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Banco Popular donates branch to Instituto Nueva Escuela

Banco Popular has donated the building that formerly housed its Paseo de Diego branch in Río Piedras to the Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE) on August 14.

The institution has received support from Popular for more than 10 years and is dedicated to transforming public school education in Puerto Rico with faculty who are trained and certified in Montessori pedagogy.

“The donation of the BPPR building in Río Piedras to INE means a lot to us,” said INE Executive Director Ana María García-Blanco. “This is our ‘home,’ the home of teachers who serve the country’s public schools, the home of groups of families and community leaders who come together to dream about their schools. What was a cherished ‘branch’ in town is now becoming a center of action. It is a tremendous gift of life for us and for the generations that come after – having a safe home in Río Piedras, near the [University of Puerto Rico (UPR)], that will contribute to the country’s new school. We are deeply grateful.”

INE has operated from the second floor of this Banco Popular branch for more than a decade.

“For Banco Popular, it is very significant to donate a space with such history and in such an important urban area as Río Piedras,” said Ignacio Álvarez, president and CEO of Popular Inc. “As a financial institution, since our beginnings, we have supported and invested in the well-being of our customers, employees and communities. We know that the excellent work by the INE will continue to thrive with this new home.”

This bank branch has been closed since the mid-2000s due to the existence of two other branches nearby — one within the UPR and another at the Río Piedras square.

“We are delighted to contribute this property to continue to support the undeniable legacy of Instituto Nueva Escuela of fighting for outstanding public education. At Banco Popular Foundation, we have been supporting innovative projects like INE’s and collaborations that promote community development led by its members for over four decades,” said Richard Carrión, chairman of the boards of Popular Inc. and Banco Popular Foundation.

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