Francisco Rico-Martínez, 1958-2021

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Francisco, who died in his home surrounded by his loved ones in the afternoon of Friday, August 13, 2021 at the age of 63.

Because of COVID-19, attendance at the funeral will be by invitation only, but will be live streamed at on Fri., Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. Visitation will be at St. John’s Dixie Cemetery and Crematorium Chapel, 737 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON on Thurs., Aug. 26 from 7:15 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers a donation to the FCJ Refugee Centre to build on Francisco’s Legacy would be appreciated:

The youngest son of the late Manuel de Jesús Rico Ayala and María Teresa Martínez Viuda de Rico, loving husband of Dolores (Loly) Elizabeth Bolaños de Rico, father of three children, Manuel Alejandro Rico Bolaños, Ana Teresa Rico Bolaños (Mark) and Giovanni Francisco Rico Bolaños (Karla), influential grandfather to Cassandra Elena Rico-Simbulan, Zoë Camila Rico-Hernandez, and Mateo Francisco Xavier Rico-Hernandez, Francisco was born in the city of Santa Ana, El Salvador in 1958.

He was a pacifist revolutionary who was a trained lawyer in El Salvador and had a Master’s in Economy from Costa Rica. He was forced to leave his beloved country in 1990 due to his work as a defender of Human Rights during the El Salvadorian Civil war. Francisco came to Canada with his pregnant wife and two children as refugees.

As he established himself and his family in Canada, he became painfully aware of the plight of migrants in Canada. With great pride and with the help of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), as well as his adoring wife, they founded what is now known as the FCJ Refugee Centre almost 30 years ago. This gained him many accolades including being the first refugee to be President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a recipient of the YMCA Peace Medallion and the William P. Hubbard Race Relations award.

As a committed husband, loving father, and joyous grandfather, Francisco lived to better the lives of everyone he would encounter, specifically those who were marginalized. Francisco was steadfast in the face of injustice making sure that all who could hear him would be aware.

An Advocate for a just and fair immigration system, he would educate anyone who would hear him on the rights and the plight of migrants, not just in Canada but around the world.

Francisco leaves a Legacy of love and hope.

The family would like to thank the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care team at Mount Sinai as well Sonia and Bola (FCJ Youth network members) who were very caring and gave Francisco the dignified care he deserved, and to thank all of his many friends and colleagues who sent beautiful tributes and consoling messages.

If you want to leave a message in memory of Francisco or to support his family and friends, you can do so by sending an email to:
You can also share your thoughts through our social media.

Sending love and prayers to the family and community. He was an inspiration to me and I am thinking about you all. —Caroline Grinnell
Abrazos a la familia y un abrazo al cielo a Francisco, el de la gran voz y presencia, y que tan importante trabajo hizo en esta tierra por sus prójimos. —Flavia Mosuar
Thank you for your selfless work, Francisco. My thoughts are with you and Loly, your family, and everyone you\'ve helped over the years. —Katarina Vukobratovic
Loly and family, I am devastated to hear this news. Francisco was a gentle giant who made me feel so welcomed during my college placement at FCJ refugee centre. My thoughts and prayers go to you. I am so sorry for your loss. —Erica Leon
Sending all my love and prayers to Francisco, his wife and family, and all who have known him. A truly beautiful human being. —Stacey Ferrier
Sending loving care and prayers. Thank you Francisco for all your work over all these years. It is truly an inspiration. —Jessica Mu
Francisco, thank you for your years of selfless service. Your work at FCJ has touched so many lives and given them a future. My prayers are with you and Loly. —Justin Toh
Sending love to Loly, family and friends. Thank you Francisco for all your work over all these years to support the most vulnerable! — Santiago Escobar
Our condolences to Loly and your whole family. He made Toronto a more caring and loving place and will always be an inspiration. —Cathy Tafler
I am so sorry to hear this. He and his family are pillars in our refugee protection and resettlement sector. Praying! —Kaylee Elise Perez
Sending my love to all his family and love ones. He did make a big change on my path, same like the refugee centre itself. —Sandrelly McLoughlin
Francisco and Loly. I can\'t imagine. I am so saddened to hear of this. Sending a big hug to everyone at FCJ. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. —Evellyn Tatiana Rosales
I\'m so sorry to hear this. Francisco was so kind to me when I was volunteering at FCJ and he\'s done so much good in this world. Sending peace to Francisco and Loly and all of their loved ones. —Meghan Storey
Sending a big hug to everyone at FCJ. Francisco has made such a big impact in the lives of countless vulnerable people, and I know how much everyone at FCJ loves him. What sad news... —Keith Macmillan
I am saddened to hear about the departure of Francisco. All my thoughs are with Loly and the family, including the great family community that they created. —Florence Bourdeau
My family and my prayers for him will not stop for the rest of our life. His kindness and friendly attitudes have been in our soul forever. God will bless him. Me Shaimaa and my husband Saleh love you Franscio and will miss your unique personality. —Shaimaa Al Dulaimi
I am so so sorry to hear this devastating news. You have been such a vital, inspiring, and compassionate advocate. I’m thinking of you guys and sending love. —Aviva Basman
This is sad, I can’t forget the first time I met him and what he has done for me. He played a part of my fight in Canada. I am praying for you. —Anessa Hanson - Ajenfijua
So sorry to hear this. I had a brief opportunity to meet Francisco when we asked him to speak at a legal clinic workshop for frontline agency workers. He brought so much passion and experience into sharing what FCJ does and what kind of work is needed to support refugees and their families. Thank you for being a leader in this community. My prayers are with you and the FCJ family. —Victoria CW
Muy triste noticia. Un gran abrazo para Loly y Francisco con todo mi amor. Uds han sido siempre un faro de luz para tantos refugiados e immigrantes. —Paulina Norma
Nuestra profunda solidaridad y aprecio al señor Francisco Rico, gran ser humano que ha orientado a muchos immigrantes con su conocimiento y generosidad. De igual forma su familia, siempre comprometida en la lucha por los derechos de los refugiados, Dios les bendiga. Sr. Rico, es usted un luchador, un hombre lleno de fortaleza, gracias por ser inspiracion con su ejemplo de vida. —Liliana Suarez
Es triste escuchar esto. Envío mi respeto, admiración y cariño profundo. Abrazos y fuerza a su familia. —Diana Rodríguez Pesca
Mucha fuerza para toda la familia. Solo quiero decirles que estoy muy agradecida y lo estaré por siempre por toda la ayuda que me dieron a mi y a mi familia cuando estuvimos en Canadá. Mis oraciones, un abrazo y que Dios los bendiga. —Wendy Villalta
Dear friends at FCJ Refugee Centre, It is hard to find words, but we all stand with you in love. Thank you for being family to Francisco and Loly. And thank you Francisco and Loly, mi hermano y mi hermana. —Rob Shropshire
Gran tristeza. Que Dios les brinde fortaleza y sea un tiempo de amor y consuelo. Mi respeto, admiración y gratitud por todo el trabajo y enseñanzas del maestro Francisco [...]. Impactó a muchísimas vidas. —Geral Din
Muy triste noticia. Francisco y Loly han hecho tanto bien en la vida de muchas personas, incluyendo a mi familia y muchos amigos. Les envío mi agradecimiento y que Dios les de mucha fuerza en estos momentos difíciles. —Zulma Alvarado
¡Muy triste esta noticia! Mis oraciones están con toda la familia Rico. Tuve el placer de ser su estudiante en GBC, maravillosa persona, gracias gracias gracias por todo el apoyo a refugiados y immigrates. Además de transmitir su conocimiento. Bendiciones a toda su familia. —Noemi Girong
Loly, lo siento mucho por tu familia y también lo siento por la falta que él va a hacer en la comunidad latina de Toronto. —Betty Ara
Francisco reminded all of us of the beauty of compassion and taking care of every human being in need of help. He rescued thousands of people who knocked on the door of the remarkable ark that Loly and he built shoulder to shoulder over 30 years. Words cannot describe how much we cared for him and will miss his smile, his advice and guiding direction. —Paul Bain
This is such sad news. Sending love to all in the FCJ family. —Louisa Taylor
My deepest condolences to the family. Su vida será recordada como una entrega voluntaria de servicio. El trabajo que ustedes han hecho en este país ha cambiado la vida de tantas personas y por eso ha sido tan fácil amarlos y sentir que son familia. Descanse en paz y fortaleza a la familia. —Silvia Porras
What sad news. Infinite thanks for your collaboration and dedication to all immigrants, you are an excellent person. God bless you. —Mari Aponte
Very sad to hear and a great lost to the community. My deepest condolences for the family of this great man. —Zergai Zma
Dios lo tenga en su gloria, excelente ser humano Tuve la oportunidad de ser atendida por él... Mis condolencias a Loly y a todo el equipo del FCJ Refugee Centre. —Gioconda Caridad Alfaro
There are no words to express the depth of this loss. Dear francisco, may you shine brightly from the heavens and provide light to those of us who stumble on earth in our search for justice for all. —Gloria Nafziger
My sincerest condolences to Lolly and the family. Francisco was one of my professors at Seneca college as well as his partner Lolly. Francisco, you have fought a good fight. Your contributions through FCJ to issues of migration that affects the marginalized and oppressed are long-lasting and profoundly appreciated. You will be missed but sleep well dear Francisco! —Marlene Mae Henry
I voluntered at FCJ in 2017. The 4 months I assisted there, Mr. Francisco was always willing to share their knowlegde and experience. A significant voice we all lost. —Marina Aragão
Cuánto lo siento. Francisco fue un ejemplo de cómo ser humano. Nos mostró a muchos el camino de la compasión, la justicia y el compromiso. Acompaño a Loly, a su familia y toda la comunidad de FCJ en oración y en el corazón. —Mauricio Palacio
Oh Francisco. The refugee and immigrant community will miss your unflinching support and loyalty. My sincere condolences to Loly and your entire family + the community you served to the end. Travel safely to the Light. —Khwaka Kukubo
My warmest condolences to the family members. May Allah grant you the best from Him SWT. RIP Mr Francisco. —Saleh Al-Juboori
I live in Vancouver but heard Francisco speak at a P2P Migration conference years ago and he was so engaging and passionate. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve followed FCJ on Facebook since that time. Keep up your essential work in his memory. Thinking of you all. —Suzanne Huot
I am saddened to hear about the departure of my friend, Francisco Rico-Martinez, one of the fiercest defenders of refugee rights in Canada and in Americas. We will miss you my friend! Thank you for all you have done for our country and you have touched and saved so many lives! —Sharmarke Dubow
Francisco was a mentor, leader, comrade for us and for our community. Current and future generations will remember him with gratitude, and will learn from his genuine and tireless advocacy for migrants and refugees. —Luis Alberto Mata
I am speechless how to describe your kindness and friendly attitudes, Francisco. My warm condolences to Loly and all her family members. What I learned from you will never die. Rest in Peace. A big lost to our community. —Shaimaa Al Dulaimi
This is so heartbreaking. What a wonderful advocate for refugees. He made a difference and he will be missed. —Alexandra Dawley
Descase en paz, Don Francisco Rico. No me cabe la menor duda de que se encuentra en la presencia de nuestro señor Jesús. Y mi más sentido pásame a su familia. —Eve Rodríguez
I am so sorry for lost the great heart and nice person ever I know Francisco. I work with this great family and I was like their daughter. —Rana Hassani
Vuela alto, Francisco. Tu labor y ensenanzas quedarán en todos los que te conocieron. Francisco Rico, Presente. —Belia Berrocal
My heart aches to hear this news. Our thoughts and hearts are with you Loly Rico during this difficult time. The world has lost a truly inspirational man. May he Rest In Peace. —Zainah Alsamman
On behalf of everyone at the Foundation, we send our deepest condolences to Francisco\'s family and the whole FCJ community. Francisco will be remembered as an inspiration to many and a phenomenal advocate for refugees and migrant workers. —The Law Foundation of Ontario
On behalf of everyone at 211 Central - Findhelp, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Francisco\'s family and the entire FCJ community. Francisco was an incredible leader and advocate in the movement to advance justice and human rights for newcomers. He will truly be missed. —Findhelp Socialmedia
You walked this earth for too short of a time Francisco. In that short time, the impact and the legacy you left behind will be remembered for decades to come. I thank God that I had the chance to know you and I am a better person because of what you taught us. Even after so many years since you taught me, I remember all the lessons and kind words you always had to share. I wish that your family finds the strength to deal with your loss and I hope that you rest in eternal peace and love. —Daysi Campoverde
Refugees and migrants with precarious status have suffered a tremendous loss today with Francisco Rico\'s passing. He was an excellent role model, a selfless individual and community leader of great stature. RIP our dear friend! My deapest sympathy to Loly and children and to all who mourn his passing! —Deya Benavides
So grateful to have met this fabulous human. Compañero Francisco, comrade in all fights for justice, your voice, profound, compelling, inspiring , now echoes from afar. I am /we are listening and we will not stop fighting. Who is going to tease me now when I speak Argentinean Spanish? Gracias totales for being you, vocal, witty, courageous, compassionate. Abrazos fuertes a Loly y toda la familia. —Mariana Martinez Vieyra
So sad to hear the news. Francisco was one of the dedicated person among his lovely, cooperative and supportive family in bringing a profound change in the lives of several immigrants from several corners of the world in the context of immigration and sheltering matters. May the Almighty God rest him in eternal peace in heaven. —Mihreteab Kidane
Compadre Francisco Rico-Martinez, siempre PRESENTE! Your example will always inform the FCJ Refugee Centre\'s work, and live on in our broken hearts and steadfast efforts of solidarity. Abrazos para Loly, Giovanni, Ana, and Manuel - and hundreds upon hundreds more... —Joe Gunn
Le recordaremos con esa sonrisa y buen ánimo que le caracterizaba. A mi me ayudo tanto y me dio siempre su apoyo. Que descanse en paz. Le recordaremos y le extrañaremos. Deseo que su familia encuentre consuelo y paz. Es un gran hombre y dejó un legado enorme. —Erika Araujo de Sanchez
Hoy el mundo ha pedido un verdadero héroe. No solo será irremplazable, sino será recorcardado y llorado por el inmenso vacío que se queda por su ausencia física. Un ser humano que tuvo la dicha de vivir en verdad y en espíritu cumpliendo en vida su proposito divino. Mis condolencias a toda su linda familia en especial a Loly, su companera siempre fiel y leal. Gracias, gracias y gracias por compartir sus almas con todo ser humano en necesidad. —Clara de T.
Lamentable pérdida. Gracias por brindarnos el apoyo y la ayuda que necesitábamos en esos momentos para poder estar en este gran país. Exelente persona, siempre tendrá una luz en su camino. Mucha fuerza para su familiares, esposa y su equipo de trabajo. —J Roberto Coronaa
RIP Francisco. You’ve fulfilled your time here on earth and now you can continue to look over all of us. My deepest condolences to the family. —Xavy Browne
I met him many years ago. A warm gregarious man of great intellect and heart. We are greater for his time with us but surely lessened by his leaving us. My condolences to his family. He is sorely missed. —Anne Brittain
Francisco lived with courage, commitment and great zest for life. Deepest sympathies to Loly, their family and all who loved Francisco. —Christine Almeida
My condolences to Loli and all the family. I will pray for his soul and for all who will weather the grief with great memories. —Jetty Oommen
I am so sorry! What an incredible loss for our world. Thank you, Francisco, for the wonderful footprints that you have made for us to follow. With all my heart, thank you. —Kukuk Niniki
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Francisco. He will be greatly missed. My prayers and thoughts are with Loly, his family, all those at the FCJ Refugee Centre, the community he served and all those whose lives were touched by his kindness and compassion. Rest In Peace. —Cristina Martins
I am so sorry to hear about the death of Francisco. My deepest sympathy Loly and family. I will hold his love, passion and compassion as my guiding light. —Helen Smith McIntyre
Wishing Loly, family and all at FCJ peace and courage at Francisco\'s passing. He, his words and his actions - most of all - will be greatly missed. —Colleen French
Una noticia que nos rompe el corazón. Mucha fortaleza a la familia. —Alexa Álvarez
So sad to see this news. My prayers are with Loly and his family. —Carolina Gil Campos
No tengo duda de que Dios ha recibido con los brazos abiertos a la persona que entregó su vida por el bien de los demás. Sr. Francisco, siempre estará presente en nuestras oraciones y estaremos eternamente agradecidos. —Gala Gabby\'s
Mi más sentido pésame para Loly , su hijos y nietos. Descansa en paz mi querido Francisco Rico Martínez. —Dorita Vásquez
Vivirá en nuestros corazones por siempre. —Ana y Gustavo Arbizu
Mi sentido pésame, a la familia, y desde luego a todo el equipo de FCJ Refugee Centre. Mis sentidas condolencias. —Olguita Galicia
Farewell our dear Sir F. Rico, whose services are unmeasurable. Thank you... —Ma Ria Tajon
I am so sorry for losing this wonderful person. I am sending my sincere adolescent to the family. —Lilymoo Htoo
En nombre de Dominican Canadian Pro Culture Association reciban nuestro pésame. —Puro Tejada
My deepest condolences. Wonderful person and guiding light to so many. RIP Francisco. —Paul Salvatori
Mis sinceras condolencias a Loly Rico y demás familia por el descaso eterno de un gran ser humano como ha sido Francisco Rico. Paz en su morada eterna y brille para el la Luz perpetua. —Virginia Gainza
Francisco, un immence merci pour tt ces espoirs que tu a rallumés chez ces personnes réfugiées. Loly be prood and courage pour la suite. —Sylvain Thibault
Such a huge loss! May he rest in peace. My condolences to family. —Sinthu Srikanthan
My heartfelt condolences to Loly and the whole family. A significant loss for the community. Rest in peace. —Laura Albanese
Nuestro más sentido pésame a la familia. Se fue un excelente ser humano. Será recordado por muchas personas a las que nos guio con su gran sabiduría y su inmenso corazón. Gracias Francisco, paz en su tumba. —Familia Diaz Correal
Rest in peace appreciated friend. —Freddy Rod
Paz en su tumba , gran ser humano. Condolencias a la familia FCJ Refugee Centre. —Claudia Rojas
My deepest condolences, what a true advocate, a gift to this world. He will be missed. —Sonia PB
Oh no... I am sorry to hear that... Un Ggran ser humano. Mis condolencias para su familia. Especialmente para Loly. —Diana Solorzano
Dios lo tenga cerquita de él ya que de seguro se ganó sus alitas. Yo solo lo vi una vez pero con sus consejos esperanzadores me animó a dar el paso y ahora estoy acá con mi hija decidida a dar la lucha. Gracias por sus consejos Sr Francisco y mis condolencias a su familia y comunidad. —Angela Ricalde Lobaton
Una gran pérdida no solo para la comunidad hispana, sino para comunidad en general! Nuestras condolencias para su familia de sangre y la gran familia extendida de todas las naciones que tienen en Canadá. —Celia Guevara de Preza
Abrazo solidario para Loly Rico y sus hijos. —Isabel Inclan
May your gentle soul rest with the Lord and you receive the promised hundredfold. —Denis Claivaz
Mi sentido pésame para la familia y todo el personal FCJ Refugee Centre. Muchos tuvimos la ayuda de su centro de refugi , que en paz descanses, Francisco Rico. —Lorena García
I am so sorry to hear about you leaving us, Francisco. The world was a better place with you in it. Your legacy will live forever fierce, justice warrior. You were a mentor and a teacher a gentle soul and a joy to be around. I will miss you so much. —Aleks Dughman-Manzur
Tragic. A passionate fighter for refugees. Rest in peace. —Ghezae Hagos Berhe
My condolences to Francisco’s family. What a tragic loss of such a wonderful person. —Lee Tenenhouse
My deepest condolences to Loly and family. Words are inadequate. I am thinking of you and thankful for the life of Francisco, whose commitment will continue to inspire us all. Un abrazo grande. —Kathy Price
I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending infinite amount of love to Francisco‘s family and friends. —Sathya Tk
Rest in peace, good man. —Alexander Duarte
Thank you for everything, Francisco. Descanse en Paz. —Adilenne Rosales
So sad to learn of the passing of Francisco. My condolences to Loly and his family. The refugee and refugee advocate community will sorely miss him. Rest in peace, \"good and faithful servant\" (Mat 25:21). —Jennifer Ardon
Such tremendous loss. Yet the legacy Francisco leaves is enormous and will last in all our hearts and lives. Solidarity and love with and for Loly, Francisco\'s family, and the FCJ Family. —Loren Balisky
My deepest condolences to Loly and family! Got no words for this tragedy. Thank you for all the great work over all the years! RIP Francsco. —Gual Tekleberhan
Mis más sinceras condolencias a todos ustedes y su familia, que Dios les de fuerza y fortaleza para estos momentos difíciles, guarden siempre en su corazón todos los momentos, alegrías y enseñanzas que el les dejó. Tuve la oportunidad de conocerlo y era un gran ser humano. Un abrazo. —Claudia Corado
This is so sad! Dear Francisco! you may rest in peace! My condolences to all the family members! —Veda Zabih
¡Mi corazón está triste! Un ángel guerrero que ahora tiene sus alas. Loly y familia FCJ Refugee Centre que Dios los fortalezca en esta nueva etapa y los bendiga para que sigan este proyecto con el mismo amor y valentía como siempre lo han hecho. ¡Abrazo fuerte! —Janneth X Gonzalez T
Such a tragic loss. My thoughts to Loly and their family and loved ones. —Jenny Jeanes
Que en paz descanse. Gracias por todo lo que nos enseñaste. Mucho amor y bendiciones para ti, Loly. —Sergio Elmir
Mis sinceras condolencias, Loly y familia. Recordaremos a Francisco como el buen amigo y el incansable luchador por los derechos de los refugiados. Nuestras oraciones y pensamientos estan con uds. —Jose García
My deepest condolences to Loly, his family and to his loved ones. Francisco was a a wonderful advocate for refugees. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Francisco. —Catherine Gauvreau
It\'s a huge loss for us all. Our deepest condolences and a huge hug for Loly and family... Rest in peace, great man. —Massimiliano Fragni
A great man who helped me a lot in legal matters during my time in Canada. My deepest condolences to all of the family. —V M Aboobakkar
I am absolutely gutted by this news. We are all with you during this time. Francisco, you are a shining example of a life lived beautifully. Thank you for your leadership, mentorship, and compassion. Rest sweetly. —Leslie Anderson