International Women's Day Event at IPRAC



Last Friday, the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture celebrated its 3rd Annual International Women's Day Event. The program featured the opening of 2 new exhibits by Lizette Cruz and Patricia Pérez. Lizette Cruz was born and raised in Puerto Rico and began to cultivate her art at an early age by integrating elements of the natural surroundings, history and culture of the Island. Her exhibit the Gypsy Muse seeks to transport the viewers to relive joyful memories of Puerto Rico. Patricia Pérez, a Chicago native, uses her work to explore various perspectives of identity. Patricia Perez' exhibit celebrates the 41 years of the Que Ondee Sola Magazine. Her paintings are visual representations of her interviewees' connection to Que Ondee Sola.


Billy Ocasio, CEO of the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, opened the event followed by a speech by José E. López of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center explaining the importance of International Women's Day. Janeida Rodríguez, local poet, also performed two of her pieces. Special Guest Tony Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President, briefly spoke reminding the audience of how far women have come but that there is still much work to be done to create true equality for all women.

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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
Orlando Network Chapter Hosts Dinner with Congressman Gutiérrez
On March 1st, Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez and Alan Grayson participated in a immigration conference organized by local and national organizations at the Puerto Rican Association of Orlando. Rev. Roberto Morales gave the benediction with hope for a true immigration reform and also asked for the freedom of Oscar López.

That evening the Network-Orlando Chapter met with the Congressman and conversed about the campaign work going on at the national level and especially in Puerto Rico. For the Network it was a very interesting and important evening.

We are proud recipients of United Way contributions 

Block Club Federation 20th Earth Day Clean Up!


The Block Club Federation in partnership with Friends of the Park, the Chicago Park District, and other agencies/schools are proud to announce its 20th Earth Day Clean Up, and we hope that you will be able to join us in celebrating our wonderful Earth! Entertainment and lunch will be provided!


Where: Humboldt Park Boat House

            1359 N. Sacramento

            In case of rain it will be moved to field house

When: Saturday, April 20, 2013

Time: 8:30am to 3pm

CTA Job Fair!


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is currently recruiting candidates for Customer Service Assistants at an informational job fair in Humboldt Park.  


Starting salary is $12.40/hour. Must be at least 21. Attendees of the job fair, interested in becoming a CTA Customer Service Assistant, will be pre-screened and assigned a testing date. 


The job fair will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2013  from 9am-1pm at Roberto Clemente Community Academy located at 1147 N. Western.

PRCC Updates

Paseo Boricua Pays Tribute to President Hugo Chávez 



Members of the Chicago Latino Community, particularly the Puerto Rican and Mexican communities, held a service at Adalberto United Methodist Church on Paseo Boricua on Sunday, March 10th to honor the deceased President Hugo Chavez. The program opened with a welcoming statement by Emma Lozano from Centro Sin Fronteras and José E. López of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center with an invocation by Rev. Slim Coleman. This was followed by a cultural presentation of a song from one of the young members of Adalberto Church and a poetry reading by Judy Diaz of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.


The Consul General of Venezuela, Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza, delivered a moving and powerful message. He recounted the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, including the reduction of poverty from 60% to 20%. He also pointed to the successful literacy and health campaigns and the level of engagement of the participatory democracy projects they have developed throughout the country, where the citizens are even able to articulate the local budgets. Additionally, another great achievement will be the upcoming implementation of the 6-hour workday. The Consul General of the Republic of Haiti of Chicago, Lesly Condé and the Consul General of the Comorros Islands, Sultan Shafiq Hakim also expressed their condolences to the Venezuelan people and their admiration for President Hugo Chávez.


A group of young people who had attended the World Youth Congress in Caracas in 2005 mounted a symbolic honor guard in front of the registry book with a picture of Hugo Chavez. All who attended the event signed the registry book. Minister Abel Muhammad from the Nation of Islam and Pastor Pedro Windsor of La Capilla del Barrio delivered a closing prayer. View our Flickr set of the event here.

Humboldt Park Youth as Agents of Change & Inspiration


As part of the Barrio Arts, Culture, and Communication Academy (BACCA), a group of youth from the Humboldt Park community has become involved in a campaign to address the issue of underage drinking in the community. BACCA is an innovative after school program developed by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) in collaboration with La Capilla del Barrio Community Chapel and funding from the Bethany United Hospital Fund. The program hopes to provide an alternative outlet to substance abuse. In addition, BACCA seeks to integrate community, culture, and multimedia production to empower youth to be agents of change and inspiration in their community.


The program also seeks to develop the assets that youth already have but which are rarely, if ever, validated in standard educational programs and schools. By working with a group of students, as youth organizers, these young people to be creating meaningful programs to engage other youth in their schools and community. We hope to create awareness in the community that will speak to the idea of positive transformation and possibility. We will be creating fliers, posters, theatrical productions, video PSAs, hosting events, and visiting schools. We will be working with high school students, particularly in Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, Roberto Clemente High School, and ASPIRA High School. 

Norwegian American Hospital "Reinventing Ourselves"


Below is an excerpt of an interview with Billy Ocasio, CEO of the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Billy was elected as Chair of the Board of the Trustees of Norwegian American Hospital last October. Billy was born in Norwegian American Hospital and is a life long resident of the Humboldt Park community. He most recently served as a senior advisor to Governor Pat Quinn. Previous to that he served as alderman of the 26th Ward in Chicago. In the interview Billy discusses the further development of Norwegian American Hospital.


Question: What role do you think the Norwegian American Hospital plays in the Humboldt Park community?


Along with providing the highest level of care in the Humboldt Park community, one of the major roles the hospital plays is that it's an employment engine. It employs 800 community residents. The hospital employs more people than any other organization in the community. The hospital also meets the health care needs of the community. We see many people with diabetes and other health needs. Yet it's more about what the hospital can become. It is a place that employs the most community residents and now it is in line to become a place that can meet all the different health needs of the community, including diabetes, behavioral health, heart issues and asthma.


Question: What is your vision for the hospital?


We need to reinvent ourselves. First, we need to find out what are the health needs of the community. Second, let's recruit those doctors that can provide those resources for the community. José Sanchez, the CEO and President of Norwegian American Hospital and the Board of Trustees are making great strides to bring in the best doctors to Norwegian. We have spent the last 6-8 months talking to doctors. We have recruited a couple hundred new accredited doctors to join the Norwegian American Hospital staff. We have also just opened a new 15-bed psych unit to deal with the mental health needs of the community. Third, we need to align ourselves with well-established institutions that can provide resources that we cannot meet on our own. We have a new partnership with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital to further meet the community's needs. Fourth, how do we utilize our vacant land to bring in resources? We are working with the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation to provide Latino veterans and their families with affordable housing. The new building, which will include 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units, will bring a new holistic approach to meeting the needs of these families. There is no place that targets Latino veterans and their families and we want to ensure that those families are properly served.


OLR Book Signings- April 11th 


The National Boricua Human Rights Network presents Dr. Luis Nieves Falcón, Editor of "Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance"  and Matt Meyers, editor of "We Have Not Moved".

The English version of "Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance" will be on sale and available for signing by the editor. 


6:30pm, Casa Puertorriqueńa, 1237 N. California Ave

$20 includes dinner and a copy of "Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance"


"We Have Not Been Moved" will be on sale.

Please RSVP to Militza Pagán at

Oncology Forum at Norwegian American



The new Comprehensive Cancer Care Center and Norwegian American Hospital invite you to attend our Oncology Education Forum on Wednesday, March 20 at 1 pm in the hospital's Professional Medical Building, 5th Floor Conference Room. Please join us and take advantage of this FREE program and learn more about cancer screenings and prevention. We ask that you kindly RSVP by calling 773-292-8203.   


We look forward to seeing you there!

Ciclo Urbano/West Town Bikes Update


West Town Bike represented Chicago and local Humboldt Park youth and help put Chicago inner-city youth on the map at the National Youth Bike Summit In New York. An extended weekend of awesome presentations and networking with other bike site youth from around the US.


Sharing ideas, challenges and experiences was the talk of the weekend West Town Bikes showcasing the event with an entrepreneur state of mind. We shared how we create our own business ventures to be able to participate in events like the National Youth Bike Summit.


Over all, West Town Bikes made another great presention at one of the largest National Summits in the US.


Ciclo Urbano Delivery Service Takes Off


The West Town Bikes Apprenticeship program has been up and running for the last couple of seasons and has put together a delivery service for surrounding organizations. Delivery Services for local community organization are on demand. 


For contract work of delivery services contact:

Lebster Pabon

Lead Instructor @ WestTownBikes

(773) 772-6523


Centro Infantil Kitchen Time!


It's kitchen time in our classrooms! The boys are making breakfast and playing well, sharing and learning about their fruits and vegetables. Want to join us for breakfastVisit us at 2739 W. Division Street.