Hear Our Houston

public generated
audio walking tours

Share |

Ripley House

download mp3

42 minutes

From 4410 Navigation to Ripley House

Felix, Nelly, and Bo Fraga lead a tour of Neighborhood Centers Inc. Ripley House describing its history from Rusk Settlement, their family history alongside it, and the programs that it has piloted in the City of Houston.

A painting of the old Rusk Settlement House by M.E. Shipnes

Children at Rusk Settlement House on Easter in the 1920s

Greco-Roman friezes from the first Ripley House building

Mr. Harbach's Ripley House

A member of the Senior Citizen group points out Felix Fraga (left) and the team playing baseball at Settegast Park

Elementary school classroom, tree in the courtyard, and ballet folklorico students taught by Nelly Fraga

Felix Fraga's parents attending a U.S. Citizenship class at Rusk Settlement

A mural created by Jesse Sifuentes and the Senior Citizen group


View Ripley House in a larger map

Bo Fraga

Bolivar Fraga was born in Houston, and raised in the East End. He attended Bellaire High School, where he was enrolled in the Foreign Languages Magnet Program, and was a member of the National Honor Society. Following high school, Bolivar attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in History, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. Bolivar’s active duty experience included serving as an Intelligence Officer at Scott AFB, IL, following 9/11 in support of air mobility operations into Afghanistan as part of the War on Terror (Operation Enduring Freedom). Upon completing his active duty service commitment, Bolivar separated from the Air Force to pursue a career in community service—first, as a faith-based community organizer in St. Louis, MO, and then, as the Community Developer of Neighborhood Centers Inc. Ripley House. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Bolivar holds Master degrees in Latin American Studies, Social Work, and Pastoral Studies. Remaining true to his passion for service and community development, Bolivar has worked for Neighborhood Centers Inc. since August 2009, first, as the Community Developer at the Ripley House Neighborhood Center and, presently, as the organization’s Civic Engagement Developer.


Felix Fraga

Felix Fraga was born in October of 1929, Fraga attended Rusk Elementary, and youth programs at Rusk Settlement House. He was a great baseball player, but chose to remain working in his community instead.
Fraga began working at the Rusk Settlement in 1946, and continued on at Ripley House Community Center, eventually serving as as Center Manager from 1970 to 1990. He later served as Vice President of External Relations for Neighborhood Centers Inc.
Fraga served as a HISD board member from 1990 to 1994 and as District H representative on Houston City Council from 1994 to€“ 1999. 
Fraga has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the Metro Salute to Hispanic Families and the Community Service Award by the Mexican American Bar Association, which he shared with two of his brothers, Lupe and Angel Fraga.Houston Community College Board of Trustees named the HCC campus at 301 Drennan Street was named the Felix Fraga Academic Campus in his honor. 


Nelly Moyano Fraga

Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Became a U.S. citizen in 1972. Social Worker. Married to Felix Fraga.  The mother of three sons, Fernando, (deceased), Carlos and Bolívar. Three grandchildren: Nicolás, Damian, and Amanda.

1979     Co-founder of Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico. Since 1989, Executive Director, a volunteer position to present.

1970    Co-founder of Ecuadorian Association of Houston

1987     President of the Ecuadorian Association of Houston.

1992     Vice-President of the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce.

1987     Co-Founder of Houston-Guayaquil Sister City Association.

1985     Comité Patriótico Mexicano; Public Relations Director and Chairperson of the project that erected the bust of Benito Juarez at the Rose Garden/Hermann Park.

1986     President of Houston-Guayaquil Sister City Association and Chairperson of the project that erected the bust of Vicente Rocafuerte at Rose Garden/ Hermann Park.

1990     Founded Cuidado Nutricional del Niño, a 501(c)3 with the mission of improving children’s nutrition.  Since its founding, she has been the Executive    Director.

1969     Volunteer with the American Red Cross, Women in Action.
             NCI Ripley House, Institute of Hispanic Culture, Pan American Round Table
             Channel 8, Hispanic Forum. Sheltering Arms.             


1993         Savvy Award
1999         Hispanic Women in Leadership/Hall of Fame
1999         Kumba House/Humanitarian Award
2002         Ohtli-Gobierno de Mêxico
2004         Premio Tesoro Pons/Arte y Cultura
2008         HCC/Legacy Award
2008         Sucesos/Mujer del Año
2009         AMIGA/ Community Service
2010         Texas Women in Power
2010         Navidad en el Barrio