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Rafael (Lito) Portillo VIEW PROFILE

Rafael (Lito) Portillo

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Rafael Jess Portillo, 62, San Salvador, El Salvador

Rafael Portillo found and enthusiastically served the Baha’i Faith in the United States, then in midlife returned to assist in the development of Baha’i communities in his native El Salvador. He passed away December 14, 2012.

A letter of tribute from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States says in part, “[W]e wish to convey our especial gratitude and admiration for his services to our beloved Faith … as a pioneer in the international field. Without doubt, [his] heartfelt dedication and love were keenly felt by those who knew him and will be fondly remembered.”

Born in 1950 and brought to the United States as a child, Rafael found his calling as a chiropractor and practiced in Burlingame, California, for a number of years. He also coached youth soccer.

A Baha’i since 1971, he taught the Faith enthusiastically. He joined several traveling teaching projects during the 1970s including in the deep South, in Guatemala and in Watsonville, California.

With his family he moved to San Salvador, El Salvador, in 1998. Traveling widely over the years to various locales in Central America, he also helped his family organize regular Baha’i Youth Workshop performances and later was active in developing Baha’i training institutes in the region.

Rafael Jess Portillo’s survivors, all of El Salvador or California, include his wife, Lisa Groger Portillo; two daughters, Joanna and Jessica; and a son, Michael.

Click here to see Rafael (Lito)'s last Profile entry.