Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS) mourns the passing of a dear friend and champion for the Latina community, former Commissioner Sandy Colón Peltyn. We offer our deepest condolences to her family, and it is with tremendous honor and affection that we remember her passion and dedication to the fight for an American Latino Museum on the National Mall.

Dame Colón Peltyn was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She performed around the world as a singer, and hosted television and talk shows in the United States and Puerto Rico. She was appointed to serve on the commission for a National American Latino Museum by President Barack Obama, and was an outspoken advocate for celebrating Latino history and culture in the United States. Her vivacity and energy was a joy to all who knew and worked with her.

Ms. Colón Peltyn most recently served as the principal in charge of business development, marketing, political affairs, and community relations for DeSimone Consulting Engineers in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was active in the Las Vegas philanthropic and cultural community, raising over ten million dollars for charities and organizations in the area. She has been honored as “Woman of the Year” by the Epicurean Club, The College of Southern Nevada, and the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, “The Hispanic of the Year” by the Latin Chamber of Commerce, and the “Volunteer of the Year” by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.  She has been featured as one of the “Twelve Most Influential Hispanic Women in the Nation” in Temas Magazine of New York, and as one of the “Twenty Most Influential Women in Southern Nevada” and “Socialite of the Year” for her charitable work by Las Vegas Magazine. She was knighted as “Dame of Grace,” for the Order of St. John by Prince Henri Constantine de Vigo Paleologo for her humanitarian work.

“Our dear friend, Sandy, was a force of nature. Her joy and exuberance were infectious, and her smile would light up the room when she walked in. She was loved by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her, and her extraordinary life is an inspiration to all. She was a fierce advocate for others throughout her life as a bold leader and a true force for change,” said Danny Vargas, Chairman of the FRIENDS board. “She was a proud Puerto Rican Latina and a proud American, and while we mourn her passing, we celebrate a life very well lived.”