Anna Vieira Cabral Spencer
Anna Cabral Spencer’s home in North Providence, a home she built with her own wits and hands for herself and her family of sons, became a haven for many. The family has lost track of how many people from the Cape Verde Islands stayed with them.
Anna helped them to find employment and a place to live. Sometimes she sponsored entire families. Some stayed with her for up to five years. Anna would make countless trips to the Cape Verdean Consulate in Boston, fill out papers for visa renewals, and accompany people to attorneys’ offices and to court. She was a volunteer interpreter at the International Institute.
In 1998 the Mayor of the City of Providence recognized her when she received a Citizen Citation for “contributions as a guiding light in the dynamic Cape Verdean communities.” In that same year she received a Po D’Terra Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Cape Verdean Cultural Exchange & Education Project.
Every year Anna sends three barrels of clothing, food, pots and pans to people in need in Cape Verde. She pays the steerage fee for the barrels and the delivery costs for when they reach the islands.