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Puerto Rican Day Parade 2018 Honors Catholic Charities

Posted on June 12, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Celebrates “the Best of Who We Are as a Community”

Draped in red, white and blue single-starred Puerto Rican flags, thousands lined New York City’s Fifth Avenue, dancing to salsa music and cheering as Catholic Charities NY and fellow honorees led the National Puerto Rican Day Parade last Sunday, June 10th.

At first glance it seemed as much party as parade.  But signs bearing “4645”, the number of Puerto Ricans a recent Harvard study estimated died after Hurricane Maria, inserted a somber reality check.  In Puerto Rico 8,000 homes still have no power; 167 schools closed and another 250 are slated not to reopen in the upcoming school year. 

The parade honored Catholic Charities NY and first responders for ongoing recovery work not only in Puerto Rico but also here at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center in East Harlem where Catholic Charities provides support for Puerto Ricans forced to flee the island after Hurricane Maria.

"Over the past 8 months, we witnessed,” said National Puerto Rican Day Parade board member Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez “remarkable ways to help provide humanitarian aid (to Puerto Rico.)

Dressed in blue Catholic Charities t-shirts, a heart in the middle, an American flag on one side and a Puerto Rican flag on the other, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers marched from 44th to 79th Street shaking hands with those reaching out, those forced to flee the island and resettle in New York.

“This year’s Parade has particularly profound meaning as we continue to celebrate the best of who we are as community,” said Louis Maldonado, National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board Chair, “while paying tribute to the countless individuals that acted in heroic ways in response to Hurricane Maria.”

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