Mural- Remembering Julia

Murals of East Harlem

East Harlem/El Barrio is home to a great number of murals that build on a long tradition in Latin American art, wherein residents may express themselves and tell their stories. Protecting these significant cultural symbols has become a great challenge, but an important endeavor, in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

East 106th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues
Manny Vega

This mosaic homage to Julia de Burgos was created in connection with the naming of East 106th Street, Fifth Avenue to First Avenue, in her honor. The project, which adorns the walls of a Hope Community building, was envisioned by local activists Marina Ortiz and Deborah Quiñones. De Burgos, an advocate for Puerto Rican independence from the U.S., was working as a journalist in East Harlem when she collapsed on Fifth Avenue and 106th Street in 1953. She later died in Harlem Hospital and was eventually buried in Puerto Rico, where she was named poet laureate. The mosaic has sustained some water damage, which East Harlem Preservation, Inc. hopes to repair as part of its mural and mosaic restoration initiative.