Cultural anthropologist and archeologist
Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico
world-renowned authority on the culture, language, and history
of the native peoples of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Alegría
founded the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and
the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe.
was greatly motivated by my father, the writer Jose Alegría,
who taught me to dearly love Puerto Rico and to be proud of
our history and culture.”
of institutions of culture and learning, exhibition curator,
and author of more than 20 books, Alegría has
dedicated his life to preserving Puerto Rican history and culture.
He was selected by Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rico’s
first elected governor, to head the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña,
where he created an awareness of the commonwealth’s cultural
history, from its pre-Columbian inhabitants to the present day.
“When I started the restoration
of Old San Juan, people said everything should be torn down and
that we should make it a ‘little
New York.’ But that was because of their ignorance about
the historic importance of the city to both Puerto Rico and