Monday, June 30, 2008

Preserving El Barrio: Marina Ortiz


Anyone who is in NYC's El Barrio, probably knows Marina Ortiz, an independent journalist, local community activist and resident.
She is usually armed with a camera, shooting and documenting many of the people, stories and events in East Harlem.
This boricua is founder of East Harlem Preservation, a community advocacy group that monitors large-scale development, supports preservation, and fights privatization of public parkland. Ortiz is a watchdog of the rapid changes going on in El Barrio because of gentrification. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently interviewed Ortiz on her push to save El Barrio, the so-called crown jewel of Puerto Rican and Latino culture in New York City.
"I was inspired to begin efforts to preserve the rich history, culture and architecture of Spanish Harlem and the greater East Harlem when the inevitable footprint of gentrification began to take its hold on our community," Ortiz was quoted as saying.
To read the article published in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring 2008 Diversity Scholarship Program Alumni Newsletter,
http://www.eastharlempreservation.org/docs/DSPAlumni_mjo08.pdf
To learn more about her work with the East Harlem Preservation, check out her site at www.eastharlempreservation.org.
Meanwhile, Ortiz also runs another important community project: Virtual Boricua. This is a website that focuses on Puerto Rican news, issues, culture, events and activism. To visit, go to www.virtualboricua.org. It is a must see site for anyone interested in Puerto Rican culture, especially boricua New York. -- Clarisel Gonzalez
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