Happy Holidays from the PRCC Board,
Executive Director, Staff and Participants! 
Help Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School looks to win "Power a Bright Future" Contest


Our neighborhood school was nominated for the POWER A BRIGHT FUTURE CONTEST from Clorox. Albizu Campos High School is looking forward to winning the award in order to enhance our "Sofrito Project". The school created a greenhouse in which students plants all the ingredients for sofrito to sell it in the neighborhood as part of our Urban Agriculture Project. This money is to create a kitchen to preserve the "sofrito" and other products from our greenhouse. You can vote twice at the following link and also by texting our code 629pbf to the #95248, everyday!

Successful forum on the Cuban 5 and Oscar López Rivera



Close to 75 people turned out to listen to 2 impressive speakers: John Hawkins for the Chicago Cuba Coalition and Clarisa Lopez, daughter of Oscar López RIvera, Puerto Rican political prisoner serving 31 years for struggling for the freedom of Puerto Rico. 


The forum, which took place at DePaul University last Thursday Nov. 15, also featured Casandra Figueroa and Jessie Fuentes performing their song "What would Oscar Say?" as well as a spirited Q&A as well as the film "31 Days for 31 Years Project"- a movie short on the Campaign to Free Oscar directed by Matt McCanna. Lastly, the forum also featured the launching of a renewed effort to gather letters to send to Pres. Obama and 900 letters were distributed to audience members, who committed to return them signed.

31 Days for 31 Years Project
31 Days for 31 Years Project


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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 http://www.johnbenitez.com/


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 IPRO Students Show Dedication


On November 14, 2012, PRCC Board Secretary Alejandro Luis Molina met with the IPRO group at IIT that is designing a tagging system for the PRCC's documents. 


The students showed him the system they have developed and the How to Manual for future users. Alejandro made helpful suggestions on ways to improve the system and the manual, complimented the students on their work, and joined in with everyone to eat some pizza.  


The students are now putting the final touches on the project.  Visit the IIT IPRO on Facebook at IPRO 312: Designing a Document Management Process for PRCC.


English language "Oscar Lopez Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance" Now Available on Barnes and Noble


The life story of Puerto Rican freedom fighter and leader Oscar López Rivera, outlined in this book, is one of courage, valor, and sacrifice. In 1981, Oscar was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other crimes for which he is still imprisoned, making him the longest-held political prisoner in the world. This is the story of his fight for the political independence of Puerto Rico based on letters between him and the renowned lawyer, sociologist, educator, and activist Luis Nieves Falcón. Also included is Oscar's art, including photography and paintings created in his many years behind bars. Readers will explore his early life as a Latino child growing up in the small towns of Puerto Rico, following him as an adolescent as he and his family ... Purchase the book here.
National Boricua Human Rights Network Denounces Massacre in Gaza


The Chicago Chapter of the Network recently mobilized a contingent to a downtown demonstration aimed at denouncing the massacre by the Israeli government on the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip. Co-coordinator Alejandro Luis Molina spoke briefly on the importance of solidarity and briefly shared similarites between the two people in struggle and called for support of the freedom of Oscar Lopez Rivera.


PRCC Program Updates

Vida/SIDA Updates


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 1, 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.



On October 29th and 31st the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) held its annual full body meeting in Seattle, Washington. As one of the Be the Generation Bridge community partners Vida/SIDA was part of this important conference. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network is responsible for conducting global vaccine trials and brings multiple voices to the table including researchers, community advocates, community members, and educators. For two days, Jaclyn Diaz and myself got to hear all about HIV vaccines, immunology, community advisory boards, phase 1 and 2 trials, and goals for the next seven years. While most of the research presentations were too technical and scientific to keep up with, being present for that conference helps make the work we do at Vida/SIDA more meaningful. Although our main focus at Vida/SIDA is prevention, I was glad that we had been given the opportunity to play a role in finding a vaccine that will be the end of AIDS.


Through the Be the Generation Bridge partnership, Vida/SIDA works closely with the HVTN local partner to find ways to inform the Latino community about the significant biomedical research taking place right in our city. Our HVTN local partner is the University of Illinois at Chicago's Project WISH and we currently serve on its Community Advisory Board. One message from the conference that stayed with me is how difficult it is to recruit Latinos and other minorities into these clinical trials, specifically HIV vaccine research. It struck me that the individuals speaking on the challenges and barriers were not Latinos themselves, and this made one thing clear to me: in order to appeal to Latinos, more Latinos need to be the spokespersons for the research. It may be true that Latinos are distrustful of the medical system, or that we prefer to try home remedies before going to the doctor, but the more salient truth is that in order for Latinos to be equally represented in the clinical trials, more Latinos need to be the ones delivering the messages about the importance of biomedical research and a vaccine to prevent HIV. If we continue to be underrepresented in these clinic trials, we risk the chance that these vaccines will not be developed with our specific needs in mind.




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.
New 40th Anniversary PACHS Video features Co-founder Carlos Alberto Torres


During his visit to Chicago 2 weeks ago, Carlos Alberto Torres, who spent 30 years in prison for struggling for Puerto Rican independence and was released in 2010, was interviewed for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, to take place on Jan. 26.

40th Anniversary Interview with Carlos Alberto Torres, PACHS Co-Founder
40th Anniversary Interview with Carlos Alberto Torres, PACHS Co-Founder
Pasteles for Freedom Sale Raises Over $2000 for Campaign!


The Chicago National Boricua Human Rights Network Chapter raised over $2000 by selling "freedom" pasteles for the holidays. Over 20 people took shifts to make 140 dozen pasteles, under the direction of Clarisa Lopez and Lourdes Lugo.

Other individuals and community organizations contributed to the pasteles sale by purchasing pasteles and spreading the word about the sale. The pasteles sale proceeds will go to the holiday commissary campaign and the Campaign to Free Oscar.


Norberto Gonzalez Claudio Sentenced to 5 Years


Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, 67-year-old Puerto Rican patriot, was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for his role in helping to plan the 1983  record-breaking, $7 million robbery as a leader of Los Macheteros, was captured by the FBI last year in Puerto Rico and pleaded guilty in June.


Norberto Gonzalez has been detained since he was arrested in May 2011 in the central island town of Cayey, where he had been living under a false name. U.S. authorities said he still had an active role in the Macheteros, which claimed responsibility for robberies, murders and bombings in the 1970s and `80s.

Leaders of Orlando's Puerto Rican and Latino community demand release of Oscar Lopez Rivera


Just two weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama's historic reelection, leaders of Florida's Puerto Rican and Latino community joined together to call upon the President to exercise his constitutional power to grant clemency to Puerto Rican political prisoner, Oscar López-Rivera.


Convened by the Orlando chapter of the National Boricua Human Rights Network, nearly twenty religious, political, civic, educational, and labor leaders gathered underneath the impressive garita at the entrance of La Asocacion Puertorriqueña, the largest Puerto Rican cultural organization in Central Florida. Some of the leaders included Rev. Roberto Morales, St. John's Episcopal Church, Iluminada Aponte, Alianza Dominicana Of Central Florida, Denise Diaz, Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, Rico Piccard, Frente Unido, Carlos Rodriguez, Ana G. Mendez student activist, Victor Rodriguez, Camioneros de Puerto Rico. José Rivera, New York State Assemblyman and Lourdes Lugo, Chicago community activist and niece of López Rivera, also participated. NBHRN-Orlando leaders Zoraida Rios Andio and Rosario Martinez, moderated the press conference.


Before cameras and reporters from several television stations and newspapers, the message of the press conference was clear and confident. Puerto Ricans and Latinos throughout the country came out to vote in large numbers for President Obama and were critical to his reelection. Now that the election is over, it is time that Obama immediately release Oscar López Rivera. Speakers discussed López Rivera's experience in Vietnam, his work in the community, and his defense of the right of Puerto Rican self-determination. In the name of human rights and justice, Orlando's chapter has redoubled its efforts to circulate a petition in favor of his release and to educate the growing Puerto Rican population on important social issues and causes. 

The PRCC e-newsletter will not be published next week, Nov 27, 2-012