CITY OF CIDRA,
Confronting the many problems of alcoholism and drug abuse that existed in Sector Cielito in Cidra, a group led by Nancy Ginorio and Victor M. Torres devoted themselves to gathering the children and youngsters of the community. Their main priority was to offer the youngsters other alternatives and guide them in the right direction. Approximately 20 children and youngsters of limited economic resources were given the opportunity to grow and foster within themselves values which could lead them to become better citizens. This group from the town of Cidra was baptized on January 9, 1982 with the name Grupo Pitri/Group Pitri.
From the beginning, the group was dedicated to the fields of theatre and dance. Their objective were as follows: Entertain the youngsters within the community; promote positive values; give children the opportunity to develop their talents; and help to separate young people from the many social problems affecting society, such as crime, alcohol and drugs. Since their first meeting in 1982, the work has been arduous and voluntary. The participants, as well as the director, do not receive payment for their work. Their payment is public acceptance, the support that is lent to their workshops and the great satisfaction of being able to educate other youngsters throughout the process. This voluntary labor has been steady, and the whole town views Group Pitri as an alternative toward developing social support for the community.
Group Pitri has developed grand theatrical workshops. Each performance sends out clear messages, such as: Avoiding teen pregnancies, staying away from drugs, maintaining a responsible attitude; avoiding acts of crime; treating elders with respect; developing high self-esteem; the effects of abortion on communities; and above all, contributing toward improving the quality of life for the community. Being a voluntary group, the organization has had to obtain the support of governmental agencies in order to reach their goals. For this reason, Group Pitri incorporated itself within the State Department of Puerto Rico as a non-profit institution. Group Pitri, and like organizations, are viewed as a solution to many problems that the government has not been able to help. Due to this situation, the government feels obligated to unite forces with Group Pitri, so that this volunteer labor will continue to keep youth active for many years.
Cidra recognizes the importance of Group Pitri. Its dedication is extraordinary; the quality of each performance is excellent, and the participants take their work very seriously. Group Pitri has grown over the years. Currently, there are several subgroups, which are, namely: Theatre Pitri, Dance Group Pitri, Nephews of Pitri, Osiris Pitri, and Disco Drama Pitri. Because of these groups, many other youngsters and children have been able to benefit from the free workshops that are offered.
Educational & Cultural Events
Over the 17 years of its existence, Group Pitri has participated in educational and cultural events in Cidra and in all of Puerto Rico, such as: The Flower Festival (Aíbonito), the Mora Caves Festival (Comerio), the Sabanera Pidgeon Festival (Cidra), the Art and Culture Festival (Caguas), the Love Festival (Aíbonito), the Jobo Festival (Comerio), the Myrna Vázquez Theatre Festival (Cidra), the Samaritan Theatre Festival (San Lorenzo), and the International Drama Festival (San Juan). Television appearances include: Sábado Gigante/Giant Saturday with Don Francisco (Miami), Spot (Telemundo, P.R. Channel 2), the Muscular Dystrophy Marathon (Tele Once, P.R., Channel 11), Mediodía Juveníl/Juvenile Noon (Channel 18), and the television show Combat (Channel 22).
The Mayors who have administered our town emphasize the volunteer labor of Group Pitri. The popular and community presses praise the great work and opportunities that hundreds of Cidra’s children have received for the past 17 years. Other cultural, civic and religious entities recognize the importance of Group Pitri in a society full of problems. All the people who work arduously and give their time freely within Group Pitri feel the satisfaction of having contributed towards improving the lifestyle for the children and youngsters of Cidra, the town of the Eternal Spring.
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352