Isabel Andreu de Aguilar

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Isabel Andreu de Aguilar
BornNovember 15, 1887
DiedApril 7, 1948
NationalityAmerican/Puerto Rican
Occupationwriter, educator, philanthropist

Isabel Andreu de Aguilar (née Isabel Andreu y Blanco; 15 November 1887 in Fajardo – 7 April 1948) was a Puerto Rican writer, educator, philanthropist, suffragist and activist for the rights of women. She participated in the founding of the Puerto Rican Feminist League and was a co-founder of the Association of Women Graduates of the University of Puerto Rico. She was the second president of the Puerto Rican Association of Women Suffragists and was one of the first women to run for a Senatorial seat once they achieved enfranchisement.

University of Puerto Rico The main public university system of Puerto Rico

The University of Puerto Rico is the main public university system of Puerto Rico and a government-owned corporation of Puerto Rico. The largely Spanish-language institution consists of 11 campuses and has approximately 58,000 students and 5,300 faculty members. UPR has the largest and most diverse academic offerings in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, with 472 academic programs of which 32 lead to a doctorate.


Early years and education

Isabel Andreu y Blanco was born on 15 November 1887, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, to Cristóbal Andreu Comendador and Blanca Irene Blanco Guzmán. [1] She was born during the period in which the island was an administrative district of Spain [2] and her father, originally from Majorca, would become the mayor of Fajardo. Her mother was a native Puerto Rican. After attending elementary school, she won a scholarship to attend Normal School in 1902, [1] graduating in 1907 as one of the first class of alumni of the Escuela Normal of the University of Puerto Rico. [3]

Captaincy General of Puerto Rico Spanish 1580-1898 possession in the Caribbean

The Captaincy General of Puerto Rico was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire, created in 1580 to provide better military management of the island of Puerto Rico, previously under the direct rule of a simple governor and the jurisdiction of Audiencia of Santo Domingo. Its creation was part of the, ultimately futile, Habsburg attempt in the late 16th century to prevent incursion into the Caribbean by foreign powers. Spain also established Captaincies General in Cuba, Guatemala and Yucatán.


Andreu began work as a teacher in the model school affiliated with the university, but soon returned home to Fajardo where she continued teaching. In 1917, when the Carnegie Library was created, she was appointed to serve on the board of directors. That same year, she became the vice president of the Puerto Rican Feminist League (Spanish : Liga Femínea Puertorriqueña), which was founded by Ana Roqué (1853-1933). [1] The League was active in trying to gain women the right to vote and when their local senator, Antonio Rafael Barceló, refused to discuss the matter, Andreu, María L. de Ashford and Milagros Benet de Mewton went to plead their case in Washington, D.C. [4] In 1921, the organization changed its name to the Suffragist Social League (Spanish : La Liga Social Sufragista) and expanded its platform women's suffrage to full civic and political participation. [5] In 1924, Andreu, along with Rosario Belber, Maria Cadilla de Martínez, Luisa Callejo,Beatriz Lasalle, Ana López de Vélez, Roqué, and Amina Tió de Malaret all resigned from the League over ideological differences. The following year Roqué and Andreu formed the Puerto Rican Association of Women Suffragists (Spanish : Asociación Puertorriqueña de Mujeres Sufragistas). The crux of the ideological split was whether extending the vote to women should include universal suffrage or whether it should be restricted to educated women. [6] Andreu and Roqué were in the camp which favored education as a prerequisite to voting. [7] That same year, 1925, Andreu was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees of the University of Puerto Rico. [1]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Ana Roque de Duprey Puerto Rican activist

Ana Roqué de Duprey, also known as "Flor del Valle", , was an educator, suffragist and one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico.

Antonio Rafael Barceló American politician

Antonio Rafael Barceló y Martínez was a Puerto Rican lawyer, businessman and the patriarch of what was to become one of Puerto Rico's most prominent political families. Barceló, who in 1917 became the first President of the Senate of Puerto Rico, played an instrumental role in the introduction and passage of legislation which permitted the realization of the School of Tropical Medicine and the construction of a Capitol building in Puerto Rico.

In 1929, Andreu was selected as president of the Association of Women Suffragists and the women were successful in attaining the vote for literate women. [1] In 1932, Andreu ran as a Senator for the Liberal Party, [8] the first woman ever to run. [9] After losing the election, Andreu returned to school and completed a Bachelor of Education at the University of Puerto Rico in 1935. [1] Later that year, she studied sociology at Columbia University, [10] and later graduated with a Master in Arts specializing in adult education. [1] In 1936, Andreu and other professional women founded the Association of Women Graduates of the University of Puerto Rico with the goals of improving the professional, academic and cultural development of its members and the university. [3] Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, she continued her trusteeships with the Library and University, as well as public speaking engagements [11] and writing on topics ranging from education to women's rights to adult literacy. [12] Andreu died on 7 April 1948 [1] and posthumously, a building at the University of Puerto Rico was bestowed with her name, [13] as well as a street in San Juan. [14]

Liberal Party of Puerto Rico

The Liberal Party of Puerto Rico was a pro-independence political party. The Liberal Party was founded in 1932 as a formal disaffiliation between two political parties which composed the political coalition known as the Alianza (Alliance).

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

San Juan, Puerto Rico Capital and municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.)

San Juan is the capital and most populous municipality in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it is the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States, with a population of 395,326. San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's capital is the third oldest European-established capital city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, founded in 1496 and Panama City, in Panama, founded in 1519. Several historical buildings are located in San Juan; among the most notable are the city's former defensive forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristóbal, and La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas.

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