Hundreds say thank you to Rep. Ryan and Rep. Gutiérrez for Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Over 200 advocates and sympathizers of immigration reform crowded into Erie Neighborhood House to hear Democratic Congressmen Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) speak on the coming comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill and listen to testimonies of families affected by the broken immigration system.


Lawrence Benito, Executive Director of the  Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) was the emcee and Emma Lozano, leader of Centro Sin Fronteras, organized the testimonies. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center mobilized a bus full of sympathizers to the event.


Nearly $3000 netted in fund-raising effort to complete film

Hundreds show support for film "Who is Albizu?"


Feature film Documentary

With Producer/Director Michael Torres 


300 community residents, highs school and university students came out last Friday, April 19 to hear the answer to the question, "Who is Albizu?", the film by Director Michael Torres. The program, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and mc'd by Division Street Business Association Board President Eduardo Arocho, featured performance and music by AfriCaribe as well as poetry by Arocho, who read his very well-known poem, "El Maestro-The Hurricane".


The screening of several clips took place at the Roberto Clemente Community Academy auditorium. Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera was present as the National Boricua Human Rights Network collected signatures on letters to send President Obama urging him to pardon Oscar.


By the end of the 4 day tour, nearly $3000 was raised to begin the editing process. Torres next step will be to launch an on-line fundraising campaign with a goal of $10,000. More info here.


View Trailer.

32 Days for 

32 Years Launches Sunday-

Volunteer Now!


COLLABORATE with our interactive exhibit where YOU, for 24 hours, can re-create the inhumane conditions 

Oscar López Rivera has lived for the last 32 years.


GET INVOLVED, be a prisoner or guard for a day!



REACH through the prison walls & SAY NO TO INJUSTICE

31 Days for 31 Years Project
Check out last year's video!


For more information or to get involved please contact Matt McCanna at or 708-953-8351


Visit our blog

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Our Websites:


View our Photos on Flickr!

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

(Over 13,000 pics!)

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

We are proud recipients of United Way contributions 
Distinguished Puerto Rican Harvard Scholar, Dr. Margarita Alegría, Visits Paseo Boricua
by Michele Kelley (guest writer and professor at UIC School of Public Health)


Dr. Margarita "Maggie" Alegría, one of the foremost health services research and health disparities scholars, made time out of her busy Chicago schedule to enjoy lunch at Nellie's Puerto Rican Restaurant with Puerto Rican Cultural Center Director José E. López and Deputy Director Militza M. Pagán. Accompanied by Dr. Michele Kelley, Maggie was thrilled to see a thriving Puerto Rican community as expressed in the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, the 72-Block Diabetes Initiative, The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture along Division Street-- and of course las banderas gracing the entrances to El Paseo.

Dr. Alegría is the Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research (CMMHR) at Cambridge Health Alliance, and a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. She has several practical programs that she designed for improving the mental health of whole communities and for increasing patient health literacy for better health care. Prior to her appointment at Harvard, Dr. Alegría was the Director of the Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research at the University of Puerto Rico. Her Puerto Rican roots run deep as she is related to Dr. Ricardo Alegría, the first director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña in San Juan. Although Maggie's visit was short, she expressed the desire to return, to learn more about our innovative health, education and community initiatives and to discuss collaboration with us. It was an honor to host her short visit and we look forward to her return.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center extends their condolences to the family of Eduardo Rivera


Eduardo Rivera, brother of Idida Pérez, Executive Director of West Town Leadership United, passed away this Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at Illinois Masonic Hospital after battling a long illness. He leaves behind three children and wife Honoria Rivera.


The wake and funeral arrangements for Eduardo are as follows: the Wake, a Church service and dinner will all take place on the same day at:


Nuestra Iglesia de las Americas

2610 N. Francisco (corner of Logan Blvd. & Francisco)

Chicago, Illinois 60647


Friday, April 26, 2013

1:00 to 3:00 pm - For the family

3:00 to 5:30 pm - Open for all

5:30 Memorial and church service

Followed by dinner downstairs

Please feel free to attend any and all of above.


Eduardo will be cremated.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his widow Honoria.

¡Humboldt Park 
Apartment Listings
Potomac at Kedzie
2 bd $775
2643 W. Division
2 bd $800

1101 N. Mozart
2 bd $975 

1110 N. California
2 bd $800

1110 N. California
1 bd $800
Pierce at Kedzie
2 bd $825
Kimball at Bloomingdale
3 bd $850
Avers at Hirsch
2 bd $850
1550 N. Kedzie
2 bd $895
Humboldt Park
3 bd $900
North at Kimball
3 bd $900
773 499-5197
2818 W. Thomas
2 bd $975
3600 W. Augusta
3 bd $1000
Section 8 Approved
1723-33 N. Humboldt
2 bd $715 - $1020
3 bd $825 - $1020
to El Barrio 
Vida/SIDA update


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center- Vida/SIDA is one of several organizations nationwide to receive funding from Be the Generation Bridge to help increase awareness and knowledge of biomedical HIV prevention research, which includes HIV vaccines, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and microbicides.


What are microbicides and how can they help end AIDS?

Microbicides are products that may be used by men and women and are applied to the rectum or vagina to help prevent or reduce the risk of acquiring HIV during sex. Microbicides could come in a number of forms, including creams, gels, films, slow-release vaginal rings, enemas, and suppositories that release the active ingredients over time.  Microbicides are currently not available to the public, but are being studied in clinical trials. If proven effective, microbicides could help prevent HIV among women around the world but particularly those in developing countries where it most often is spread through unprotected heterosexual intercourse despite efforts to promote abstinence, monogamy and the use of condoms. Unlike condoms, microbicides provide women with an HIV prevention strategy that is not controlled by their sexual partner. Microbicides could also help prevent HIV in both men and women who practice anal sex.


Although several studies have taken place to test the effectiveness of microbicides, ensuring that trial participants adhere to their use as indicated has been a challenge. For this reason it is important that microbicide products are developed with the needs of the end-user in mind.


Erie Softball Needs Your Help


The Erie house softball team has been in existence for the past eight years. The team has played in a league at Humboldt Park that is made up of not for profit organizations. The league was made up to get these organizations together for the fraternity and unity as these persons struggle daily to help those less fortunate. The camaraderie and athletic competition is an outlet for each team to enjoy as a mental and physical outlet. The league helps to forge bonds with other groups that have similar intentions. 


In the past six years the Erie team has played in five championship series winning two of them. Currently the team is seeking new sponsorship as the Erie Neighborhood House has lost sponsorship appropriations. A new sponsorship would allow the team to continue participation in the league and to strengthen ties in the not for profit field. Any kind of assistance and financial support is greatly appreciated.


Thank you,


Chris Espada @


Make a Date with Freedom
32 Days for 32 years begins this Sunday


Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division St, PASEO BORICUA

This Sunday we begin to recreate the inhumane conditions Oscar López Rivera has lived for the last 32 years


32 activists, community leaders, high school and university students, parents, sons and daughters and LGBTQ persons will spend 24 hours in a makeshift cell to bring attention to the continued unjust imprisonment of Oscar López Rivera.  


GET INVOLVED, bring your classmates, family, friends, and co-workers!



DOWNLOAD the graphic by clicking here and email to your friends.

Humboldt Park's Very Own

"Choco," Rev. De Jesús Named One of TIME's 100 World's Most Influential People 


Rev. Wilfredo De Jesús, better known as "Pastor Choco," has been selected for the 2013 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list and related tributes appear in the April 29 issue of TIME, available on newsstands, tablets and at The TIME 100 list, now in its 10th year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world's most influential individuals. De Jesús was also featured on the cover and in the accompanying story of TIME's April 15 edition, "The Latino Reformation," which explored the growth of Latinos among Protestant churches across the U.S. 

De Jesús is a Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Ministries, one of the fastest growing churches in Chicago and the largest Assemblies of God church in the nation. De Jesús grew up both in the church and in Humboldt Park, which provides him a unique perspective on leading this dynamic and diverse congregation. De Jesús describes his upbringing in Humboldt Park in his book Amazing Faith, available on and in Barnes and Noble.


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Chicago's Puerto Rican community extends its warmest congratulations to our community's very own Rev. De Jesús, whose life has been shaped by his amazing faith.

PRCC Updates

Panelists speak about Cuban 5 and Oscar López Rivera

Freedom Now!


Over 30 people said ¡Presente! to one of the closing events of the art exhibit featuring Antonio Hernández, one of the Cuban 5, and Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rican political prisoner's artwork. 


The panel, composed of José E. López (Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, brother of Oscar López Rivera), Felix Masud-Piloto (Cuban-American and DePaul professor), Mark Clements (Campaign to End Torture & Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, tortured and unjustly imprisoned for 26 years),and Mary L. Johnson (mother of Michael Johnson, Burge torture survivor) spoke eloquently about the importance of the struggle for different communities across the world.


After the Q&A session, the Network was able to sell 5 Oscar books and 2 CDs. To order yours, email View more pics of the event here.

NBHRN to open online
store next month

The National Boricua Human Rights Network will be opening an online store in time for the Peoples Parade in June. It will have "Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance", a CD collection of songs authored by some of Puerto Rico's most well-known singer-songwriters was also available for sale. "La Vida Es Lucha Toda" tributo a Oscar López Rivera features Roy Brown and Zoraida Santiago, Tony Mapeyé, Lucecita Benítez and Haciendo Punto en otro Son.

The book is available for $15.95 plus s/h and the CD for $12 plus s/h. The classic Oscar T-shirt (image left), are $10 each, plus shipping and handling, and is available in various sizes. The button (same image) is $1. 


To get your copy, contact Each copy is $15.95 plus shipping & handling. The Oscar CD is also available and costs $12 plus s/h. 

Committee to Free Oscar López Rivera Organized
Comerio Cultural Center Dedicates 33rd Jibaro Festival to PRCC


The CIRILO W. MEIJERS Comerio Cultural Center has dedicated its 33rd FESTIVAL JIBARO COMERIEÑO (June 7-9) to the Puerto Rican community of Chicago, represented by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Juan Antonio Corretjer of Chicago. In addition, they recognize that the tribute would not be complete without dedicating the festival also to Oscar López Rivera. In this spirit they have organized a "Committee to Free Oscar", which has already published a call urging the townspeople to become involved in the campaign to free Puerto Rico's longest held political prisoner.


33rd Festival Jibaro Comerieño

Eco-Cultural Tour

In Puerto Rico

A Celebration of Traditional Puerto Rican music


The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) invite you to join us in our first Eco-Cultural Tour of Puerto Rico from June 6th-11th, 2013.



Where we will stay!


Hotel Media Luna, Comerio, Puerto Rico
Places to be visited (tentative)


Museo de Arte 

 de Puerto Rico

Total Price: $1,500 (estimated) per person includes Air Transportation, 5 nights, 6 days in Hotel Media Luna, Breakfast and Dinner, Ground Transportation to and from the airport, to and from each excursion and taxes and fees. (Price will vary depending on group size and hotel room occupancy. Price for couples available at cheaper price) DEADLINES: $100 deposit due by Monday, April 22, and balance of the entire $1500 due May 5th for the entire cost of the trip. For more information contact Militza Pagán at 773-227-7794.

Cemi Museum and Piedra Escrita in Jayuya


Antonio Martorell's Studio at Playa de Ponce & Plaza Las Delicias in Ponce

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Homeless Prevention and

Rental Assistance Program


Do you qualify for rental assistance?

  • Homeless?
  • About to be homeless?
  • Falling behind in rent?
  • Need a security deposit and first month's rent?

Eligibility for Assistance:

  • Resident of Humboldt Park or Logan Square
  • Seeking housing in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square community
  • Behind on rent

For more information, please contact Melissa Rodríguez at 773.227.7794.

Del Batey a la Isla: 

Fundraising Event for the Batey Urbano


Sobremesa Supper Club is hosting a fundraiser for the Batey Urbano collective youth to travel to Puerto Rico in June for an educational, ecological Tour in Puerto Rico.


Sobremesa Supper Club is the only Latino inspired fine-dining experience in Chicago that is 100% boricua owned.  It is run by a collective of four talented Puerto Ricans raised in the island.  We showcase seasonal products from local, urban farms and providers located in the four-state area (i.e., Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin). Sobremesa is a dining experience that aims to trigger connections between individuals from different parts of town over a meal, while striving to promote community and foster relationships.


Join us on Thursday, May 23th at 7:30pm to eat a delicious, vegetable forward and Latino inspired tasting menu (8 to 10 courses), be part of Chicago's underground foodie scene, and contribute to an important  cause for our youth as they will be getting closer to going from the "Batey a la isla." This event will take place in a secret location in Pilsen with more details to come once reservations are made. We accommodate for vegetarians and for food restrictions/ allergies. 

Suggested donation: $75 (all proceeds go to the Batey's trip) 


Reservations are on a first come, first-served basis and are only made through our email: Reserve today, tickets will go fast! 


About the Chef: Gabriel Moya was chosen to be part of the 2013 Bib Gourmand list in the Michelin's NYC Restaurant Guide. He is a young Puerto Rican Chef who graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Poughkeepsie, NY.  He has worked in various restaurants in NYC: The Modern, Falai, Anella, and, most recently, Calyer (Executive Chef). In 2012, Gabriel moved to Chicago to start this new and exciting venture with two of his childhood friends. Gabriel is a new, refreshing and daring proposal for the contemporary food scene in Puerto Rico and Chicago. Read more about him here.


The Files/Las Carpetas: A Small (But Valuable) Glimpse


The Puerto Rico documentary The Files (Las Carpetas) offer us a small glimpse of life under a police state. It gives us a quick glance of politically-motivated persecution; a multi-character montage of those who dared to speak of or work towards justice, equality, and freedom. And in sincere chats with the camera, they describe the suffering they endured because of it.


In Puerto Rico on May 29
Grupo 32 por Oscar


In a re-creation of a cell with the same 6x9 dimensions that Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera has endured, 32 Puerto Rican popular personalities will voluntarily submit to a symbolic imprisonment for an hour or more. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, the day on which Oscar was arrested and begins his 32nd year of imprisonment. This project will last 24 hours. This project is being organized by Dr. Fernando Cabanillas, Myrta Cabanillas, attorney José Juan Nazario, and attorney Federico Comas, among others.


The prison cells will be located in the municipalities of San Juan, Caguas, Arecibo, Ponce and Mayagüez. Some of the 56 persons who confirmed their participation as of today are:

* Attorney Carlos Gallisá

* Néstor Duprey

 * Attorney Ignacio Rivera

* Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz

* Prof. Mayra Montero

* Franciscan Father Ángel Darío Carrero

* Senator José Nadal Power

* Artist Nick Quijano

* Dr. José A. Vargas Vidot

* Atilano Cordero Badillo

* Clarisa López (Oscar's daughter)

For more information
Descansa en Paz, Compañero Carlos Ortiz 


By Maria Ortiz

Our  friend  and comrade Carlos Ortiz passed away Sunday April  21st 2013. Carlos worked at Clemente High School during the period of the school reform and was very active in the campaign to free the Puerto Rican political prisoners. I met Carlos on a long trip that we took together to protest for the freedom of the Puerto Rican political prisoners in New York City in 1998. 


Carlos was a very special human being. He was a caring loving friend. Carlos  dedicated  his life helping others here in Puerto Rico and Chicago. Last Friday former Puerto Rican political prisoner Alicia Rodriguez and her mother Fifo, Nivea Torres and I visited Carlos in the intensive care unit. He cried when he saw Fifo and was happy to see us. Carlos was blessed with a wonderful family- two sisters and a brother that loved him and took care of him when he needed them. Descansa en paz compañero.

Carlos at Clemente HS

PACHS recycles Tech Hardware for Needy Students


Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School successfully recycled 60 pieces of technology, including 20+ CPUs during Spring Break. In partnership with PC recyclers and rebuilders, 21st Century Tech Seminar facilitator Alejandro Luis Molina and students Ricardo Santoyo and Edgar Velez organized and prepared the surplus tech equipment (most over 6 years old) and brought the equipment outside so the staff from PCrr could load it more quickly. PCrr will now re-check and repair the equipment and re-distribute to needy schools and students across Chicago.


A second round of tech equipment, mostly CRT monitors, will be recycled this week.