Five centuries in the future, visitors to a crypt in Puerto Rico may stumble across a mahogany plaque, bearing the names Santos Anacleto Nieves Cordero and Hilda Nieves Pellot. Although visitors might guess from the engravings that Hilda loved elephants and Santos worked in agriculture for most of his life, the plaque does not tell the story of a granddaughter/great granddaughter an ocean away in Monticello, New York who lovingly created and hand-engraved the plaque in tribute to her paptio y mami.
Greish Valentin Villafane, a Monticello High School student, used the skills that she learned in Don Waddell’s Woodwork and Manufacturing class to create an engraved mahogany plaque compromised of five pieces put together with dado joints and then latticed together with polyurethane adhesives and bronze screws.
The plaque will replace a small and barely legible marker that currently marks Santos and Hilda’s final resting place. With proper care, it can withstand 500 years of the elements.