Video courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
Maribel Lozada-Arzuaga was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico and migrated to the United States in 1981. She graduated from Thomas Edison High School with high honors and completed studies at the Community College of Philadelphia, La Salle University, and Temple University.
Living in the U.S. was nothing like Puerto Rico and that’s why she decided to join a Puerto Rican Folkloric Group to void the emptiness she felt about not living on her island. During this period Maribel started to appreciate the culture of her beloved Puerto Rico and whenever she had to perform she felt alive.
After living in the U.S. for 7 years, Maribel became interested in teaching children their traditional dances because she saw the lack of recreational opportunities for Puerto Rican youth. Also, she thought that teaching the youth about their cultural heritage using traditional dance as the medium was a good way to give youth a sense of identity and belonging. These were and are the reasons why Maribel has taught young people since 1988.
In addition, Maribel has worked with the following cultural organizations and groups; Taller Puertorriqueño, Congreso, Norris Square Community Alliance, Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, AMLA, Terruño Boricua Dance Group, Folklore Borica Dance Group. Latino Rhythm Dance Company, Ritmo y Raza Dance Company, Los Pleneros del Batey, Raíces Eternas Dance and Music Group, Los Bomberos de la Calle and Centro Nueva Creación, where she works as a director.
Maribel likes to spend time with her mother and brother, Brunilda and Plácido, her four children, Katsí, Lionel, Ivana, and Iesha, and her 4 grandchildren, Violet, Marcuz, Tyler, and Matteo.