Work done to monument of José de Diego

By: Giancarlo Fraticelli Ortiz

Did you know who founded our University? José De Diego founded our “Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas de Mayagüez” (CAAM), now known as “University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez”. José De Diego was a very important figure in Puerto Rico. He was a statesman, poet, attorney, legislator, and journalist. He contributed a lot to the island of Puerto Rico. José De Diego is known as: “The father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement”. He was one of the main figures, supporter, and activist for Puerto Rico’s independence from Spain and from the United States. This past October 4, 2011, a work of improvement to the monument in his honor was made in University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.

Representatives of the Independence Party of Puerto Rico, “Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño” (PIP) began maintenance work on the monument to José De Diego located at the gate of the main entrance in Mayagüez Campus (RUM). The decision of organizations to take over the maintenance of the monument is in response to the refusal of the leadership of the RUM to assume jurisdiction over the matter, said Muñiz Quiñones, chairman of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) in Mayagüez. In this situation collaboration of teachers, students and alumni of the RUM and separatist militants were recruited to give the monument of the aristocrat an ornamental garden.

In the work involved, in addition to PIP, members of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico, the Pro-Independence University Federation (FUPI) and the National Hostos Independence Movement (MINH) were involved. Muñiz Quiñones said that establishing a working committee for periodic maintenance of the garden will be efficient. Also in this cause there will be participation of members of the New School, a separatist organization focused on the political education of poor and working people.

The monument will need cleaning and the Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico will take responsibility of these actions, the Institute offered voluntarily. This volunteer work is intended to honor the figure of José De Diego, primarily responsible for the founding of the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on September 23, 1911, and serve as a reminder that the Puerto Rican Independence Movement continues to work, as it has always worked, for the enlargement and improvement of the aspects that make Puerto Rico, the island which it truly is, “The island of enchantment”.

This work is very important and relevant to the students of the RUM because they make them realize and find out information about this great leader. José De Diego was a very important figure in Puerto Rico. His contributions to the island were very significant. In memory of José De Diego Puerto Rico has honored him with a holiday on his birthdate. José De Diego is important to RUM’s students principally because of his foundation of the University where we now study. He was a very intelligent man and his life was full of adventures and surprises that made him found “our University, our home” like he called the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.

José De Diego founded the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on September 23, 1911, to this day it has developed a great deal of professionals in all fields of study and with it’s 100th years anniversary it’s much to be expected of this great institution.


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