Heritage Celebrations

Puerto Rican Heritage Reception 2018

June 7, 2018

Puerto Ricans represent 8.5% of New York City’s 8.6 million residents, making this the largest Latino community within the five boroughs and giving New York City the honor of being home to the largest Puerto Rican population outside of the Island of Puerto Rico. In honor of this important community, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray welcomed over eight hundred members of New York City’s vibrant Puerto Rican community to Gracie Mansion for their annual Puerto Rican Heritage Reception in celebration of the rich Puerto Rican culture that contributes to the diversity of our great City.

Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, provided opening remarks and was followed by First Lady Chirlane McCray, who highlighted the continued need for support to rebuild Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as well as to strengthen the island’s mental health services as its people continue working through the widespread impacts of this recent natural disaster. In her remarks, the First Lady emphasized that, “The Puerto Rican people are strong; the Puerto Rican people are resilient; the Puerto Rican people take care of one another… New York City stands with Puerto Rico now and always.”

The 2018 honoree was Ricky Martin—a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Martin is the Founder and President of The Ricky Martin Foundation, an organization dedicated to denouncing and exposing global human trafficking since 2004. For over a decade, the organization has been deeply engaged in human trafficking research, education, and community initiatives within Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, the Ricky Martin Foundation organized The Puerto Rico Relief Fund, which has raised almost $5 million. Ricky Martin is a multiple Grammy award winner, a Broadway and TV star, a New York Times Best Seller, and a philanthropist. In addition, he has sold more than 85 million albums and most recently concluded a headlining residency in Las Vegas.

In recognition of his dedication to the island and people of Puerto Rico, his philanthropic work to eliminate human trafficking across the Caribbean, and his commitment to the arts, Ricky Martin received a proclamation naming June 7, 2018 as Ricky Martin Day in the City of New York.

Photo Gallery


Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks by First Lady Chirlane McCray at the 2018 Puerto Rican Heritage Reception:


We would like to acknowledge and thank our committed sponsor of the Puerto Rican Heritage Reception, without whom this event would not be possible:

  • Anheuser-Busch

Past Events

2017 Event Details

Watch the 2016 Event Livestream

Read the 2015 Event Transcript

Read the 2014 Event Transcript

View the 2014 Event Photos