Friends of San Juan National Historic Site Receives New Capacity Building Grant from National Park Foundation

Grant amplifies Friends of SJNHS’s impact in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (September 15, 2022) The National Park Foundation on Monday announced Friends of San Juan National Historic Site is one of 41 park partner organizations to receive a Strong Parks, Strong Communities grant from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. This grant will enable FSJNHS to implement a series of educational events and programming for the community, including monthly talks, history reading to kids at El Morro, an art exhibit, and more. The full list of grantees can be found on the National Park Foundation’s blog. 

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the National Park Foundation,” said Friends of San Juan National Historic Site President Sajo Ruiz. “This funding will allow us to continue our work in connecting our community to this incredible site and ensuring that its rich history is preserved for future generations.”

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities grants help address nonprofit park partner needs most urgent to the parks they serve. The grants will enable partner organizations to invest in strategic planning, and community engagement, improving the visitor experience in parks, increasing organizational relevancy and resiliency, and launching new fundraising campaigns.

“Philanthropy and partnership are essential to the success of America’s national parks,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “New funding will help park partners across the country to build capacity, improve strategic planning and fundraising initiatives, and to more deeply engage the communities and national parks they serve. Ultimately, investing in the growing community of park partners is a commitment to expanding and transforming the role philanthropy plays to ensure national parks reach their full potential.”

“These strategic investments in local groups elevate the creative opportunities, organizational efficacy, and bandwidth of the professional network that Friends Alliance serves,” said Vickie Mates, Executive Director of the National Park Friends Alliance. “We look forward to our continued collaboration and celebrating the outcomes created by these incredible grantee projects.”

Strong Parks, Strong Communities is a collective effort to grow national park philanthropy across the country. Working together on this initiative, the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Friends Alliance enhance local philanthropic organizations, bringing park philanthropy to an elevated level. 

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity-building grant program is made possible by the National Park Foundation Board of Directors. 


The Friends of San Juan National Historic Site is a non-profit organization designed to support the San Juan National Historic Site (SJNHS) financially and amplify its public outreach agenda. By raising funds and awareness about our island’s history and cultural heritage, we aim to perpetuate the responsible stewardship of our park’s treasures. SJNHS comprises Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo), the San Juan Gate, Paseo del Morro, and most of the historic wall that surrounds Old San Juan. It is one of more than 400 National Parks and historical sites across the U.S. and its territories, but it is the only National Park of the National Park Service (NPS) in Puerto Rico, and one of only 23 U.S. National Parks that are also classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of their cultural and historical value for all humanity. 

The Friends of San Juan National Historic Site is proud to join a long list of other Friends organizations across the United States (and beyond) that focus on promoting the natural and historic beauty of their parks, sharing their importance with park visitors, and, of course, contributing to their preservation for future generations. If you are a frequent traveler and park visitor and are finding yourself interested in learning more about Friends organizations, check out this list of similar organizations based in the continental U.S.  


The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and a nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at