The Juan A. Paulino Collection, 1955-1991
Founder, Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte (Now known as Instituto Duartiano en Nueva York)
Note of Gratitude: Juan A. Paulino is one of the first two prominent members of the New York Dominican community to donate their papers to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Archives. The Institute is tremendously grateful to this pioneer who entrusted us with his precious historical legacy. Mr. Paulino's long history of community activism helped establish the Dominican people as a leading ethnic population within the New York City mosaic. He worked tirelessly and effectively to promote Dominican culture in New York City, engendering a great sense of pride among Dominicans in their roots. Mr. Paulino is a pioneer in the unique historical development of the Dominican population in the United States.
Biographical Note: Juan Antonio Paulino is the founder of Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte (now known as Instituto Duartiano en Nueva York), the second oldest Dominican organization in New York City. He was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic in June 15, 1931. In 1962, Mr. Paulino moved to New York City and established residence on Hoe Avenue in the Bronx. In 1963, encouraged by the activism of the New York Puerto Rican community, Mr. Paulino dreamed of erecting a monument in Manhattan to honor Juan Pablo Duarte y Diez, the leading historical figure among the founders of the Dominican Republic. In 1966, together with Normandía Maldonado, Marina Maldonado, Victor Liriano, and Manuel Medrano, Mr. Paulino founded the Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte, a civic and cultural organization devoted to promoting awareness about Juan Pablo Duarte and his ideals. Under Mr. Paulino's leadership, the organization became the principal advocate for the establishment of a monument, in Manhattan, to honor the great Dominican patriot.
Juan Paulino's civic leadership and enthusiastic efforts to erect the statue were acknowledged in 1971 by Dominican Republic President Joaquín Balaguer. On July 19, 1971 Juan Paulino was decorated with the "Orden al Mérito de Duarte, Sanchez y Mella" conferring upon Mr. Paulino the title of Caballero (Knight), established in memory of the Founders of the Dominican Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Matías Mella. The citation is the highest civilian honor conferred by the Dominican government. Mr. Paulino is the first and one of only a few Dominicans living outside the Dominican Republic to receive this honor.
On January 26, 1978, after a prolonged campaign, the statue of Juan Pablo Duarte was unveiled at Juan Pablo Duarte Plaza on Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas. It was a gift of the Dominican Government under President Joaquín Balaguer to the City of New York on behalf of the City's Dominican residents. That event, and the creation of the Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte, were "my greatest contributions to the Dominican community in the City of New York," Juan Paulino said. Mr. Paulino is also recognized for his efforts to preserve the historical records of the Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte, now housed with his Collection in the Dominican Archives. Mr. Paulino died on May 30, 2008.
Scope and Contents Note: The Juan A. Paulino Collection consists of five cubic feet of correspondence, newspaper clippings, invitations, minutes of meetings, financial ledgers, certificates and awards, subject files and memorabilia relating to Mr. Paulino's activities and involvement in Club Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte and in the campaign to erect the monument to honor Juan Pablo Duarte. The collection also contains photographs of his private life, family outings, baptisms, birthday celebrations, as well as other papers related to his work as a civic leader.