Special May 29 Issue- Report on Free Oscar Events in the US and Puerto Rico
IPRAC on the Move
Special Tribute to
Dr. Antonia Pantoja
Founder of ASPIRA
and Boricua College

June 1, 2012

Institute of Puerto Rican
Arts & Culture (IPRAC)


The Legacy Project, ASPIRA of Illinois, ALMA, Amigas Latinas Unidos, La Casa Norte, Puerto Rican Agenda, and Primera Iglesia Congregacional de Chicago ask that you set aside Friday, June 1, 2012 for a special tribute to the legendary Puerto Rican educator and activist Dr. Antonia Pantoja. She will be the 2012 Inductee to the Legacy Walk. For more information, please email Sonia Sánchez at: ssanchez@aspirail.org

Our Websites:


View our Photos on Flickr!

Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Over 30,000 pictures!)

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos HS
(Over 13,000 pics!)

IPRAC to Hold Planning Meeting for Barrio Arts Fest Wednesday June 6


This year, IPRAC will sponsor its annual Barrio Arts Fest which showcases the work of Puerto Rican artists and artisans, whose work will be available for sale. There will also be a series of performances during the weekend of September 15th and 16th. Brenda Torres, who has served as IPRAC's volunteer curator, is coordinating this event. For more information on the planning meeting as well as the Fest itself, please contact IPRAC at 773-486-8345 or email Brenda at brendat@iprac.org
You're invited to IPRAC's 1st Annual Family Day!


Architreasures and IPRAC have collaborated with master artists Antonio Martorell, Beto Torrens, Anabel Vázquez-Rodríguez and John Vergara to inspire you to create a mural with your family. This will be a fun activity for all. The murals will be displayed along the fence at IPRAC for the 34th Annual Puerto Rican People's Parade & Fiestas Patronales.
We look forward to seeing you on
Sunday, June 3rd from 11am - 3pm!

Please register below and share with your family and friends. For more information call Architreasures at 773.772.4416.
Guided tours of IPRAC and the surrounding Paseo Boricua community will be available at IPRAC with Eduardo Arocho serving as a docent.  If you're interested in arranging a tour for your organization, school or church, please contact IPRAC at 773-486-8345. 

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
2739-41 W. Division St
Chicago, Illinois 60622
P 773-342-8023
F 773-342-6609
Visit our blog

Find Puerto Rican Cultural Center on Facebook
Follow Puerto Rican Cultural Center on Twitter
View Puerto Rican Cultural Center Videos on YouTube
View Puerto Rican Cultural Center Photos on Flickr
High Profile Events to Commemorate Oscar López Rivera
Anniversary Imprisonment!

"31 Days for 31 Years"
Culminating Event for Oscar López Rivera 
Over 75 university students, community residents, family members and special guests gathered Tuesday evening, May 29, at the Batey Urbano, to celebrate the culminating event for "31 Days for 31 Years".

The ambitious joint effort of the Latin@ Coalition, Batey Urbano, and NBHRN began Saturday, April 28 when Alejandro Luis Molina, prisoner #1, entered the makeshift cell to begin his voluntary "incarceration" of 24 hours. Every subsequent "prisoner" was also watched by a "guard". While every guard wrote a letter to Oscar, some went further and reflected publically before the crowd on their experience in the cell.

One of the most moving reflections was made by Minister Abel Muhammad, the Latino Community liaison from the Nation of Islam, who
made the observation, "How could a man this beautiful, who has brought so many people together here and all over the world in the campaign for his freedom, be a terrorist?"

The reflections were interspersed with original poetry by Casandra Figueroa and Jessie Fuentes, Judy Diaz and Marisol Velez, also known as "Pinqy Ring.", all about Oscar. Many of the reflections that were written by the prisoners, as well as the artistic posters used to bring the message of Oscar's freedom to the anti-NATO march, were affixed to the surrounding walls, along with Oscar's paintings.


Lourdes Lugo and José E. López spoke, and while both are members of the family, Lourdes spoke as someone who had helped cater the meals for the "prisoners" in the cell and as someone who has been involved in the campaign for Puerto Rican political prisoners freedom for close to 20 years, and José as a person who the NBHRN asked to reflect on what was he doing the day Oscar was arrested and how that impacted the movement. 


Laura Ruth Johnson, a Network member that has been visiting Oscar for many years, read his message, a message that you can read in its entirety here, and that also traveled throughout the Puerto Rican Diaspora and Puerto Rico.


One can the find 31-second videos of each "prisoner's" reflection and photos on NBHRN's youtube and flickr sites, respectively.

Below is a short summary of some of the other events that happened on May 29.


Activists covered statues of 9 US presidents with orange t-shirts- the color of US prison uniforms, in front of the Capitol- with the message "Freedom for Oscar López Rivera NOW", the protesters, in the majority university students, summed up the demand of various political, social and religious sectors for the parole of López Rivera who has been in US jails for 30 years.

Raquel Delgado Valentín, one of the members of the group, said that the political prisoner will complete 31 years in prison today. "In Puerto Rico, though we may differ, we recognize people like Pedro Albizu Campos, Lolita Lebrón and Rafael Cancel Miranda for their love of country. In the same way we recognize figures like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi who were prisoners for the struggle for more rights for society. It's for that that we must look from another perspective at the case of Oscar López Rivera," said Aníbal López Correa, another member of the group.

He added, "Though when there are differences in ideological vision, Oscar's case transcends them and it obliges us as a people to demand justice and his immediate freedom. It's time to bring Oscar home."   


A press conference was also convoked at the Puerto Rican Bar Association, with representation form every sector of Puerto Rican society. (See above)  


In addition, a light plane carrying a huge banner proclaiming "freedom for Oscar López Rivera" flew over the Capitol, the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, the Puerto Rican Bar Association and other institutions.  

Teams of activists including the Human Rights Committee also hung large banners from overpasses and stood by the side of roads holding banners in Lares, Mayaguez and San Juan, among other cities.  

A mural was also painted in support of Oscar's struggle for freedom in his hometown of San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.



March/Candlelight Vigil for
Oscar López Rivera


The Orlando Chapter marched the streets of Orlando, Florida yesterday in support of the release of Oscar López Rivera. Yesterday marked the 31st anniversary of the incarceration of Oscar who is the longest held political prisoner in the world. NBHRN members and supporters began their march from Lake Eola to the Orlando City Hall Plaza where an emotional Candlelight Vigil ended the evening with hope for Oscar's immediate release.

During Tuesday's events, 31 Marchers were handcuffed representing the 31 years of Oscar's unjust incarceration. All 31 participants voiced their support for Oscar in an emotional plea for justice. In addition, a letter recently written by Oscar was read where Oscar expressed his sincere gratitude for the community's continued support for his liberation.  Others recited poetry and voiced their organizations' and personal support for the immediate release of Oscar. However, one the highlights of the evening was the attendance and participation of New York State Assemblyman, Jose Rivera. Rivera flew in all the way from New York to participate, videotape, and support the NBHRN Chapter's effort to publicize the plight of Oscar Rivera López.    




NBHRN Sympathizers Banner Overpasses



Batey Urbano to Host College Celebration for Roberto Clemente High School Seniors


The Batey Urbano, a youth project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, will host its first annual "Building a Culture of Excellence" College Fair/ Celebration on Sunday, June 3 from 1pm-3pm at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (3015 W. Division St.).


For the past few weeks at Roberto Clemente High School, student seniors have been working with a mentor from the Batey Urbano in their university application process. This was a community-to-university pipeline program developed as part of the Youth Leadership Institute. This institute - focused on intersecting and producing resources for our community's young people - is one of three in the new Community as a Campus model being implemented in Humboldt Park schools.

The purpose of this event is to celebrate the academic achievement of the student and to provide them an opportunity to meet peers, professors, and mentors from the school that they will be attending. Accordingly, we will have representatives from Northeastern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Columbia College. This event is free and open for the community.
PRCC Licensed Childcare Serves 50 Children 15 months to 6 years
Apply Now for Your Child!


Centro Infantil Consuelo Lee Corretjer, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's childcare, is now fully licensed by the Illinois Department of Family Services to service 50 children, ages 15 months to 6 years old. This increases the PRCC's capacity to serve more infant and toddlers in our community.


Founded in 1980, the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center is a full day bilingual program offering quality childcare services for children 15 months to 5-years-of-age. The Center was founded in response to the need for bilingual-bicultural programs in the community. We place special emphasis on Puerto Rican, Mexican and Latin American cultures. The program is designed to help ease the child's transition to elementary school and aims to provide services primarily to working and student's families.


We offer:
* Full day care for children 15 months to 3 years
* Full day Head Start for children 3 to 5 years in collaboration with El Valor
* Research based curriculum
* Family involvement
* Nutritional Meals
* Parent workshops
* Action for Children
* Private slots are available
Required Forms and Documents:
* Admission application
* Statement of Earnings
* Child's current physical examination signed by physician
* Copy of child's birth certificate
* Copy of child's social security card
* Dental examination


For more info contact Xóchitl Ramírez at: xochitlr@prcc-chgo.org  

Available at La Cosecha and IPRAC
"Don Oscar" Coffee, Paseo Boricua Edition 


Café Don Oscar can be purchased for $5.99 at:


IPRAC: 3015 W. Division St., 773-486-8345