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TALLER PUERTORRIQUENO INC
February 28, 2010

My connections to Taller Puertorriqueño began many years ago as a Spanish Teacher for the public schools of Philadelphia. I wanted to bring in authentic cultural realia for my students to appreciate. At the time Taller Puertorriqueño was the only place with a bookstore that would offer what I was looking for, and it still is. It became a place to which I would often recommend my students to visit. I wanted them to take advantage and learn from the the cultural programs Taller offers. Later on, I became the first Museum Teacher that the School District of Philadelphia assigned to Taller Puertorriqueño and served in this capacity for a year. This was an awesome experience. Although I was born in Puerto Rico, all my schooling had been in Philadelphia and in school, no one ever taught us about any Latino culture. In developing the many culture and art lessons for a little over 5,000 students served in a year, I too had learned a lot about my own culture. I will always be grateful to Taller Puertorriqueño for this. I often volunteer at Taller Puertorriqueño throughout the year in whatever capacity is need. The Julia de Burgos bookstore offers the opportunity to for us enrich our personal libraries on an infinite number literary topics in English and/or Spanish. It also offers the opportunity to expand our knowledge base on many cultural issues related to Puerto Ricans and other Latino cultures. The books store amply provides us with a look into the rich cultural diversity among Latinos from the many Spanish speaking countries around the world. Not only does if offer books but also the opportunity to meet a number of well known as well as emerging authors, even young high school authors. Taller Puertorriqueño is much more than just the bookstore. It is also the cultural hub for the surrounding neighborhoods and beyond. It has promoted (and continues to do so) many of the well known Latino artists in the city. It is "El Corazon del Barrio"(The Heart of the Neighborhood, as its logo states.) The Cultural presentations also reaches out to many who are not in the immediate neighborhood. The receptions for opening night of the art exhibits brings people from throughout the city, Latinos and non-Latinos alike. Some of the events even brings visitors from other towns in Pennsylvania as well as New York, Washington, DC. Two of these event the come to mind are the Annual Schomburg Symposium and the Annual Feria del Barrio. The Later is done in partnership with other Latino community organizations. As an educator, however, the programs that are most dear to me are the education programs. The cultural arts programming (CAP) offers young opportunities to learn about culture through the arts and includes tutoring for helping the students improve on their weak areas. The YAP program offers high school students interested in the arts a rich experience for developing their skills and their portfolio. Eventually I became a board member for this community organization. Although I serve on many community boards, I am most proud and privileged to be part of this community organization that takes to heart our children and our culture.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way I have grown to understand my own culture; the impact it has had on my past students; and the impact on the public that has attended Taller Puertorriqueno's activities.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The enthusiam with which people are brought together for very positive interactions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Everyone is so committed to the mission and give there very best and over 100%.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really reach out to more people with a space that would be adequate, expand its staff.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I served as a Museum teacher and currently serve as a Board Member and volunteer.