This week the Friends of San Juan National Historic Site fondly remembers and celebrates the life of Elba Estrella Cintrón Girona. Elba, the mother-in-law of Friends founder Mike Gillespie, led an inspiring life as an educator (both in the classroom and in the Department of Education), poet, mother, grandmother, and community member. Elba made significant contributions to many educational organizations in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico – she made monetary donations, but also participated as a member, administrator, or fundraiser (among other roles). Among these organizations was our very own! She was, in fact, the very first ‘friend’ and supporter of our non-profit and wrote the first donation check. Her personal history as an educator and her deep love of and commitment to Puerto Rico – especially preserving the natural and historical landscapes of the island – naturally led her to encourage and support Mike, Matti, and all the founding members of Friends of SJNHS in their mission to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico. Her love of beauty and her pioneering spirit in education and conservation will truly be missed.
The Friends of San Juan National Historic Site extends our heartfelt thanks to donors Marisol Rexach, Teresa Langness, and Dawn Aguila. These three women have recently made donations to Friends of SJNHS in memory of Elba Estrella Cintrón Girona, the first ‘friend’ and supporter of our organization. Their donations honor Elba’s unwavering commitment to education, to sharing, and to preserving the beauty and history of her beloved Puerto Rico.