Maria Borrero remembered as a driving force for good

Maria Borrero, a champion for equity in health care for Hispanics-Latinos passed away this month.

Borrero’s work in health education and advocacy began in the community outreach division at Hartford Hospital. 

Borrero partnered with anthropologists Stephen and Jean Schensul in working with hospitals looking for ways to overcome barriers keeping the Hispanic-Latino from quality care.


“Nobody was paying attention to the cultural and linguistic needs of Puerto Ricans then, and the increasing amounts of Central Americans that were coming into Hartford,” Stephen Schensul said of Borrero in an interview with the Hartford Courant. “That Puerto Rico Health Committee evolved into the Hispanic Health Council (HHC) first as an adjunct then its own independent organization.” Borrero was the first executive director of the HHC.

A native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Borrero moved to New York City as a child before moving to Connecticut.

After her career in Hartford, Borrero became the director of the Department of Employment Services for Human Resources in Washington, D.C., the executive director at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and head for the mediation unit of the World Bank’s Conflict Resolution System.

“She just had this incredible spirit and determination. She just knew what she wanted and even though a lot of people probably told her things were impossible, she just kept forging ahead,” her daughter, Robin Decker, recalled to the Hartford Courant. “She just kept on knocking on doors to see which one would open. She never thought ‘I’m going to give up.’ It didn’t even occur to her.”

Borrero was 70.

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74 thoughts on “Maria Borrero remembered as a driving force for good

  1. Thank you for remembering our friend Maria. Please correct her citizenship status. Maria “moved” to N.Y. from P.R. She did not immigrate. We have been citizens since the beginning of the 1900’s.

  2. A great humanist and administrator and Boricua! We will miss you and you leave fine memories.
    Hector A. Rivera Sr
    Delia M Rivera

  3. Great human being, I never forgot the good deeds that came from her heart…Ms. Borrero, personally will never forget, what you did for me…God bless you…R.I.P. Maria Borrero…

  4. A great person, a dedicated professional, a true fighter, and loved member of the Hispanic/Puerto Rican Community of Connecticut!
    She will always be remembered as a woman of character, who helped to pave the road for those who came after!
    Thank you Maria! Rest in peace! You did your part!

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