Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and Vistante Calle 13 Honored at 19th Fiesta Boricua

Calle 13 Receives the Paseo Boricua Walk of Fame Medallion


Click on the video

to see "Visitante" (Eduardo Cabra) of Calle 13 accept the Paseo Boricua Walk of Fame medallion alongside his sister Milena Pérez Joglar.

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School Urban Agriculture Program highlighted in Convergence Partnership; a website of the Chicago Community Trust

A special note: At this year's Fiesta Boricua, the students of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School sold sofrito (Puerto Rican pesto) made from the products planted in the greenhouse and in the community gardens.


They taught a lesson on participatory economics -from the moment of production to that of distribution to the point of consumption. Read the complete article 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
Available at  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  


HP Contingent participates in the Caravan for Peace, Justice and Dignity


A contingent from Humboldt Park joined the Caravan for Peace Justice and Dignity as over 300 people marched and then met at the New Pilgram MB Church on Chicago's West Side. Javier Sicilia, the poet whose son and a group of friends were smothered to death last year, has played a crucial role in building the movement for peace. 
He has engaged the media and state institutions while leading major caravans to both the north and south of Mexico-visiting and bringing light in Mexico's most damaged cities and regions. Both the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the National Boricua Human Rights Network were present.
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez to address the DNC tomorrow, Wednesday, 5:30pm. Tune in on your local station

PRCC Program Updates

Mayor Emanuel, Congressman Gutiérrez and Vistante Calle 13 Honored at 19th Fiesta Boricua

Thousands upon thousands thronged Paseo Boricua on Sunday, September 2, during the celebration of the 19th Fiesta Boricua, and welcomed, with rousing applause, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and Visitante -Calle 13 as they received special recognition. Alderman Roberto Maldonado welcomed the Mayor, who received the Paseo Boricua Award from Congressman Gutiérrez. Congressman Gutierrez highlighted the Mayor's contribution to the Humboldt Park community, particularly in making IPRAC a Museum in the Park and transforming Roberto Clemente High School into a wall to wall International Baccalaureate (IB) program. 


The Mayor responded by noting the achievements of the Puerto Rican community, particularly in the the anchors of Paseo Boricua, Clemente Community Academy and the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC). Rep. Cynthia Soto and the Alderman also presented the Paseo Boricua Walk of Fame Award to Visitante Calle 13 and sister Milena Perez Joglar. Cong. Gutierrez was presented with the Paseo Boricua Cuatro Award for his work on behalf of the rights of the Puerto Rican people. Also recognized and participating on the stage were artist Antonio Martorell, Clemente High School principal Marcey Sorensen and Matt Rodríguez, principal of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.


This year's Fiesta Boricua featured "Lo Mejor de Nuestro Barrio"; the 40th Anniversary of the founding of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, thus a group of youth from the HS and Batey Urbano put together a hip-hop cultural performance, coordinated by Marisol Velez, to welcome Calle 13. It was indeed, an impressive and obviously organic welcome to Paseo Boricua, and it spoke to the historical legacy of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School as a praxis in education for liberation.


In an article published in Hoy on Tuesday, Sept 4, Eduardo Cabra is quoted as saying "I am privileged to be honored' in this city and in this Puerto Rican neighborhood of Humboldt Park, the place where the most Puerto Ricans are concentrated."

Chapter in New Book Exploring Community Building and Wellness co-Written by José L. Rodríguez
and José E. López


A chapter entitled "Community Organizing for Obesity Prevention and Wellness in Humboldt Park Chicago, The Challenges and Successes of Coalition Building Across Two Organizing Traditions" co-written by Adam Becker, Katherine Kauffer Christoffel, Jose Luis Rodriguez and José E. López appeared in a recently released book by Rutgers University Press titled "Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare" the chapter explores some of the issues surrounding obesity through the experience of Community Organizing for Obesity Prevention in Humboldt Park (COOP-HP), in Chicago. COOP-HP is a multi sector-coalition of diverse organizations focused on the health and well-being of the predominantly Puerto Rican sections of the Humboldt Park and West Town neighborhoods in the city. The chapter analyzes the issue of organizing around obesity through the application of community coalition action theory.


Watch for the book presentation sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Download the book ordering information here.

Pre-Fiesta Events A Huge Success


3rd Annual Misa Jibara celebrated at IPRAC

Deacons of several area churches, along with Father Raul Morales Berrios from Puerto Rico, celebrated what has now become an annual event, Misa Jibara at IPRAC. The Misa Jibara utilizes elements of Puerto Rican musical and cultural folklore in the celebration of the Catholic mass. This year was was of special importance since it celebrated the 500th anniversary of the 1st Catholic diocese in the americas created in PR in 1512.



Martorell's Wake

The new exhibition by Master Puerto Rican artist, Martorell's premiered on Saturday, September 1 to a capacity crowd. Revisiting "El Velorio" (The Wake) by Francisco Oller, who was the foremost Puerto RIcan painter of the 19th and early 20th Century, Martorell weaves a fabric of fables in which the men, women and children in the painting, the animal, the body of the dead child, Oller himself, the painting's light and colors and the objects, instruments and chemicals that make the painting possible all speak, and invite the onlookers to reply.



Noche Jíbara

Over 200 people celebrated an enchanted evening of traditional Puerto Rican music, food, and culture that featured "Alambre Dulce" the Puerto Rican musical group directly from the mountains of Cayey, Puerto Rico.


¡Se Siente, Se Siente, Oscar Esta Presente!

(We feel it, we feel it, Oscar is Present!) 



The tens of thousands that visited Fiesta Boricua last Sunday for the music, food and entertainment were also treated to a visual feast of theater, art and popular education as the campaign to free Oscar López Rivera, who is serving his 31st year in federal prison for struggling for the independence of his country, Puerto Rico. From a banner picture on the main stage explaining that Oscar founded one of the oldest educational institutions in the community, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, to artisan bags made expressly to contain Oscar merchandise to a detailed timeline of Osca'r struggle for the past 3 years, Oscar was present throughout Fiesta Boricua.


Chicago NBHRN members, along with visiting Providence, RI, Cleveland, OH, Orlando, FL and New York Network members, raised money and carried out popular education by erecting a 6x6 cell and taking turns in the cell, asking the community to raise $100 to get each member out of the cell. As part of the general consciousness raising, a "Free Oscar!" mural was painted for the occasion. 


Simultaneously, teams of Network activists walked up and down Fiesta and by day's end, had gotten over 600 letters to President Obama signed. The Network is collecting all letters to send them to the White House in the near future, and the most current version of the letter may be downloaded from our website here. New t-shirts, buttons, DVD featuring the "31 Days for 31 Years" video and a brochure were also produced for the occasion and may be ordered from


A small bag was custom produced and contains a t-shirt, DVD and button and sells for $10 plus s/h.