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Vilma Colom
National President

Lourdes Hernandez
First Vice President

Carmen Bonilla,
Second Vice President

Enoelia Vega

Katherine Ast
Assistant Treasurer

Wanda Gordils

Annie Lugo
Assistant Secretary


Evelyn Figueroa
President, Chicago

Edith Feliciano
Delegate, Chicago

Enoelia Vega
President, Indiana

Isabel Mendez
Delegate, Indiana

Elizabeth Baez
President, Miami

Gladys Colon
Delegate, Miami

Vilma Colom,
President, Northern Illinois

Mariaelisa Laracuente
Delegate, Northern Illinois

Katherine Ast
Delegate, Northern Illinois

Michelle Centeno
President, NY Manhattan

Quetcy Lozada
President, Philadelphia

Carmen Bonilla
Delegate, Philadelphia

Minerva Machado
President, Southern California

Annie Lugo, Delegate
Southern California

Anna M. Rosario, President
D.C. Metro

Vilma Rosario, Delegate
D.C. Metro

Carmen Delgado Votaw
Delegate, D.C. Metro


Issue 3 September 2013

A Newsletter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women
Editor: Carmen Delgado Votaw / Asst. Editor: Bequi Ortiz

National President, Vilma Colom
Message from the National President, Vilma Colom

Dear NACOPRW sisters and Members,

As we collectively plan our retreat for 2013 we are faced with new and old challenges in planning our future milestones for NACOPRW. Perception is sometimes more powerful than fact, and that is why at times we hear the statement “that which is perceived as truth becomes the truth”. We are hopeful that our facilitators at this year's retreat will speak in visual imagery to inspire all of us to look for ways to make us a more cohesive group as we prepare to deal with the challenges that face us as women and our communities at the national and local levels.

What will be NACOPRW's strategy for confronting an issue head on without damaging our image and relationships with other organizations and our NACOPRW sisters? How far do we want to advocate fervently for an issue, and how hard do we want to push? What's the best way to take a firm position when our national and local needs are not being met by our partners or by our members? Only when we can define NACOPRW's 40 years of existence, can we provide a contrast about how it could be. We need to reflect on how our current state of being is affecting the things we want to do and accomplish.

Our weekend retreat will continue to stimulate all of our thinking by involving us in fruitful and beneficial discussions. Regardless of the brand that we collectively want to sculpt for NACOPRW, I encourage you to continue to improve in your leadership efforts as you go back home to your city/state and energize your local chapter members for the benefit of our Latino women and community.

Lastly, I want to say how important it is that we continue to mentor our young ladies and initiatives in raising funds for scholarships so they too can access a quality educational experience. One of the greatest qualities of a good leader is helping others to feel powerful and connected too. Many a success story in women's leadership and career milestones is exciting to listen to for the rest of us, and assists us in reflecting on what is possible if we take a chance. I look forward to sharing an informative experience with all of you as we engage in various critical discussions about where we need to be as an organization and how we plan to get there. Keep safe and enjoy your summer with family and friends; let's continue to move forward as a collective of wonderful visionaries of the future.

Con Mucho Cariño

REGISTER for 40th Leadership Retreat "Growth Through Collaboration and Strategic Planning" on November 1-3, 2013 at the Marriott Courtyard, Alexandria Pentagon South in Virginia.

Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15

The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women wishes you the best during the month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus hosts its Issues Conference and Gala Ball from September 29 to October 1 at the Washington Convention Center and the Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony this year resumes its Kennedy Center, Eisenhower Theater event on September 5. The honorees are:
Actress Eva Longoria, Community Service Award
Musical Group Los Tigres del Norte, Legend Award
Chef Jose Andres, Design Award
Sup. Alberto Carvalho, Education Award
Voto Latino President, Maria Teresa Kumar, Leadership Award
Actress and Singer Lucero, Vision Award
Actor/Director/Producer Diego Luna, Inspira Award
Race Car Driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sports Award
Nonprofit National Math and Science Initiative, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Award

The Advocacy Corner

NACOPRW’s efforts in advocacy continue to pay good dividends.

Carmen Delgado Votaw received a letter from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) about NACOPRW’s efforts on behalf of reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He said:
"This comprehensive bill strengthens protections for all women and ensures that victims of violence have the services and support they need. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take all necessary steps to reduce violence in the lives of America’s women. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me whenever I may be of service."

Immigration Bill Introduced in Senate
S 744 Includes Amendments to Improve Health of Women and Families

Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hi) and Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) offered amendments to ensure that immigrant women and families are treated fairly and that local and state systems have the resources they need to implement the legislation. Under Hirono’s amendment for Taxpayer Fairness, aspiring citizens who are lawfully presently employed and have satisfied their federal tax liability shall not be prohibited from using any federally funded program or tax credit solely on the basis of their immigration status.

The Boxer amendment seeks to provide support to local and state health care systems and to reduce by five years the 15-year delay in accessing health care currently imposed, a common sense solution that will protect the health of women and children . Boxer also filed another amendment to remove barriers to health and other supports for survivors of intimate partner violence.

H.R. 455 the High School Data Transparency Act Supports Young Women and Girls in Sports

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) filed legislation that requires high schools to report basic data on the number of female and male students in their athletic programs and the expenditures made for their sports teams. This data is already collected but not reported. States such as Kentucky, Georgia, New Mexico have already implemented similar reporting requirements at the state level and high school athletics directors indicate that it usually takes just 2-6 hours of one person’s time to complete the report each year.

Even though since Title IX was enacted in 1972 women competing in college sports have soared by more than 600 per cent and high school girls competing in sports increased by 1000 per cent, there is still more to do since young women in high school currently receive 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play sports than young men and the gap is increasing due to a lack of transparency and accountability in our high schools.

Get your Member of the House to cosponsor this important legislation.

ESPN Produces ‘Nine for IX’ documentaries that Give Athletes their Due

To celebrate Title IX’s 40th Anniversary ESPN aired these outstanding films in August:

Venus VS on how she got female tennis players to be paid equally to men in the big tournaments.

Nine for IX features how “sexiness” comes into play in the marketing of female athletes, reveals female sports writers struggles for equal access to locker rooms

Other films cover female athletes such as Audrey Mestre, Mary Decker, Zola Budd and Katarina Witt.

Puerto Rico Status Resolution Bill HR 2000

Although the House Bill has not received much consideration yet, the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on similar proposals before the Congress adjourned.

Federal Government Affirms Educational Rights of Pregnant, Parenting Teens

A message sent by the US Department of Education to districts, colleges and universities affirms that pregnant students need to be treated the same as other students and should not have to provide medical certification that they can be in school. Their absences related to pregnancy need to be excused. When they return to school after pregnancy, they must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular activities as before they left. They also sent a pamphlet on supporting the academic needs of pregnant and parenting students and a directory of local Department of Education offices for civil rights that can provide technical assistance.

Over the last four years, the Office of Civil Rights has received 59 complaints about violations of the rights of such students.

Latino Advocacy Leads to Inclusion of 22 Latinos among the Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Among the 276 new members of the Academy 22 Latino names shone. In the acting category alone, seven Latinos were named: Miriam Colon, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Lopez, Alma Martinez, Michael Pena, Geno Silva and Danny Trejo.

We join in applauding the Academy for this well deserved action.

Rita Moreno to Receive Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for 2014

Congratulations to the multitalented Puerto Rican Star who recently wrote her biography. It is a must read book.

Miluka Rivera tells us that Ricardo Montalban was the first Latino to receive a SAG Life Achievement Award in 1993 and now Rita will be the first Latina to be so honored in January 2014.

Five Things That Will Change the Way Nonprofits Work in 2013

The Chronicle on Philanthropy published in a Fundraising Kit, the things that will change for nonprofits in the future:
1. Raising Money from the Crowd or “crowdfunding”
2. Impact Investing (putting endowment moneys into social enterprises)
3. Demographic Shifts (knowing how to attract donors and leaders that reflect diversity)
4. Mobile Web (use of cellphones—all size screens)
5. Growing Importance of Data (for fundraising

Farewell to Angel Luis Irene

A founding member of Vida Centers (previously known as EOFULA) passed away in Florida (July 27, 1949 – June 10, 2013). A funeral service was held in Washington DC at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart on June 18, 2012. We will remember your collaboration with NACOPRW forever.

Chapter News

DC Metro Chapter

On June 20th, 2013 the DC Metro Chapter hosted an informative workshop for community members interested in joining the federal workforce. Rafael Abreu, of the Office of Personnel Management was the guest speaker at the Gilchrist Center in Silver Spring.

A May “Velada Musical” with Luis Moux talking about the African and European roots of Puerto Rican music, such as “plenas y bomba”, yielded 10 new regular and associate memberships. Mara Patermaster hosted at her lovely home.

New York Chapter

The Chapter continues its Pony Tail Pledge campaign to collect enough pony tails to make 100 wigs to reach its goal for the Alice Cardona Cancer Awareness Project. Melissa del Valle Ortiz Chairs the Committee and tells us that it takes 8 people and 8 inches of hair each to make a wig. The hair cannot be chemically treated or have more than 5% gray to allow for consistency during the dying and wig making process. You can contact Melissa at 347-423-5818 and the deadline is November 1st when they are having a Pony Party.

Philadelphia Chapter

NACOPRW Philadelphia members and friends participated in Get Fit and Get Healthy Spring into Summer Series! weekly Tuesday and Thursday Walks at Edison High School Track during the months of May and June. Sisters providing support to one another on our journey to a healthier life style.

Participated and donated one year membership at Young Leaders Summer Networking Fiesta at Tierra Colombiana

Attended the District Attorneys Philadelphia Peace Breakfast. DA Seth Williams and many other government officials called for peace on our streets and a stop to violence. Among the special guests was Governor Ed Rendell.

Volunteered at the Annual Block Captains Boot Camp at Roberto Clemente School –Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez “Block Captain’s Boot Camp”- An event for local community block captains where various City Department Leaders presented updated information and contacts on city programs.

Volunteered at the Variety-“Electric Run” in Fairmount Park - unique race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community . Folks joined in on the art by lighting up with glow sticks and LEDs.

Celebrated with our very own Luz Selenia Salas “Everlasting Impressions” – Art Exhibit – held at – El Cafeito Café which promotes local artists in the region

Made Contributions to Centro Musical – back to School Drive by donating school supplies to community families

Contributed and volunteered at National Night Out. This event is dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime prevention programs devoted to safer communities. This event is also used as a way to promote Children’s Bike Safety where Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez provides free helmets to children who promise to ride their bikes safely with helmets.

Held its Denim & Diamonds Fund Raiser – NACOPRW members enjoyed an evening at Liquid Room with dinner, music, and raffles to raise funds for the 10th Annual Odessa Scholarships on August 19, 2013

De Aqui y De Alla

Roberto Clemente. Puerto Rican Slugger, first Puerto Rican Honored by a Statue in a Park in Morris Heights, New York

A story in the New York Times of June 28, 2013 reports that Maritza Hernandez’ sculpture of Roberto Clemente will honor our Puerto Rican hero who was killed in a plane crash while going to distribute relief supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.

On September 30, 1972 he had reached his 3000th hit while breaking racial barriers in the baseball fields playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Frances Rodriguez, the Administrator of Roberto Clemente State Park, was instrumental in getting the statue along with Rafael Toro, director of Public Relations for Goya Foods.

Well done. We too honor Roberto Clemente.



NACOPRW Board of Directors
Executive Committee

Vilma Colom,  National President
Lourdes Hernandez, First Vice President
Carmen Bonilla, Second Vice President
Enoelia Vega, Treasurer
Katherine Ast, Assistant Treasurer
Wanda Gordils, Secretary
Annie Luga, Assistant Secretary 


Evelyn Figueroa, President, Chicago
Edith Feliciano, Delegate,Chicago
Ada Lopez, Delegate, Chicago

Enoelia Vega, President, Indiana
Elizabeth Garcia, Delegate, Indiana
Carmen Gonzalez, Delegate, Indiana

Elizabeth Baez, President, Miami
Dr. Sonia Troche, Delegate, Miami
Lucy del Valle, Delegate, Miami

Vilma Colom, President, Northern Illinois
Mariaelisa Laracuente, Delegate, NorthernIL
Janice Kahn, Delegate, Northern Illinois

Michelle Centeno,President, NY Manhattan

Amaris Hernandez,  President, Philadelphia
Iris Violeta Colon Torres, Delegate, Philadelphia

Darma Castro Paden, President, SoCal
Annie Lugo, Delegate, SoCal
Ana Berrios, Delegate, SoCal

Anna M. Rosario, President, D.C. Metro
Vilma Rosario, Delegate, D.C. Metro
Carmen Delgado Votaw,  Delegate, D.C. Metro



Become a Member of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women
If there is no chapter in your jurisdiction, you can become a National Member of NACOPRW by paying dues to the national organization.  Please fill out and send us your dues with the attached membership form.  Be part of a national sisterhood of savvy, successful Puerto Rican Women, an incredible network of professional and cultural support for YOU.

Send Carmen Delgado Votaw information about what your NACOPRW chapter is doing
to help advance women’s causes so that we can share it in Ecos Nacionales.
 Deadlines are 2 weeks before March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.

Editor:Carmen Delgado Votaw, 

Assistant Editor, Bequi Ortiz,
NACOPRW website: