Humboldt Park Community Takes Action Against Private Social Club


Alderman Roberto Maldonado, along with local business owners, pastors, community organizations and community members, including the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Executive Director, José E. López, held a press conference Wednesday, May 1st to address the murder that occurred this past Sunday outside a private club located at 2504 W. Division St. 


The alderman stressed that despite his desire to shut down this private club, his hands are tied. He said he and the police could do nothing because of an odd loophole in the law that allows the club to operate as a state-chartered private social club. Chicago police have no jurisdiction to enter the establishment unless a call of a fight or incident was made from inside the club. Otherwise they had to treat it like a private residence and could not go in if denied entry. 


Maldonado announced that he intended to create a city ordinance to require that such state-chartered social clubs obtain some type of permit from the city to operate as a way to ensure that these types of establishments are better regulated. 


Dr. James Oliver, senior advisor of President of University of Illinois,

to visit Humboldt Park


This Friday, May 1st a private lunch will be held at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) with Dr. James Oliver, senior advisor to University of Illinois President, Robert A. Easter, and key stakeholders in the community. 


The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the relationship between the University of Illinois and the community's efforts to improve the education system in Humboldt Park. Also to be discussed is how the University of Illinois can better serve Latino communities. Following the lunch, Dr. Oliver will visit key educational institutions including Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Roberto Clemente High School and Wright College's Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center.

32 Days for 

32 Years Needs You-

Volunteer Now!



We need volunteers for the "Guard" position! 



GET INVOLVED, be a guard for a day! 



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.


REACH through the prison walls & SAY NO TO INJUSTICE


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


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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

We are proud recipients of United Way contributions 
¡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
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North at Kimball
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3600 W. Augusta
3 bd $1000
Section 8 Approved
1723-33 N. Humboldt
2 bd $715 - $1020
3 bd $825 - $1020
to El Barrio 


To Oscar López and the López family, on the passing of Lydia López, 77 years old, wife of Oscar's paternal grandfather.

CO-OP Humboldt Park to Start Weekly Farmer's Market

Fridays and Saturdays on Paseo Boricua


CO-OP Humboldt Park is pleased to announce the start of its weekly Farmer's Market next Friday, May 10. The Farmer's Market will take place weekly on Fridays from 2pm-7pm and Saturdays 10am-3pm at 2628 W. Division. The Farmer's Market will include organic, locally grown produce. Customers may buy 14 pounds of any produce available for $12.50 or may purchase individual fruits and vegetables. For more information, please contact Militza M. Pagán at or 773-227-7794.
¡Hasta Siempre, 
Compañero Carlos!
On Sunday, April 28th, Nivea Luz Torres, Maria Ortiz and Josefina "Fifo" Rodriguez headed to Juana Diaz, for the memorial service and burial of the ashes of our compañero Carlos Ortiz. At the site, former political prisoners Edwin Cortez and Adolfo Matos joined us. Members of his church and family performed the religious service. 
His brother Kiko spoke about the years that Carlos lived in Chicago and his involvement in the campaign to release the Puerto Rican political prisoners. He shared with us that as soon as Carlos returned to Juana Diaz and saw the sad situation of the towns HIV patients and homeless people, he became very concerned. He made a few phone call to his friends in Chicago and within days boxes started to arrive with the badly needed supplies. His volunteer work in Juana Díaz, began at that moment. Later on, he was appointed to run the program. His brother Kiko also acknowledged that some of Carlos friends from Chicago attended the activity and asked us to speak. Fifo spoke about Carlos work at Clemente and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. She also said what a wonderful human being Carlos was. Nivea mentioned his work with the Juan Antonio Corretjer Cultural Center and the campaign of the Comite Pro Derechos Humanos and the campaign for the release of the Political Prisoners and shared our deepest sympathy in this moment. She told them about the long drives with Carlos through different states to visit the Political Prisoners. His work in his home town of Juana Diaz also was a testimony that Carlos had been practicing the bibles teaching. Helping others in need is what he did all his adult life. The last person to speak was the Mayor. He too, knew the Carlos we knew. He mentioned that Carlos talked a lot about the work needed to be done, and he always mentioned the work that was being done in Chicago around the patients with HIV and AIDS. We then joined the family at the cemetery. Carlos ashes were placed in the family plot alongside his parents and grandparents. We placed Puerto Rican flags in both sides of the gravesite. His family are very thankful for all our support and the support of the Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago. Maria printed a copy of the last weeks news letter and gave it to his family. 
We will miss him so much. Kiko also mentioned that there were friends of Carlos from Chicago present among the mourners that he invited to speak. Fifo spoke about the wonderful human being Carlos was and about his work at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Clemente High School. She addressed his involvement in the campaign for the release of our political prisoners, including two of her daughters Alicia and Lucy Rodríguez, incarcerated for many years. Fifo also mentioned the presence of Edwin Cortés and Adolfo Matos, two former political prisoners who were there to honor the life and commitment of our compañero Carlos.
VidaSIDA 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), microbicides, and many others.


Treatment as Prevention (TaP)

TaP involves the regular use of antiretrovirals (drugs to treat HIV) by HIV-positive individuals to help reduce their viral load and, as a result, reduce their risk of transmitting the HIV virus to others. 


Antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications work to reduce the amount of virus (viral load) in a person's blood increasing the overall health of a person living with HIV.  Research has also shown that HIV positive people with low or undetectable viral loads are less likely to transmit the virus to others compared to HIV positive people with high viral loads. Knowing when to start a HIV positive person on ART medication is a complicated question because of the high costs of the drugs, concerns about adherence developing resistance, and drug side effects. 
32 Days for 32 Years:
Exhibition + Education


Casandra Figueroa
Casandra Figueroa
See all 4 videos here!

PRCC Updates

College Shadow Day at Columbia College Chicago


On Thursday, May 2nd the College Pipeline at Roberto Clemente Community Academy will be hosting a College Shadow Say at Columbia College Chicago. Eleven Clemente High School students who have been accepted to Columbia will be shadowing college students to get an idea of what an average day for a student at Columbia is like. Through this process our students will receive an organic experience that will shape their perception of post-secondary education. The pipeline is meant to prepare our students both academically and mentally for post-secondary education. A number of students from Clemente High School have received scholarships to attend Columbia including Alfredo Huerta and Edwin Diaz, who both received a $28,000 scholarship, and Sabrina Cintrón, who received a $32,000 scholarship.

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. 

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
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.


NYC Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito to Attend Puerto Rican Agenda Meeting Saturday


New York Council member, Melissa Mark-Viverito, will attend the Puerto Rican Agenda meeting this Saturday from 9am to 11:30 at the Hispanic Housing Management Office located at 1401 N. Kedzie. Melissa Mark-Viverito currently serves as a New York City Council Member, representing District 8, which includes El Barrio/East Harlem, Manhattan Valley and Mott Haven. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended Columbia College at Columbia University in New York City where she earned her B.A. in Political Science in 1991. Melissa was selected to attend the National Urban Fellows Program and earned her Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York in 1995.

In 2005, Melissa became the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina elected to serve as Council Member for the 8th Council District. In 2009, she was elected to her second term in the City Council. She currently serves as Chair of the City Council's Parks & Recreation Committee and Co-Chair of the Council's Progressive Caucus. She previously served as Co-Vice Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
Give Out Day to Benefit


Vida/SIDA has joined 405 other organizations throughout the USA and Puerto Rico to facilitate Give Out Day on May 9, 2013. Give Out Day is a day where people like you will step up in support of the many efforts that all non-profit organizations facilitate in our communities of

need. Vida/SIDA needs your support. The day is soon approaching and we need you to help us in reaching our fundraising goal to continue providing you

with our great services.


To donate, please click here and donate online.


If you so desire, you can also write a check to us and mail it or deposit your cash in our donation box at 2703 W Division St., Chicago, IL 60622. We are counting on you!

Rummage Sale Every Saturday Benefits 
El Rescate


Rummage Sale Saturday's 10-2PM to support El Rescate, transitional living home of Vida/SIDA.





April 27, 2013


In unyielding solidarity with Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera and his right to freedom, 32 women will demonstrate at the Dos Hermanos Bridge the last Sunday of every month, starting April 28, to remind the Puerto Rican people that they cannot rest until they win Oscar's return to his homeland.



"Oscar López Rivera will have served 32 years in prison on May 29," said the spokespeople for the group of women called 32 X Oscar. "All that time in United States prisons for aspiring and struggling for the freedom of his Homeland. Such a long, arbitrary and unjust sentence makes him one the prisoners held the longest for ideological reasons in the hemisphere. His imprisonment has lasted longer than what the admired Nelson Mandela suffered as a result of his commitment against apartheid in South Africa."


Starting tomorrow, Sunday, April 28, '32 X Oscar' will unite women the last Sunday of every month in a brief activity (32 minutes) for the purpose of joining the many efforts and initiatives being developed in Puerto Rico, the United States and other parts of the world, so that president Barack Obama grants a presidential pardon to this Puerto Rican born in San Sebastián del Pepino.


Among the participants in the vigil are notably the presence of Clarisa López, López Rivera's only daughter; attorney María Dolores Fernós; ex-political prisoners Alicia and Lucy Rodríguez; attorney Josefina Pantoja; and actresses Cristina Soler and Idalia Pérez Garay.


According the group's spokespeople, anyone interested in joining the activity can participate, but there will always be at least 32 participants. The women will meet at the Dos Hermanos Bridge because of its visibility and because a lot of people pass by it on their way to Puerta de Tierra and Old San Juan, Carolina and the Condado.


"Here there are women of different ideologies, but we are all firm believers in human rights, and we admire Oscar López Rivera's verticality, strength and patriotic commitment," the women added. "There is absolutely no reason for him to remain in prison, when all those accused with him of the offense called seditious conspiracy - which is nothing but the criminalization of political ideas - were released many years ago and have led productive and honorable lives in Puerto Rican society. If the president of the United States really believes in human rights, he should release Oscar, immediately and unconditionally. This demand has been embraced by the most diverse sectors, including the country's political parties.


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.

32 for Oscar


San Juan, 4/28/2013 - A campaign for the pardon of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera took shape today with a singular 32 minute demonstration carried out by a similar quantity of well-known women, including feminists, attorneys, actresses and members of the independence movement.


The movement called "32 for Oscar" took place for the first time this last Sunday of the month, and will be repeated the last Sunday of the coming months, until president Barack Obama pardons López Rivera, who next May 29 will mark 32 years in prison in the United States for the offense of seditious conspiracy for his struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.


Attorney Josefina Pantoja Oquendo, one of the organizers of the protest, pointed out the need to show clearly the Puerto Rican people's struggle for the freedom of the independentista, a struggle which various political and social personalities of the country have claimed.


Journalist Alida Millán Ferrer pointed out that "such an arbitrary and unjust sentence and converted Oscar into one of the prisoners held the longest for ideological reasons in the hemisphere." 


She recalled the case of Nelson Mandela who spent [27] years in prison for opposing the apartheid regime in South Africa.


"With this activity, we want to remind the Puerto Rican people that we can't rest until we bring Oscar back to the Homeland," she expressed.


Clarisa López Ramos assured Inter News Service (INS) that this Sunday her father was fasting in prison as a way to be in communion with the 32 women in solidarity with his release.


This is what my father said, with these words: "That is the way to be present with you all, in solidarity with you valiant women."


Mercedes López Rivera recalled that she shared with her brother for 38 years, the age he was when he went to prison, and that since then, "we've seen each other for almost 32 years behind glass and using a microphone" to communicate when he wasn't allowed physical contact.


"Oscar must get out. This activity is immense, and we need to do many more," she said.


The ex-ombudswoman for Women, María Dolores Fernós, stated that her participation in the activity had a purpose: "to remind Oscar López Rivera that the Puerto Rican people support him and to denounce what in my judgment is an inhumane act on the part of the United States government to keep this human being in prison for so many years."


"It is indispensable that we continually demonstrate so that president Obama pardons him," she told the INS news agency.


Ex Puerto Rican political prisoner Lucy Rodríguez and actresses Idalia Pérez Garay and Cristina Soler were also part of "32 for Oscar," which included women of different ideologies, "firm believers in human rights and who admire the verticality, firmness and patriotic commitment of Oscar López Rivera."


The demonstrators chose as their meeting place a side of the Dos Hermanos bridge, for its visibility and because a lot of people pass by it on their way to Puerta de Tierra and Old San Juan, Carolina and the Condado.


United States authorities consider that López Rivera, a veteran of the Vietnam War, was one of the principals of the clandestine Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) of Puerto Rico, which operated in Chicago and New York.


On his arrest on May 29, 1981, he was accused of seditious conspiracy, for supposedly trying to overthrow by force the authority of the United States over Puerto Rico, for which he was sentenced to 55 years in prison, to which they added another fifteen years for an alleged escape conspiracy.


In 1999, then president Bill Clinton granted clemency to a dozen Puerto Rican independentistas linked to the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) and The Macheteros, but conditioned López Rivera's offer on his serving another ten years in prison, which would have been completed in [September] of 2009.


The political prisoner rejected the U.S. president's offer because it didn't include some of his compañeros, such as Carlos Alberto Torres, who was released in July of 2010.


For many years, various sectors, including agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have done everything possible to ensure López Rivera not be released.