Passaic, NJ- During an emotional street naming ceremony on August 28th, The City of Passaic presented the designation of "Alejandro 'papo' Aquino Corner" at Hope Avenue and Jackson Street. Councilwoman Maritza Colon-Montanez, on behalf of Mayor Lora, delivered the proclamation. Mr. Aquino had been a staple of the community, operating his store, Las Marias, at the corner of Hope Avenue and Jackson Street since 1970. Mr. Aquino's family, including his nine children, grandchildren, cousins, and friends, attended the street naming ceremony to witness this momentous occasion.
Mr. Aquino was a pioneer for the city of Passaic. Initially a factory worker in Brooklyn, New York, Alejandro ‘Papo’Aquino decided to pursue a better life, leading him to open Las Maria’s grocery store on the corner of Hope Avenue and Jackson Street, named after his birthplace. Mr. Aquino was recognized for his kindness and friendliness, building customer trust. When customers couldn't afford groceries, he would allow them to pay later when they received their paychecks. His passing was considered a tragic loss not only to his family but also to the community.
Six years after the passing of Mr. Aquino, Las Maria's storefront had been closed and was recently sold. Ms. Aquino thanked Mayor Lora and the City for making this designation possible. The family felt appreciative and deeply honored to preserve their father's legacy. Adderly Aquino expressed, " I'm honored that the Mayor and the town approved this to honor our father for the rest of our lives. His name is going to be alive, and he is going to be a legend on this street".
The event concluded with a balloon release following the proclamation unveiling of the new street sign designating the corner as ‘Alejandro ‘Papo’ Aquino. ’a live mariachi band performed emotional songs to commemorate the memory of Alejandro 'Papo' Aquino. For more information, please visit: https://www.cityofpassaic.com/