Maria Sanchez, State Representative and Community Advocate

CT Humanities | March 20, 2021 

A tireless supporter of Puerto Rican culture and education, Maria Colón Sánchez became a leading community organizer in Hartford and was known as la madrina (the godmother) of the capital city’s Puerto Rican community.

Respected by colleagues and by her community, Colón Sánchez successfully advocated for bilingual education in Hartford schools and served on the Hartford Board of Education. She founded the Puerto Rican Parade Committee in 1964 (a parade that the Latino community still celebrates each year in Hartford).

In the late 1980s, after a hard-fought battle, she became the first Latina elected to the Connecticut General Assembly.