TOMORROW: Diabetes State of the Community Forum
Rebaño Church, 2435 W. Division St., 11am-2pm


John Hawkins on the Cuban 5,

Clarisa López, daughter of Oscar López Rivera 

Forum on the Cuban 5  and Oscar López Rivera


Thur Nov. 15, 2012 - Forum on Puerto Rican Political Prisoners, Oscar Lopez Rivera and the Cuban 5. DePaul University, McGowan Hall South, 1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 108 starting at 6:00pm. Co-sponsors: Chicago Cuba Coalition and National Boricua Human Rights Network

Pasteles for Freedom Sale!


It's that time again- to taste the delicious pasteles of the holiday season while supporting the commissary campaign for Puerto Rican political prisoners Avelino & Norberto González Claudio and Oscar López Rivera, who is on the verge of beginning his 32nd year in federal prison- the longest-held political prisoner in Puerto Rico's history. 


Please download the order form here and help us sell pasteles this holiday season! Let's make this the last holiday season that Oscar will endure in prison! Chicagoland orders only, sorry.

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Navi-Arts 2012
Dec 1-2, 2012

Navi-Jazz 2012


Venue: Roberto Clemente HS Auditorium 1147 N. Western Ave. 


Date: Friday, December 7, 2012

Time: 7pm

Price: $15.00 for Concert. 

VIP Tickets: $25.00 (Includes Concert, After Party at IPRAC 3015 W. Division, 2 Cocktails, Meet and Greet with the Artists)   


If you would like more info on John Benitez, visit


To purchase tickets, click here.

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 

PRCC Program Updates

Vida/SIDA Updates


Juan Calderon, Director of Vida/SIDA to participate in two panel discussions


On Wednesday November 14, 2012 a showing of "I am the Queen" will take place at the Pedroso Center at Northeastern Illinois University. The showing will be followed by a panel discussion of residents of El Rescate LGBTQ Independent Living Program, Vida/SIDA's homeless shelter initiative for Latino Youth. The discussion will focus on the experiences of residents as homeless transexual and queer youth. The event is free and open to the public. 


On Friday November 16, 2012 the Second Annual STI/HIV Intervention Network (SHINE) Conference entitled "Social and Structural Determinants of HIV Infections Among Minority Populations" will take place at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Among the panelists will be Dr. Robert Garafalo, Lurie Children's Memorial Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Jesus Ramirez-Valles PhD, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago and Juan Calderon, Director, Vida/SIDA Puerto Rican Cultural Center. This event is free and open to the public. 


Kick Off to the Commemoration of WAD on Friday, November 30, 2012 


All invited to the VidaSIDA evening event at Antronio which will be FREE along with Appetizers and a Show of Local Talents lead by Ninja Milani. Hope to see you all there. 


In addition, on Saturday, December 01, 2012 starting at 2:00 pm, we will meet at IPRAC to have a Procession down Division Street until La Casita de Don Pedro where we will have an Alter & Candle Vigil for all who have passed from HIV/AIDS and those living with HIV/AIDS.


A night of two tales:


On Friday, November 9th, 2012 a group of friends in solidarity with the campaign of Boricua Human Rights for the release of Oscar López Rivera organized a petition-signing bash.  The effort had a turnout of about 125 people, and yielded 100+ petitions.  The first part of the night featured the screening of the documentary COINTELPRO 101, courtesy of Freedom Archives. The informative documentary framed the campaign with historical context while setting the mood for a presentation about Oscar and a call for solidarity for his release.  Post presentation, DJ Philomena and ULTRATUMBA set relevant tunes while volunteers were circulating petitions. The night transitioned smoothly, volunteers mingled with guests' reflected and brought awareness about Oscar's case translating it into support from an enthusiastic diverse audience.


Community Calendar

  • Sat Dec. 1, 2012 - Puerto Rican Agenda - Puerto Rican community leadership summit on groundbreaking study of Puerto Ricans in Chicago at Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave., from 9:00am-1:00pm. 
  • Sat Dec. 1, 2012 - World AIDS Day. Altar/Christmas parranda from the Casita de Don Pedro to IPRAC starting at 2:00pm.
  • Sat Dec. 1 & Sun Dec. 2, 2012 -  A two day celebration and Christmas market featuring local artists and artisans as well as traditional Puerto Rican delicacies. Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) 3015 W. Division St. 10:00am to 4:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Buy your coquito and order traditional Puerto Rican pasteles before the Holidays!
  • Fri Dec. 7, 2012 - 4th Annual Navi-Jazz concert featuring The John Benitez Group. Roberto Clemente High School Auditorium, 1147 N. Western Ave., from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. For tickets call 773-486-8345. 
  • Sun Dec. 16, 2012 - Pancake/Waffle Breakfast to benefit political prisoner commissary. Casa Puertorriqueña, 1237 N. California Ave., from 9:00am-12:00pm.
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School
Founder Carlos Alberto Torres visits High School


On Tuesday, November 6th, our school received a visit from a very important person, one of our school's founders and ex-political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres. To welcome him to our school, a group of seven students joined together to share lunch and to share their stories about what Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School means to them.


Our students each talked about how they found our school, how they appreciate our school and the challenges it poses to them. Our students also shared how they have found a strong sense of themselves while here, a renewed sense of purpose that guides them into the future as they make plans toward becoming transformative agents of change.


In response, Carlos Alberto told the students that neither he nor any of the founders ever imagined the school being able to positively impact so many students and their families. He told the students that their stories reinforced for him that the work that was done in the past and that is done in the present to keep our school open is very much worthwhile. Finally, he reminded students that they are the inspiration that keeps our school going and that they should never loose sight of that.


Our students left inspired, knowing that the man they got to have lunch with was the same man that they had written letters to while he is was incarcerated for his political beliefs. To finish the conversation, the students gave a gift of some 2012 "Albizu Gear" to Mr. Carlos Alberto Torres, to thank him for his time and his ongoing effort to support his/our school.

El Coqui Welcomes Back the Iguaca!


Did you know that the Puerto Rican Parrot also known as the Iguaca was on the verge of extinction?  Once numbering in the tens of thousands, its population plummeted to 13 wild parrots by 1975.  I'm sure you have seen parrots about everywhere in Puerto Rico, but the Puerto Rican parrot is one of the most endangered species in the world and the only native parrot under United States jurisdiction. 


On November 7, 2012,  Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ) invited the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC) to present at a sold out symposium titled, "Wine and Wildlife: The Puerto Rican Parrot" led by, Joanne Earnhardt, Ph.D. LPZ's Conservation Biologist, Jafet Vélez Valentín, Team Leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Iguaca Aviary in Puerto Rico, and Sarah Long, M.S., the Director of the LPZ's Population Management Center.   A delegation of IPRAC staff was able to share IPRAC's vision and mission as well as announce IPRAC's first Eco-Tour in Puerto Rico in 2013, which includes a tour of Puerto Rico's Iguaca Aviary led by Jafet Vélez Valentín. 


IPRAC is proud to be an ongoing partner with Lincoln Park Zoo and Puerto Rico's Iguaca Aviary.  We look forward to sharing the great accomplishments of this program for years to come as well as visiting the Aviary in 2013 as part of IPRAC's Eco-Tour of Puerto Rico.  For more information on IPRAC please visit