Professor Ana Ofelia Rodriguez

This video is about Professor Ana Ofelia Rodriguez’s sister Myra Josephine Royal who died on Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988. The video segment resulted from an interview with Professor Ana Ofelia Rodriguez, who was nominated for an Illustrious Award.

The Illustrious Awards are bestowed on individuals who have done meaningful acts that inspire respect and admiration. Professor Rodriguez was unanimously chosen to receive the Illustrious award for her many contributions in advocacy, community service, and mentorship. She works at Broadway Housing Communities, helping facilities meet their housing and education needs. She was selected for being a highly respected educator and mentor who advocates for artists, grassroots leaders, students, writers, and diverse people from New York, surrounding communities, and beyond (to read more about Professor Ana Ofelia Rodriguez’s story, visit

During the interview about her life story and contributions, researcher Nestor Montilla, a scholar in residence at the Institute for Latino Studies, asked Professor Rodriguez about the saddest day of her life. The video illustrates that Professor Rodriguez answered the question by recounting how her sister Mayra Josephine Royal, born in the Dominican Republic, died on board the Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland. News accounts indicate that 189 victims were Americans. Pan Am Flight 103, which was scheduled to depart from London to New York, exploded in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 passengers, including 16 crew members aboard and 11 locals on the ground. Mayra was one of the crew members.

Media reports indicated a bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. The disaster, which became the subject of Britain’s most extensive criminal investigation, was believed to be an attack against the United States.

About the Illustrious Latino Project:

Latinos have been present in North America for more than five centuries, long before the United States’ founding in 1776. Remembered by achievement, if not by name, our ancestors were the men and women who first ranched cattle, introduced the metal plow, and developed irrigation systems. They innovated mining techniques, spun wool into blankets, produced the bounty of fields and factories, and defended our freedom. While many of their names may be lost to history, we must never forget their contributions to American civilization.

Latinos have also helped lay the groundwork for the practice of religion, law, and governance and the advancement of arts, sciences, education, commerce, sports, and virtually every other endeavor of American life, including the military. In this spirit, The Illustrious Latinos Project presents valuable examples of where we, as a people, have come from and how we have contributed to the community and national life.

Via its Tribute Journal, we highlight the stories of men and women who have advanced our collective struggle for dignity and equality, enriched the quality of our lives with their knowledge and entrepreneurship, and expressed our shared humanity through words, music, art, craft, and calling.

The Illustrious Tribute Journal is more than a collection of individual photos and stories. It is a collective narrative of the multiple ways we have succeeded by contributing to our communities, to the nation, to humanity. The journeys of the famous and the not-so-famous individuals featured here matter even more to us than their names or faces. They inspire all of us to pursue excellence, not for fame or recognition, but moved by our desire, as Latinos, and as Americans, to leave this world a better place than we found it. ILS invites you to share the fascinating stories filling the pages of the Illustrious Awards Journal as an impressive sample of the contributions Latinos have made to the United States of America and the world. For a printable copy visit, or