The Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) is mourning Carmen Pacheco Medeiros, a community leader, and educator who served as a member of the MAPS Board of Directors for the past 20 years and played a crucial role in the early years of the organization. Mrs. Medeiros peacefully passed away at 89 years old on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Born in Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, the Azores, on October 23, 1932, Medeiros immigrated to the United States at the age of 20. Shortly after, she married Joseph Medeiros, with whom she raised five children, all while pursuing her academic career. She began her studies at Boston State College and earned a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University. Carmen was a kindergarten teacher at the Harrington School for 28 years, retiring in 2002.
After her retirement, Mrs. Medeiros poured herself into supporting many social causes, especially within her beloved Portuguese community. She soon rejoined the MAPS Board of Directors, where over the past 20 years, she served as a fierce and passionate community advocate.
“I feel deeply grateful for the many wonderful memories of Carmen’s beautiful laughter, warm hugs, and her great love of life and those around her,” said Paulo Pinto, MPA, MAPS Executive Director. “I am forever grateful for her lifetime of dedicated service to our community as a proud teacher and as a founder and longtime member of the MAPS Board of Directors. She deeply loved MAPS and truly enjoyed the conversations at our Board Meetings, the lunches with our seniors, and dressing up for our annual Galas.”
“She was a force of nature and a role model of what it means to support your community, not only as a board member and volunteer but throughout her professional career as well,” said Susan Pacheco, President of the MAPS Board of Directors. “Our community is poorer today due to her loss. We send our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. We will dearly miss her friendship, her wit, her dedication, and her contagious passion for social work.”
Throughout her many years as an educator, Medeiros was a source of comfort and reassurance to many families and children, including MAPS Board Member Patricia De Oliveira.
“When my family moved to Cambridge from Brazil, Carmen was there to welcome us to our new school and relay important information in Portuguese to newly-arrived families. I remember her cheering on her students every time they learned a new word or phrase in English,” she recalled. “I saw that same joy for the success of her community as a fellow board member of MAPS. Carmen will always be an example of what it means to be a member of a community.”
A memorial service for Mrs. Medeiros will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the St. Anthony’s Church, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue in Cambridge, at 11:00 am. MAPS is profoundly thankful that, In place of flowers, her family has requested that condolences be sent in the form of contributions in memory of Carmen to her beloved MAPS at 1046 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139.
MAPS has served the Portuguese-speaking communities of Massachusetts and others since 1970. The organization offers a wide range of free health and social services through its six offices in Cambridge, Somerville, Brighton, Dorchester, Framingham, and Lowell. To learn more, visit maps-inc.org.