teresa Centeno
President, NY Manhattan

Quetcy Lozada
President, Philadelphia

Iris Violeta-Colon Torres
Delegate, Philadelphia

Carmen Bonilla
Delegate, Philadelphia

Minerva Machado
President, South California

Annie Lugo
Delegate, South California

Anna M. Rosario
President, D.C. Metro

Vilma Rosario
Delegate, D.C. Metro

Carmen Delgado Votaw
Delegate, D.C. Metro

Sonia Collazo
President, Tampa

Ebony Tollinchi-Moore
Delegate, Tampa


Issue 4 December 2011

Message from the National President, Vivian Ortiz

Dear NACOPRW Members,

It has been an honor for me to serve as your National President these past two years and it has been a privilege for me to collaborate alongside women who have been leaders in our communities and across this country. During this past year we have forged alliances, coalesced, collaborated and advocated by remaining active in coalitions and continued participation with the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and other national organizations on major initiatives in Health, Education, Employment and Immigration reform, on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. and on the annual Convention and Training Conference on November 11th – 13th.

We continued engaged as a National Ally to the Vision 2020 Project dedicated to creating a decade of action and education to promote women’s leadership and gender equality leading up to the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the establishment of women’s suffrage and we continued our partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau and its Director, Sara Manzano-Diaz, on issues of Pay Equity, Equal Employment, Paycheck Fairness and Workplace Flexibility.

With other members of the NHLA, NACOPRW  participated in a meeting with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, on the state of employment in the nation.  We were part of the Historic White House Summit of Hispanic Leaders held in July 2011 which brought together 160 Latino leaders from 25 states and Puerto Rico. We launched an Advocacy Corps that has energized our efforts to act on issues of relevance to Puerto Rican women and to the networks and organizations with which NACOPRW collaborates. 

The 38th Annual Convention and Training Conference was held en la Isla del Encanto, Puerto Rico! This year’s theme “Defining our Future: Engaging the Crossroads between the United States and Puerto Rico” reflects the importance of training and guiding our members, young Latinas and friends on their journey to become our future leaders.  The women of NACOPRW experienced a renewed spirit for change that will strengthen our communities on the mainland and in Puerto Rico. Young women from Aspira discussed leadership and mentorship models to continue our common legacy and become vital contributors to their communities. We were fortunate to have Keynote speakers such as Sila Calderón, former governor of Puerto Rico, and  Sylvia Mendez, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. The workshops featured skilled and accomplished professionals who contributed their time and efforts to educate us and to guide us.

Many thanks to the 2011 Executive Committee:  Vilma Colom, Sylvia Morrisroe, Bequi Ortiz, Evelyn Figueroa and Edith Feliciano.  A special thank you for your support and your efforts to Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Edna Laverdi, Carmen Delgado Votaw, Anna Rosario, Ada Lopez, Anaida Colon-Muñiz, Elizabeth Baez, Iris Violeta Colón-Torres, Quetcy Lozada, Maria Elisa Laracuente, Annie Lugo, Maria T. Centeno, Carmen T. Bonilla, Katherine Ast, Vilma Rosario, Dora Strope and Wanda Gordils.

NACOPRW Conference Held in Puerto Rico-November 11-13 Condado Plaza Hotel

A very successful convention in Puerto Rico resulted in the election of a new Executive Committee for NACOPRW, as follows:

Vilma Colom, National President

Lourdes Hernandez, 1st Vice President,

Carmen Bonilla, 2nd Vice President

Silvia Ponce Silvestre, Secretary

Lillian de los Santos, Asst. Secretary

Enoelia Vega, Treasurer

Catherine Ast, Asst. Treasurer

Congratulations and good wishes for a successful tenure and thanks to the outgoing Board, Vivian Ortiz, Vilma Colom, Sylvia Morrisroe, Evelyn Figueroa, Bequi Ortiz and Edith Feliciano for having done an excellent job.

Day of the Girl September 22 Declared by the Third Committee of the United Nations

NACOPRW has been one of the organizations helping to build momentum for the movement to create a day for girls.  As evidenced by the following quote from Torie, age 16

“I witnessed change.  I held the Day of the Girl county proclamation.  We girls have a universal connection.  We are humans and we make a difference.”

Indeed we make a difference since in the last 100 years of celebrating International Women’s Day, girls have been explicitly mentioned only 3 times…


The Advocacy Corner

The NACOPRW Advocacy Corps has engaged in efforts in the advocacy field

supporting the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID)  introduced a bipartisan bill to improve and streamline VAWA to promote safety, stability and justice.

We need to insure that the original sponsors of the legislation stay with us on this  round.

NACOPRW Signs Comments to the Department of Labor making recommendation on FMLA Form

NACOPRW  co-signed with the National Partnership an important Work-Family Coalition letter recommending a number of changes in the form:

  • Create a new optional form that employees can use to request Family and Medical Leave
  • Urge the removal of irrelevant and invasive medical questions
  • Ask that employers be required to properly explain their reasons for denying requests for leave, and
  • Recommend updates to the military leave forms to reflect recent changes in the law that expanded service members’ rights to leave.

Conference Program and Awards

An outstanding Annual Convention and Training Conference “Defining our Future: Engaging the Crossroads Between the United States and Puerto Rico” program started on November 11 with a Cocktail reception at which the Paoli Trio regaled the participants with lovely music.

The full day on Saturday saw echoes of its deliberations in a fabulous “marathon” run by Puerto Rican women calling for an end of violence against women, a theme of one of the outstanding workshops conducted by Dr. Abdiel Cruz.

Boricuas in P.R. and the U.S.: Half a Century of Shared Cultural History was an illuminating workshop conducted by former NACOPRW President, Paquita Vivo, with well known cultural personalities, Marimar Benitez, Pedro Reyna Perez and Javier Santiago.

Communication Styles at Work was an engaging workshop conducted by Vilma E. Colon.  Innovation and Entrepreneurship were covered by Dr. Maritza Espina, Health and Wellness by Dr. Wanda Berrios Diaz,  Pay Equity by Adelia Aponte-Parsi, Financial Stability by Myrna Rivera and Changes in the Professional Woman After 50 by Dr. Astrid Santiago Orria.

ASPIRA students benefited from presentations ranging on topics from women’s labor issues, political and legal careers, healthy relationships, women’s health management, bilingual education, community research projects, how to start a business, applying for Federal jobs and personal finances.

Capping the day was an impassioned speech by former Governor Sila M. Calderon addressing the topic “The Relevance of Women’s Leadership in Today’s World.”

Among our distinguished guest speakers were 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, fellow Puerto Rican Sylvia Mendez, Miluka Rivera, Puerto Rican actress, activist and author, Dr. Maritza Espina, and Dean of Universidad del Este’s Business School for Innovation.

The awards presented during the conference were:

Sylvia Mendez, President’s Orgullo Award

Quetcy Lozada, Philadelphia Chapter of Excellence Award

Evelyn Figueroa, Chicago Chapter of Excellence Award

Amaris Hernandez, Outstanding Service to the Community Award

Annie Lugo, Outstanding Service to NACOPRW Award

Lifetime Achievement Award, Paquita Vivo and Anna Rosario, Woman of Achievement Award.

We are grateful for our sponsors: Wal-Mart, V. Suarez & Company and the Hon. Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Councilwoman of Philadelphia who accompanied us during the Conference.  Gracias.

La Música del Coquí
© Iris Violeta Colón Torres - September 7,  2006

En los radiantes atardeceres de mi Patria Borinqueña
Bajo el deslumbrante esplendor acrisolado de la Luna tropical
Se escucha el lírico canto del Coquí  
Penetrando el corazón de la tierra borinqueña
Con cada nota que canta va ondulando el sereno soplo de la brisa sobre el palmar
Llenando de hálitos de espesura el suelo tropical

El Coquí es como el suave color de la tierra
Como un canto Taíno, un romance criollo
Es el alma de Borinquén encarnada que canta

Canta en el monte, canta en el llano
Canta en el terruño borincano
Canta en la noche empapada de rocío
Canta bajo el cielo claro o nublado

Su canto dulce inunda la noche
Mientras la brisa duerme sobre las palmas
Mientras el río sigue su cauce y las olas baten sobre la playa

Mientras la noche poco a poco avanza el Coquí ofrece su serenata
Agitando las emociones en el alma

Con el canto del Coquí se disipan los dolores
Se despiertan los recuerdos que hay dormidos en el alma
Es el canto del Coquí el romance sagrado del criollo

Ven conmigo yo te invito a escuchar
La música del Coquí puertorriqueño
Que anuncia la llegada de la noche repleta de sueños
Repleta de perfumes, citas, deleite y poesía borinqueña



DC Metro Chapter

The President of the DC Metro Chapter, Anna Rosario, received the Woman of Achievement Award during the National Convention in Puerto Rico.  Anna recently retired from her position at the U.S. Department of Justice after 40 years of impressive service.  The Chapter sponsored

A Xmas lunch on Dec. 17 at Cubanos Restaurant.

Indiana Chapter

The Indiana Chapter presented a “Danza” in the program Alma Borinqueña held at Indiana University Northwest on November 18th. This program is presented every year in celebration of Hispanic Heritage. 

Northern Illinois Chapter

 The Northern Illinois Chapter has been collaborating with seven organizations, among them the Puerto Rican Alliance, Leadership Illinois, the Puerto Rican Parade, and a Senior Center.  They participated in a Walkathon.

Philadelphia Chapter

Held their NACOPRW Fall Mixer - honoring Teresa de Hostos hosted by a local business 3G Lounge to continue our efforts designed to build a stronger members network and offered NACOPRW new and old members the opportunity to meet one another.  It also gave us the opportunity to honor Teresa de Hostos for the work she is doing nationally to continue the mission of her grandfather Eugenio Maria de Hostos.

NACOPRW Philadelphia was a key sponsor of the Tu Mandas Exclusive Hispanic Small Business Empowerment Series by Verizon Wireless and hosted by Soledad O'Brien. This was an exclusive and complimentary evening of empowerment and networking. The nation's leading Hispanic entrepreneurs and business leaders offered insights to a crowd of over 200 Philadelphia based small business owners.

In October Hispanic Choice Awards honored and celebrated Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware's Latino professionals, organizations and businesses in a variety of categories via an online voting campaign. Their goal is to present a positive portrayal of Latinos in the Philadelphia region.



NACOPRW Philadelphia attended a Musical Heritage tribute to Philly's Legendary Salsa Icon and community leader Jesse Bermudez




NACOPRW Philadelphia attended a private Coffee Reception with Janet Murguia, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza at PECO. This reception provided Janet with the opportunity to meet and spend time with Philadelphia community leaders and begin a discussion on collaborative opportunities.

NACOPRW Philadelphia attended and was part of the program of this year’s Channel 6 honors the Hispanic Print Media dinner and awards reception.

In November NACOPRW Philadelphia attended the LPN Networking Event with District Attorney Seth Williams.  This event gave us the opportunity to discuss with the DA his plans for working with the Latino community.

NACOPRW Philadelphia will be attending the Philadelphia Mental Health Coalition first educational symposium targeting mental health professionals providing services to the Latino community and their families.

NACOPRW Philadelphia participated in Operation Thanksgiving along with the Office of Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, the 25th PD and the Dominican Grocers Association to deliver 300 turkey baskets to needy families in our community.

In December NACOPRW Philadelphia will be attending the 2011 Delaware Valley's Most Influential Latino Awards.
The Philadelphia Chapter has been busy. Congratulations.

SO-CAL Chapter

The Chapter supported the Festival.

Del Cuatro and an activity where Miluka Rivera, writer of “Legado Puertorriqueno en Hollywood” spoke about her books and experiences.


De Aqui y de Alla

Carmen Delgado Votaw modeled a red evening dress at “Ladies in Red” Heart to Heart event sponsored by the City of Rockville, MD to promote health, particularly of the heart, among women in Maryland.


Conference Moments
Photos by Luz Selenia Salas

Dr Abdiel Cruz
Domestic Violence Workshop

Shared Culture History Workshop with
Paquita Vivo

Amaris Hernandez
Outstanding service to Community Award 

Sylvia Mendez
President Orgullo Award


Quetcy Lozada
Chapter of Excellence Philadelphia

Miluka Rivera

Evelyn Figueroa
Chapter of Excellence

Anna Rosario
Woman of Achievement

Annie Lugo
Outstanding Service to NACOPRW

Paquita Vivo
Lifetime Achievement

Annie Lugo and Miluka Rivera
Saturday Gala 

Plena Dance Group

Socal Chapter
Friday Reception

Former Governor of Puerto Rico
Sila M Calderon