Mario Bueno honored for serving community, inspiring others to follow


“I’m truly humbled by this unexpected honor from the Murray Family. I’m also very grateful to family, peers, board, and community members who have welcomed me and worked collaboratively to make a difference,” said Mario Bueno, executive director of Progreso Latino in Central Falls.

Bueno is the 2021 Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Rhode Island Foundation. The honor is in recognition of Bueno’s long commitment to helping Rhode Islanders with cultural and language barriers and economic challenges.

“Mario’s remarkable dedication to serving his community is an inspiring standard for others to follow. We take great pride in honoring him for his drive and his accomplishments,” said Paula McNamara, daughter of Terrence and Suzanne Murray, who along with her family established the Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Foundation.

Bueno has worked at Progreso Latino since 1994. Under his leadership, the organization has developed programs to address both emerging and systemic needs of Blackstone Valley residents, including social determinants of health, citizenship classes, and workforce development. In addition, it offers preschool and after-school education programs and addresses the unique needs of the undocumented community.

“Working together will only make us stronger in facing adversity and Progreso Latino has represented such an important place for community to meet and support one another,” said Bueno.

Bueno serves on numerous boards, including the Governor’s Workforce Board, Care New England, Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research and Blackstone Valley Community Health Care.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million. For more information, visit