Puerto Rican Cultural Center Newsbriefs
IPRAC'S Trailer Park Proyects at Erie Elementary Charter School



On Friday, May 24th, the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture's Trailer Park Proyects had a presentation for the students at Erie Charter School. The event was done outside with almost the entire school participating. Every child was given T-shirts made by the artist of the Trailer Park Proyects. Billy Ocasio, IPRAC's CEO, was also present and spoke with students.



4th Grade Erie Charter School Students use Paseo Boricua as a Classroom


On Wednesday, May 15th the 4th grade students of Erie Elementary Charter School took a tour of Paseo Boricua. They tour was led by Jose E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. The tour began at Artesian and Division near the huge steel Puerto Rican flag located there. Students walked along Division Street learning about the Paseo Boricua Walk of Fame, La Casita de Don Pedro and the long history of Puerto Ricans in Humboldt Park. The tour ended at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture with a presentation by Carlos Hernández on the Tainos. At the end of the tour, the 4th grade students of Erie Elementary Charter School took a collection and donated money to IPRAC.



El Rescate to be featured at the 2013 United States Conference on AIDS


El Rescate, Vida Sida's transitional housing program, will be taking part in the 2013 US Conference on AIDS (USCA). USCA is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together over thousands of workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic-from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and policy-makers-to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. The Conference will convene September 8-11, 2013 in New Orleans. The members of El Rescate Program will be giving a workshop presentation to the conference participants on Tuesday, September 10.



Paseo Boricua Beautification Update


Through an initiative of Alderman Roberto Maldonado the Paseo Boricua flags were repainted Wednesday, May 29th. Through the collaborative effort of Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Division Street Business Development Association, Roberto Clemente Community Association and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, the planters on Division St will be restored and replanted in time for Puerto Rican People's Parade on June 15th.


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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 
Monarch Community Garden Giveaway Day!


The Monarch Community Garden Give Away Committee met this week and is planning the first give away of Monarch Garden's surplus produce. Living in a produce desert (more info here), this is what we want to do.

* FIRST GIVE AWAY: Sunday, June 23, 2013, from 11am-1pm
* Place your surplus or what you want to give away on the picnic tables by Saturday, June 22
* We will organize and publicize the giveaway through by reaching out through our website, Facebook page, twitter and some leaflets
* No reserving food bags; first come first serve basis
* limit one bag per family

thanks, looking forward to the first giveaway!

For more information:


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.

¡Humboldt Park 


Apartment Listings


1530 N. Kedzie - Studios 

$675 and up

Heat included, $0 Deposit



2734 W. Division

$730 1 bed



1850 N. Kedzie - Studios 

$750 and up, $0 Deposit



Potomac and Kedzie

$775 2 bed 



1742 N. Humboldt - Studios

$795 and up

Heat included, $0 Deposit



Washtenaw & Walton

$850 - 1 bed



954 N. Rockwell

$850 2 bed

Avail 8/1, $850 Deposit



1530 N. Kedzie - 2 bed

$895, $0 Deposit

Heat included



1542 N. Kedzie - 2 bed

$895, $550 move-in fee



Division & Rockwell

$900 2 bed


Reference ID #2478


Maplewood and Lemoyne

$925 2 bed

Gas Heat, Laundry, Avail. 8/1



1143 N. Rockwell

$925 - 2 bed



911 N. Francisco

$950 2 bed



2441 W. Cortez - Garden

$950  1 bed



1330 N. Ridgeway

$975 3 bed

Coin laundry, parking included



852 N Fairfield Garden

$1000 2 bed



1742 N. Humboldt 

$1025 - 1 bed

Heat included, $0 Deposit



1832 N. Humboldt - 1 bed


Heat included, $0 Deposit



1521 N California

$1150 - 3 bed



Thomas & Washtenaw

$1150 2 bed



2717 W. Evergreen

$1300 - 2 bed



Boricua, Return 

to El Barrio

Community Calendar of Events


32 Days for 32 Years

April 28-May 29, Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division


Mercado del Paseo Boricua Farmer'sMarket

El Rescate Rummage Sale


Friday, May 10th 2pm-7pm

Saturday May 11th 10am-3pm, 2628 W. Division St.       


College Pipeline and BACCA Culminating Event

Friday, May 31st 6pm, Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division


Puerto Rican Agenda Meeting, Special Guest: Representative from Puerto Rican Studies Center at Hunter College

Saturday, June 1st 9am-11:30am, IPRAC, 3015 W. Division


Puerto Rico Eco-Tour Trip,


Thursday, June 6th to Tuesday, June 11th

Contact: militzap@prcc-chgo.org


Puerto Rican People's Parade Dignitaries Event honoring San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto

Friday, June 14th 6pm, IPRAC, 3015 W. Division


Puerto Rican People's Parade

Saturday, June 15th

Puerto Rico: Urban Art for Oscar


Urban  Art Project  demanding  the  release of  Oscar  López  Rivera,  political  Puerto Rican  prisoner  and  fighter  for  the independence  of  Puerto  Rico,  from prison.


32 x Oscar Events in Puerto Rico and the US Point to Support Across Political Spectrum

32 Days for 32 Years: Youth Lead Effort to Educate and Free Oscar López Rivera


Over 130 people jammed into Batey Urbano on Wednesday evening, May 29 to hear, see, listen, sing and pray on the 32 anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Oscar López Rivera, decorated Viet Nam veteran and Puerto Rican political prisoner. The commemoration, part of a series tof events that will culminate with the extraordinary Oscar contingent for the 1st United Puerto Rican Peoples Parade, Sat, June 15. See ad below. Crime Against Humanity, the acclaimed play based on the real-life experiences of the Puerto Rican political prisoners, returned to Chicago as part of the commemoration the week before for three performances, with a new local cast and over 50 new spectators. 

Oscar, who was arrested May 29, 1981 at 10:30am in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, has served 32 years in 7 federal prisons, 12 of them in Control Unit prisons with the highest level security rating at that time. Over the course of his 32 years in prison, his co-defendants-who were arrested in 1980 and 1983 and served time for the same charges- Alicia and Ida Luz Rodriguez, Carmen Valentín, Dylcia Págan, Alejandrina Torres, Alberto Rodriguez, Edwin Cortes, Luis Rosa, Elizam Escobar, Haydee Beltrán, Adolfo Matos Antongiorgi, Ricardo Jiménez, and most recently, Carlos Alberto Torres have been released, 9 of them by Pres. Bill Clinton's executive clemency in 1999 and Carlos Alberto by parole in 2010.   

Michelle Morales, long-time activist and spokesperson for the Network, and Alyssa Villegas, Batey Urbano leader and Network member, co-emceed the event which began with José E. López, brother of Oscar and Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, being freed and escorted to the front, where he was accompanied by other project participants. 

The audience was then treated to Batey leader and Latino Alliance activist Matt McCanna's compilation video of the 32 prisoners which had taken part in the "32 Days for 32 Years" project. and was followed by a short video of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin being interviewed by NY Assemblyman Jose Rivera.

A scene from Crime against Humanity was also performed by José "Pinky" Perez. Several of the prisoners also reflected on their "prison" experiences, including youth from El Rescate, community residents, immigration reform leader Emma Lozano and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School Dean of Students Judy Diaz. 

A extraordinary recognition was given to the compañeros who had been part of the campaign and struggle for more than fifteen years and fittingly enough, a standing ovation was reserved for Josefina "Fifo" Rodriguez, mother of Alicia and Ida Luz Rodriguez.

Mayor Carmen Yulin and the City of San Juan had also sponsored an exhibition of Oscar's art, which opened Memorial Day and can be seen here.
Carmen Yulin Cruz Alcaldesa de San Juan por la libertad de Oscar Lopez Rivera video por Jose Rivera
Carmen Yulin Cruz Alcaldesa de San Juan por la libertad de Oscar Lopez Rivera video por Jose Rivera

The event in Chicago was complimented by a stunning show of broad support and solidarity by civil society in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora, events have taken place commemorating Oscar's unjust imprisonment in:

* San Juan         * Caguas        * Mayaguez
* Ponce             * Arecibo        * Aibonito
Mercedes Lopez, Oscar's sister, in cell in Mayaguez

In a spectacular display of strength and solidarity, 10 mayors from different cities in Puerto Rico went to jail for Oscar, and a resolution calling for his freedom was passed by the Puerto Rican Senate and separately, by the town of Aibonito.

An Editorial appeared in El Nuevo Día, articles appeared in El Vocero, Primera Hora and El Nuevo Dia. In New York, two articles also appeared in El Diario-La Prensa (free registration required). Music superstar Rene Perez Joglar from Calle 13 tweeted that he was "going to prison for Oscar" as soon as he got off a flight from Argentina to Puerto Rico, where Oscar's daughter, Clarisa also spent an hour. View video here. As well, Ricky Martin, also sent a press release, from Australia, calling on Pres. Obama to release Oscar.
Rene Perez Joglar in "prison" with his family, for Oscar

There was intense activity on Facebook and Twitter by the different organizing committees involved. You can see dozens of pictures here. Resolutions in support of Oscar's freedom was also 

In New York the NYC Coordinadora to Free Oscar López Rivera held a vigil at the mural of Oscar and Norberto and Avelino Claudio Gonzalez in El Barrio, which was well-attended.

* Chicago         * New York       * Philadelphia
* Cleveland

* Madrid, Spain


On May 24, a group of students at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), organized an event on the life and struggle of of Oscar López Rivera. 


The event counted on the online participation of the ex-political prisioner Alicia Rodríguez, Oscar's daughter, Clarisa López Ramos, attorney Eduardo Villanueva, spokesperson for the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico and a video of Rafael Cancel Miranda speaking about Oscar.

Rafael Cancel Miranda ante los 32 a??os en prisi??n de Osc??r L??pez Rivera
Rafael Cancel Miranda ante los 32 a??os en prisi??n de Osc??r L??pez Rivera

Approximately 30 people participated in the event, including a group of boricua residents of Madrid, alongside students and workers from other countries such as Chile, Poland, México, Venezuela and Spain, who were able to learn first-hand about the campaign to free Oscar and the struggle for independence.


* Habana, Cuba


Former President of the Peoples Assembly of Cuba, Ricardo Alarcón Quesada, spoke at a commemoration sponsored by the Cuban Institute of Friendship between Peoples (ICAP) the speech which can be downloaded here, featured the poster below.
This is a civil movement that is demanding Oscar's return in so many ways- vigils, protests, marches, songs, poetry, theater, literature and prayers, across the political spectrum- in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora, joined by 5 Nobel Laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Join us to support Oscar's release at the upcoming event:

* 1st United Peoples Parade, Sat June 15, noon, Division and Artesian. Join the Oscar contingent!
For more info: http://boricuahumanrights.org/ 

See all Chicago 32 x 32 videos here!

PRCC Updates

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.


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", the CD collection of songs authored by some of Puerto Rico's most well-known singer-songwriters is 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 alejandrom@boricuahumanrights.org. Each copy is $15.95 plus shipping & handling. The Oscar CD is also available and costs $12 plus s/h. 

Social Media links for Oscar Lopez Rivera Campaign and May 29th



32 x Oscar (5 cells exhibit in Puerto Rico on May 29th)


National Boricua Human Rights Network (Chicago Chapter) 





National Boricua Human Rights Network (Chicago Chapter)