Street To Be Named After Dominican Patron Saint
January 30, 2002
by Santiago Bonilla
Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, in coordination with members of the Archdiocese Committee of La Altagracia of New York, have embarked on a campaign to rename 181st Street of Upper Manhattan. Espaillat began the gesture on January 21st, the day on which Dominicans dedicate to venerate their patron saint of the past 400 years.
We are trying to. Once that is done, at any moment Dominicans will be able to enjoy the existence of an intersection of Our Lady of Altagracia Street and Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard, uniting in this way our venerated virgin and the illustrious father of our country in Upper Manhattan, an area dominated by Dominicans," Espaillat said in a press release.
In the Dominican Republic, the Virgin of Altagracia is venerated throughout the country, but historically the religious congregation is concentrated in Higuey. In New York the Archdiocese Committee of Our Lady of Altagracia that includes a mass at Saint Patrick_s Cathedral, where thousands of Dominican devotees attend, organizes the religious ceremonies.
The idea of renaming 181st Street was expressed by Espaillat at a dinner gala held on January 26th in Astoria at the Duarte Institute of New York. The dinner was held to celebrate the 189th anniversary of Juan Pablo Duarte_s birth and also formed part of the celebrations for Dominican Heritage Month.
The dinner also served as a swearing in of the new Board of Directors of the Duarte Institute of New York. On hand were the General Consulate of the Dominican Republic, Luis Eludis Perez, Bienvenido Lara Flores, the new President of the Duarte Institute of New York, the businessperson Jose Delio Mare, Nelson Pena, president of the Dominican Parade of New York, Gabriela Rosa, who represented the Dominican councilman Miguel Martinez, Rafael Mendoza, director of the Dominican Cultural Center, Nelly Osa de Pion a member of the Board of Education of the Dominican Republic and the assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, who said "Dominicans should promote the ideals of Patricio Juan Pablo Duarte wherever they are, and I believe there is a great importance in the fact that both members of the Senate and State Assembly in Albany during the last four years, have joined in the commemoration of Duarte."
(Translated from Spanish by Armando Reyes)