Joyce Bolaños

Joyce was born in Peru, moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eventually settled in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where her family still lives today. She has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, South America, and Europe as a member of Puerto Rico’s National Fencing Team.

Joyce began her undergraduate studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1981 and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Marketing at Universidad Interamericana [San Juan, Puerto Rico] in 1986. She is a board member of The Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College in Hartford and serves on the International Fencing Federation Promotion, Communication, and Marketing Commission [Lausanne, Switzerland]. Joyce is part-owner of the Enfield Fencing Club and has a garlic farm with her husband Dan.

In this photo Joyce is with 3-time individual Gold Olympic Saber Fencer Aron Szilagyi [London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016, and Tokyo 2020] at the FIE Congress Gala in Lausanne, Switzerland Nov. 27, 2021.

Where were you born? 
I was born in Peru, but grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

What do you love about where you are from?
I love the Caribbean beaches.

If someone was traveling to where you are from for 24 hours, what would you recommend? 
The island of St. John: half of it is part of the National Forest system and so it has been preserved intact. So beautiful.

What would you tell them to do/where would you tell them to go?
It is a place to relax and enjoy nature and sunshine. There are trails and petroglyphs.

What do you love about where you live now?
The huge trees that surround the farm. 

What is your favorite thing about day-to-day life at Suffield Academy? 
I love to teach.

What is the first thing you do every morning when you get to work? 
Walk up the 3 flights of stairs to my classroom. 

Who is your favorite artist? 
Sting, because he sang “Desert Rose” to me at Le Grand Palais in Paris.

Which of your roles at Suffield Academy do you relish the most? 
Spanish Teacher

What is something your Suffield Academy family might not know about you?
I am a member of the Promotion, Marketing, and Communication Commission of the FIE (International Fencing Federation). I just got re-elected for another term to promote the sport at the Paris Summer Olympic Games in 2024.

What is your favorite book? 
Hard to say as there have been many.

What is the one word that you live by? 
Awareness

What is something you believe one can never over-invest in? 
Self-care

What is your favorite hobby? 
Fencing Foil

What advice would you give a new teacher at Suffield Academy? 
Patience is golden! lol

What is the most important life lesson for someone to learn? 
To love oneself

What is/are your prized possession(s)? 
I don’t put value on things.

What is your favorite song of all time? 
“Desert Rose” by Sting

If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would you dine with? 
My uncle General de Division Andres Sanchez Savaresse of Peru

Who is your role model? Inspiration? 
My parents

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 
I would like to go back to Palermo, Sicily. It just felt like home. 

What is your favorite food? 
Ceviche

What has been the most interesting thing you have learned from a student? 
Resilience