Puerto Rican Summer Film Series presents "América", IPRAC, Saturday July 21, at 7PM
Puerto Rican Summer Film Series presents 
America The Movie Trailer
America the movie trailer

IPRAC, 3015 W. Division St.
Saturday July 21, at 7PM
IPRAC hosts successful premiere of documentaries by filmmaker Joelle Gonzalez-Laguer


On Saturday, July 7th IPRAC hosted a successful premiere of two documentaries created by filmmaker Joelle Gonzalez-Laguer. Over 80 people attended and were engaged by Mr. Gonzalez-Laguer's passionate introduction to his documentaries "Martorell: De aqui, pa alla" and "Clemente Soto Velez:  A Revolt Through Letters."

According to Joelle, "A good friend once asked me, why can't you make other types of films, my answer, I feel responsible to tell the true story of my people.  If I don't do it, others will distort our history and I want my nephews and rest of a young generation of Puerto Rico to feel proud of who they are."

"Martorell: from here to there" is a magical, romantic epic journey of the largest wave of Puerto Rican migration to the United States in the 1950s depicted through an art installation created by Master Artist and Historian Antonio Martorell. The film creatively weaves the art installation with the experiences and history of the Puerto Ricans during the "Great Migration."

The Clemente Soto Velez documentary intricately explores his life through candid interviews with iconic artists and historians.  The viewer gets an account of how his contributions as a Puerto Rican poet, community organizer, promoter of cultural identity and political activism influenced a generation of Puerto Ricans.  His legacy and inspiration lives on in this biographical film.

July 11, 2012 - Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04) speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives to call for more information about U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and consultants hired to promote the Gasoducto pipeline in Puerto Rico and why the Army Corps of Engineers is reportedly asking the Government of Puerto Rico not to withdraw the proposal, despite the project being found to be "unviable."

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

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Tito Touched Land and It Wasn't Trinidad: Tito Kayak's Admirable Voyage



In days marked by the Paraguayan coup, the Mexican student movement for transparency, Yo Soy132, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the crisis in Greece, and the bailout of the Spanish banks and their restructuring on the backs of citizens, news of the launch of Tito Kayak's Admirable Voyage on the summer solstice this year has been a bit eclipsed.


Because my father scoured the Island's press for news of the Voyage and found hardly any stories, I decided to describe the first stage of a trip in which Tito Kayak will row across the 1,400 miles between Venezuela and Puerto Rico in a bid to raise attention to the need to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.


I follow the Admirable Voyage from New York thanks to Roso Grimau, who is covering it from Venezuela and has posted articles by investigative journalist Jesús Dávila on his blog; the messages posted on the Internet by Salvador Tió - one of the Voyage organizers - ; the website Amigos del Mar; and phone calls to the Isla Verde Encampment and Elisa Sánchez, one of the coordinators.


This trip is a cherished dream for environmentalist Alberto de Jesús Mercado. As he explained in an interview sponsored by the Mayoralty of Sucre, a municipality in Venezuela's northeast region, Tito aims to follow the path of the Arawak ancestors who settled Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands, and above all, to seek international support and urge Barack Obama's government to grant an unconditional pardon to political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who as of this May has served 31 years in U.S. prisons. Read the complete article here.


Follow Tito in real time here 

View the video interview here.
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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

PRCC Program Updates

Meeting to discuss "Community as a Campus" concept with Deputy Chief of Staff for Education Beth Swanson  


Beth Swanson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Education, met with José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center on Tuesday, July 10 , to discuss a new educational concept, which is being elaborated for the greater Humboldt Park community, to address the educational problems and possibilities for the area's schools. The "Community as a Campus" model calls for the harnessing of the entire social capital of this community to bring about an organic and holistic approach to address the burning educational issues. Representatives from the Woodlawn Organization also highlighted the educational vision toward their community. Rev. Dr. Brazier, head of the Woodlawn Organization, stressed the protagonist role that communities must play in any real educational transformation in both the Humboldt Park and Woodlawn communities, and that in both communities there was a strong leadership that was willing to roll up its sleeves to make this happen. The Community as a Campus idea in Humboldt Park is being framed around the International Baccalaureate (IB) program following Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's commitment to make Clemente a wall to wall international baccalaureate campus.

Univision-Channel 66 depicts work of José E. López on its "Leaders in Action" Saturday, July 21 


On Saturday, July 21, at 10am, Channel 66-Univision will present a microcosm of the educational, community and social work of Professor José E. López, emphasizing his role as a teacher. In fact, the programs subtitle is "Teacher of teachers" and follows the professor on a day of his life.  

Univision "Canel 66" destaca labor de José E. López en programa "Lideres en Acción" sábado 21 de julio 

El sábado 21 de julio a las 10am, el canel 66 "Univision" presentara una reseńa de la labor educativa comunitaria y social del profesor José E. López, destacando su rol como maestro. Inclusive, el programa se subtitulo "El maestro de los maestros" y destaca la actividad del profesor durante un dia de su vida.


ASM/ Batey Urbano Youth Spearhead 'Drop The Bottle' Campaign in the Summer


These photographs were taken by Edwin Díaz Jr, a youth in the After School Matters (ASM) summer program at the Batey Urbano in Humboldt Park. This was a photo-shoot organized by the ASM students to promote BACCA's 'Drop The Bottle' alternatives to underage drinking campaign. Also, some of the photographs will be used to advertise for the Youth Assembly (on July 27 at 4:30pm at the Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division St.), which will kickstart the development of a Youth Leadership Institute in the community.

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PRCC Board President publishs article in the Chicago-Kent Law Review.

Dr. Margaret Power, President of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, recently published an article in the Chicago-Kent Law Review.  The article, "Puerto Rican Women Nationalists vs. U.S. Colonialism:  An Exploration of Their Conditions and Struggles in Jail and in Court," grew out of a symposium on Global Women's Legal History held at Chicago Kent Law School in October 2012.  The article examines the legal and jail experiences of several Nationalist Party women who were arrested following the 1950 uprising and the 1954 attack on the U.S. Congress.  It suggests that the U.S. government tortured several of them, a probability that has been generally ignored.  It concludes that the women survived the difficult conditions and lengthy prison sentences due to their deep commitment to Puerto Rican independence and as a result of the strong bonds of friendship and love that existed between them.  Click on the link to download a pdf of the article.
Forum examines HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean: VidaSIDA participates in panel


FINAL CALL: CHICAGO - While many Caribbean nations and even the United States struggle to get a handle on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Cuba seemingly has the disease under control, and now has one of the lowest HIV/AIDS infection rates.
When the first symptoms of HIV/AIDS appeared on that island nation in 1983, the Cuban government saw the disease as a public health crisis and took drastic, sometimes unorthodox steps, to curtail the disease spread.
Cuba's leader Fidel Castro ordered all donated blood destroyed and then mandated a quarantine of all those infected with the disease while providing free medical care.
Now individuals diagnosed with the disease are placed in treatment within 24 hours, said Marixta Vidal, director of outreach at VIDA/SIDA, a Chicago-based organization that specifically serves Latinos impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Sao Paulo Forum supports Puerto Rican independence, freedom for Oscar López Rivera and rejects plebiscite


The XVIII Encounter of the Sao Paulo Forum which took place in Caracas, Venezuela, approved a resolution in favor of Puerto Rican independence, against the celebration of a plebiscite and for the freedom of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, imprisoned in the US.

López Rivera has been imprisoned for more than 31 years, which makes him one of the oldest political prisoners in the world. Read the complete story here. You must register for a free account. (SPANISH ONLY)
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"Don Oscar" Coffee, Paseo Boricua Edition 


Café Don Oscar can be purchased for $5.99 at:


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


The future of our 'hood starts with us!"

Humboldt Park Youth Assembly

Friday, July 27 @ 4:30pm, Batey Urbano (2620 W. Division St.)


We want to redefine education, rescue our community from violence, addiction, and displacement; set the stage for an artistic renaissance, and build a culture of excellence. Want to join us?


In this assembly, we will discuss the status of youth in Humboldt Park - our issues, concerns, and vision for a better community - and describe the different initiatives that we want you to be a part of!


This will also be the kickstart event of the Humboldt Park Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), one of the three institutes of the 'Community as a Campus' model being implemented in area schools. 


Please RSVP at xavierlb@prcc-chgo.org. Forward this to any youth in Humboldt Park!