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Celia Cruz Makes History: First Hispanic on U.S. Currency

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Celia Cruz continues to make Latinos proud. This week it was announced that she will be the first Hispanic to be on an American currency and will appear on a quarter dollar in 2024.

American media reported that the Cuban singer, born in Havana in 1925 and who emigrated to the United States due to her stance against the Castro regime, was selected by the U.S. Mint for its “American Women Quarters Program” initiative.  

For the program, the institution issues 25-cent pieces each year to honor five “ethnically, racially and geographically diverse” women.

“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way,” said Mint director Ventris C. Gibson, in a statement reviewed by media outlets such as NPR.

She added, “the women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”

Celia Cruz and other renowned women

Along with Celia Cruz, the other four chosen to appear on the coin are Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first non-white woman to become a U.S. Congresswoman; Mary Edwards, surgeon, civil rights activist and abolitionist; Reverend Pauli Murray, poet, writer and lawyer; and Zitkala-Sa, known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, writer, composer and Native American rights activist.

Celia Cruz died in 2003 at the age of 77. EFE news agency explained that “the designs for the 2024 quarter dollar coins will be unveiled in mid-2023.”

Williams Perdomo es periodista y escritor, especializado en las fuentes Política y Cultura.