Left to right – Dr. Hugo Morales, Dean Ana Garcia Reyes, Felix Antonio Martinez and Hostos President Felix V. Matos Rodriguez.
Friday, October 25, 2013 (Bronx, NY) - On October 16, 2013, the Hon. Félix Antonio Martínez, Consul General of The Dominican Republic in New York, visited Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (HCC) and met with CUNY Trustee Hugo Morales, HCC President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, and HCC Associate Dean Ana I. García Reyes. In the meeting, Consul General Martínez spoke about the numerous adults who come to “El Consulado” seeking educational opportunities and other services, and his interest in creating a partnership with CUNY to address their needs. He also spoke about the educational mandate in the Constitution of the Dominican Republic. Promoted by President Danilo Medina, Government Law No.546-12 declares that the attainment of literacy by all Dominican citizens 15 years of age and older is a high national priority, in addition to the continuing advancement of literacy throughout the country. As reported in August of this year, over 70,000 adults in the Dominican Republic have learned to read and write since the establishment of the “Quisqueya Aprende Contigo” program.
Recently, Associate Dean Garcia Reyes travelled to the Dominican Republic with a group of educators to learn more about this successful program with the notion of replicating it in New York State. The delegation of educators commissioned by the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in New York included Dr. Fénix Arias, Associate Dean of Bronx Community College; ADASA Executive Director Milady Baez; and Assistant to the General Consul Monica Lockhart-Díaz. The literacy program provides books, materials, and instruction free of charge to adults who have not learned to read and write or have had less than three years of schooling. Consul Félix Antonio Martínez said: “It is the right of all citizens to have access to education, and the Dominican Consulate of New York would like to collaborate with all civic and educational institutions to promote and move forward this initiative in the state. We want to reach as many people as possible to offer the services and recruit additional volunteers who may want to teach.” Interested individuals should contact Monica Lockhart to register by calling 212 768- 2480 Ext. 1031 or by email to ddmld@aol.com. 
An enthusiastic supporter of the literacy initiative, Trustee Morales said, “This is a great opportunity for all of those who don’t have these skills and wish to learn.” President Matos Rodríguez also praised the work that is being accomplished under Consul Martínez’ leadership. Recounting the positive experience the NYC delegation had in the Dominican Republic, Associate Dean García Reyes, explained how the program is being implemented through a partnership with the Minister of Special Programs of the Presidency and both Ministers of Education as well as other civic and educational institutions. She also added: “Some Hostos students and colleagues have shared with me that they have relatives and friends who don’t know how to read or write and would love to take advantage of this opportunity if it is replicated in New York. This is a great community partnership sponsored by the government of the Dominican Republic and I think that we should embrace this initiative. I strongly believe that education liberates people.”
About Hostos Community College Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.
Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.