By José E. López, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Our hearts are sad and our emotions run deep as we learn of the death of our beloved Josefina “Fifo” Rodriguez. Fifo, as we loving call her, was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. She served for many years, not only as an active member, but more importantly as a guardian of our foundation and our values. She truly lived the PRCC’s motto, “live and help to live”.
For decades, Fifo was a leading member of the campaign to free all Puerto Rican Political Prisoners, from the Five Nationalists, to the struggle to free her heroic daughters, Ida Luz and Alicia, to the present campaign around the patriot Oscar López Rivera. As part of that work she traveled to many countries in Latin America, particularly to Mexico and Nicaragua, to raise consciousness about the existence and the conditions of our Political Prisoners in U.S. prisons and jails.
Fifo’s endearing smile, her love of life, her zest for justice, her quest against colonialism, and her life long commitment to humanity will always serve as our North Star. She will live on in every aspect of the work which the Puerto Rican Cultural Center undertakes, in the words of Doña Consuelo Lee Corretjer, “con un hombro menos“, (with one less shoulder).
Fifo will now join the official list of our posthumous emeritus members of our Board of Directors, including Reverend José Alberto Torres and Irma Romero. A plaque will soon be placed in a prominent space in the Cultural Center, naming them. Additionally, the 21st Fiesta Boricua will be dedicated to her on September 4th,5th, and 6th and during that weekend a community memorial service will be held in her honor.