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Suleika Cabrera Drinane Institute for Puerto Rican/ Hispanic Elderly Records

Identifier: MSS 26

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of documents on the institution, including fact sheets, information on services, conference materials, health care pamphlets, an issue of El Pregonero, the institute’s newspaper, and a pamphlet on scams that was printed by the local government. The collection was donated by Suleika Cabrera Drinane, President and CEO.


  • Creation: circa 1990s

Language of Materials

Gala program journals are in English only. Awards are generally monolingual, in either English or Spanish. Comité Noviembre journals are in English. El Pregonero is bilingual with parallel translation.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Centro.

Biographical / Historical

The Institute for the Puerto Rican Hispanic Elderly (IPRHE) was founded in 1978 and incorporated as a non-profit organization in New York City in 1979. Responding to the needs of Puerto Rican and Hispanic elderly in New York City in the 1970s, IPRHE has documented, advocated for, and provided services to address the specific needs, health disparities, and barriers to high quality of life for the community’s elderly, including advocating for access to entitlement programs. IPRHE was a leader in national, state, and local efforts to improve conditions for the community through coalition building and partnerships, fundraising, lobbying, and direct service. IPRHE has been active in responding to issues that affect the wellbeing and security of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities including: the HIV and AIDS crisis; changes in federal entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, food stamps, and veterans programs; high rates of unemployment; housing and tenant rights; consumer protection; violence within and against the community; and educational, social and cultural life.

IPRHE has provided an expansive range of services and built a wide network of affiliates, subsidiaries, and partners, including subsidiary senior centers through the boroughs, and the affiliated Hispanic Senior Action Council. Core offerings include providing timely multilingual information on issues, translation and English Language teaching, crime victims support, referrals, case management, advocacy, cultural and social activities, and political mobilization. By 1995, the Institute had helped establish five senior centers throughout New York City. By 2002, the Institute had founded the Minority Aging Defense Council, co-founded the Hispanic AIDS Forum, and sponsored the Coalition of Hispanic Service Providers. In 2012, after 34 years of advocacy in the field, IPRHE was operating eleven senior centers in New York City, as well as six subsidiary housing and health care organizations. Signature programs and services that year included: crime victims services, immigration services, ESL and language services, caregivers’ networks and support, case management, counseling, advocacy for seniors in entitlement programs, a Title V Senior Employment program, weatherization and technology support, and programs for elderly homebound people. In 2016, IPRHE became an affiliate of Acacia Network.

IPRHE was also a member of Comité Noviembre and became the hosting site for Comité Noviembre’s operations in 1998. Comité Noviembre is a non-profit organization whose mission is to commemorate and acknowledge all aspects of Puerto Rican life from the social and cultural to the educational, economic, and political. The idea for annual commemorations and celebrations of Puerto Rican life, history, culture, and grew out of an idea articulated at the 1987 Puerto Rican Dialogue. The same year, New York City began formalizing November as “Puerto Rican Heritage Month” through annual mayoral proclamations. Comité Noviembre was formed to provide a centralized structure and clearinghouse for planning, coordinating, sharing, and collaborating on annual Puerto Rican Cultural Heritage Month activities.

Along with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Association of Puerto Rican Executive Directors (APRED) and the Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) provided the initial leadership for Comité Noviembre, which grew to include ASPIRA of New York, el Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, and the Institute of Puerto Rican Hispanic Elderly. Today, Comité Noviembre’s membership includes 11 of the oldest and most prestigious Puerto Rican organizations. The Comité has established longstanding signature annual events and programs including scholarship and award programs, educational travel programs, and annual celebrations and programs. Sources / Fuentes:

Note: Biographical information primarily derived from the collection.


64 Cubic Feet


The Institute for the Puerto Rican Hispanic Elderly, a non-profit organization, has a mission to improve the quality of life of the Puerto Rican Hispanic elderly residing in New York City. More broadly, they also advocate and program for Latinx, minority, immigrant and elderly populations in the United States. The IPRHE materials consist of institutional documents, including programming and fundraising brochures and photograph albums, as well as issues of the Institute’s quarterly newspaper El Pregonero.


The collection is arranged topically.

Related Materials

Comité de Noviembre Posters Collection, also located in Centro Archives.

Suleika Cabrera Drinane
Institute for Puerto Rican/ Hispanic Elderly Records
In Progress
Frances Julia Keiser supervised by Pedro Juan Hernández and Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processed as part of Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Advanced Archival Practicum at Centro, 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Silberman Building, Hunter College
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York New York 10065

About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.