SINA will be painting three murals in Frog Hollow of neighborhood Heroes. Two murals will be on Park Street and one will be on Broad Street. Featuring 3 people per mural.
Thank you to everyone who voted. In total, we received 503 votes. The results were really close and every candidate has a story worth sharing. That said, these are the 9 people who got the most votes – in no particular order:
- Maria Sanchez
- Juan Fuentes
- Elba Cruz Schulman
- Rev. Julie Ramirez
- Edna Negron
- Yessica Amparo
- Ana Alfaro
- Leticia Cotto
- Jorge Rivera
The murals are competed and installed. Click here to read the program book from the Unveiling Event to learn more about each hereo.
Mural 1 is located at 463 Park Street (corner of Squire and Park St.) featuring Maria Sanchez, Edna Negron, and Elba Cruz Schulman.
Mural 2 is located at 493 Park Street (corner of Wolcott and Park St.) featuring Ana Alfaro, Jorge Rivera, and Leticia Cotto.
Mural 3 is located at 988 Broad Street featuring Yessica Amparo, Rev. Julie Ramirez, and Juan Fuentes.
THE 15 FINALISTS WERE:
|1. Rev. Julie Ramirez
She served as pastor of Templo Fe church for 53 years, overseeing the church’s move from Main Street to Broad Street in Hartford.
|2. Olga Mele
One of the first Puerto Rican Hartford residents. She was a pioneer in bringing social services to people in need by founding the San Juan Center and through personal volunteer work. She also helped create jobs for people looking to get out of working in tobacco fields.
|3. Celestino Jimenez
Long time advocate and role model for the neighborhood. With endless energy, he was always lending a hand and inspiring many. Late in life, he worked overseeing the soup kitchen at Mercy House.
|4. Yessica Amparo
Youth Development specialist with the OPP’s Youth Service Corps. Her enthusiasm and compassion have helped many young people get a good start in life.
|5. Maria Sanchez
Affectionately known as La Madrina of the Hartford Puerto Rican community, she was a community advocate and the first Latina elected to the CT general assembly.
|6. Ana Alfaro
Host of El Show de Analeh that aims to connect the latinx community with information and inspiration. She is committed to volunteerism, overseeing volunteer projects for Eversource and serving on multiple boards across the city. She has received over 10 awards related to her work in the community.
|7. Leticia Cotto
Former branch manager of the park street library, founder of La Paloma Sabanera café and book store. Committed to education, culture, and arts in the neighborhood.
|8. Juan Fuentes
Photographer who documented the Puerto Rican community in Hartford.
|9. Mildred Torres
The first Latina to serve on Hartford city’s council. She worked early on community organizing in the Puerto Rican and Black communities in Hartford through La Casa De Puerto Rico, Community Renewal Team, and at Aetna Life & Casualty.
|10. Sara Ferrer de Romany
Forceful and fearless advocate for the Puerto Rican community and founded the Institute for the Hispanic Family at Catholic Charities to help connect community members with mental health services.
|11. Elba Cruz Schulman
Lifelong advocate for those in need and underprivileged. She worked many jobs serving children and families in Hartford. She coordinated and raised funds for the annual Festival of Lights program in Hartford where 1000 children receive Christmas and holiday toys.
|12. Jorge Rivera
Dedicated his life to help troubled children and their families strive for a better life. With an extensive education in law and the help of many willing, talented people, he founded Mi Casa in order to foster a healthier, caring, supportive community.
|13. Cary Wheaton
Was the founder of the Firebox restaurant and Executive Director of Forge City Works — a network of restaurants, farmers markets and training programs that aimed to increase access to high-quality food, as well economic opportunities, for Hartford residents. An expert restaurateur devoted to equity and social justice.
|14. Edna Negron
Educator, consultant, and community organizer who established the first family resource center and school-based health clinic in the nation. Negron began her teaching career in 1974, teaching first grade at the Ann Street Bilingual Community School in Hartford, and then served for many years as the coordinator of the Bilingual/Bicultural Education Program for the Hartford Public Schools.
|15. George Kenc
Founder of Park Hardware on Park Street. Known for his compassion, he was once seen giving his own coat to someone in need in front of his store.