María Meléndez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

María Meléndez Altieri
135th Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
Assumed office
12 January 2009[1]
Preceded byFrancisco Zayas Seijo
Personal details
Born1950 (age 69–70)
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
NationalityPuerto Rican
Political partyNew Progressive Party (PNP)
Spouse(s)Rafael Arturo Mateu Cintrón (former)[2]
EducationUniversity of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus (BS)
University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine (DMD)
ProfessionPolitician, dentist
WebsiteMunicipality of Ponce (Spanish)

María Eloisa Meléndez Altieri (born December 26 1950[citation needed]), also known as Mayita, is the current mayor of the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. She was elected during the Puerto Rican general elections of 2008,[3] becoming the first woman elected to the office in Ponce's political history. She is also the first mayor of a party other than the Popular Democratic Party in Ponce since 1989, when Rafael Cordero Santiago became mayor. This is Mayita's second candidacy in politics on the island and her first electoral win. In the Puerto Rico's 2004 general election, Mayita presented her candidacy for a senatorial seat representing Puerto Rico's 5th district, but lost in her bid for the position.


Meléndez Altieri was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.[4] She was the daughter of Eloísa Altieri Brau and José Luis Meléndez Mena. Meléndez studied secondary education in the city of Bayamón. She obtained her high school diploma at Colegio Santa Rosa in 1969 with high honors. Meléndez studied at the UPRRP College of Natural Sciences where she earned a bachelor of science degree in 1973. After graduating with a degree in dental medicine from the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine, she worked as a dental assistant until she established her own dental practice in Ponce.[5]


Under her administration, construction of the $4.5 million Parque Ecológico Urbano (English: Urban Ecological Park) was started and completed. She called the construction of the park one of the five "signature" projects of her administration.[6]

Another signature project of her administration was the Sistema Integrado de Transportación del Sur (SITRAS) (English: Southern Integrated Transportation System).[7]

In all, Melendez Altieri identified five signature projects of her administration:

  1. ) Acueducto Municipal del Norte (Northern Municipal Zone Aqueduct) at a cost of $5 million
  2. ) Sistema Integrado de Transportación del Sur (SITRAS) mass transit, at $1.66 million the initial phase
  3. ) Parque Ecológico Urbano, at an investment of $4.5 million
  4. ) Ciudad Deportiva at an initial cost of $4.5 million
  5. ) The restoration of the Juan Bigas Building (old Plaza del Mercado) to convert it into "Ponce Servicios" at an undisclosed amount of money

The entire penta-project effort went under the name "Ponce Avanza" and the permanent structures have an assignment of $177 million.[8]

Acueducto del Norte envisions bringing round-the-clock drinking water to the residents of the northern mountainous sections of the municipality. It is expected to serve communities from the easternmost community of Hogares Seguros in the northeastern Barrio of Anón to the northwestern community of Santas Pascuas in the northernmost part of Barrio Guaraguao just south of the border with Adjuntas, and from the southern community of Paraíso in Barrio Machuelo Arriba, to the municipal boundaries with Adjuntas, Utuado and Jayuya. It includes a new water purification plant in the Burenes sector of Barrio Tibes, that would be using water from Río Portugués and Río Inabón in Ponce, and from Río Jauca in the Adjuntas/Jayuya area, and will also use water from four other water purification plants on Guaraguao, Burenes (Tibes), Hogares Seguros (Anón), and Real Anón (Anón).[9]


She was married to Rafael Arturo Mateu Cintrón.[2] She has two daughters, Ana Margarita Mateu Melendez and Maria del Mar Mateu Melendez.[10] Each of her two daughters are officially titled "The First Lady of Ponce".[11]


  1. ^ Mayita ofrece su mensaje de logros. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b Avalan millonaria exención contributiva. Reinaldo Millán. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  3. ^ Alex Figueroa Cancel (5 November 2008). "Mayita se impone en Ponce". Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  4. ^ Históricas las elecciones en Ponce
  5. ^ Celebridades del Sur y el país: Evocan con orgullo su primer empleo. Carmen Cila Rodríguez. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 1 September 2010. Year 28, No. 1396. Page 20. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. ^ Encaminados los trabajos del parque ecológico. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  7. ^ Inversión millonaria en Ponce para el sistema de transporte colectivo. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  8. ^ Municipio de Ponce con déficit menor. Michelle Estrada Torres. 31 May 2011. Primera Hora. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  9. ^ Ponce: agua al final de la tubería. Darisabel Texidor Guadalupe. 4 February 2014. Primera Hora. 18 February 2014.
  10. ^ Hon. María E. Meléndez Altieri, Alcaldesa: Municipio Autónomo de Ponce. Camara de Comercio de Puerto Rico. nd. Accessed 11 October 2017.
  11. ^ Abren centro de distribución de suministros en Ponce. 3 October 2017. Accessed 11 October 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Francisco Zayas Seijo
Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
Succeeded by