June 19, 2013

1st Seasonal Monarch 

Community Garden Give Away 

Let's be part of our community's 

response to the Produce Desert!


* FIRST GIVE AWAY: Sunday, June 23, 2013, from 11am-1pm, Monarch Garden!



* Monarch Gardeners surplus produce. ONLY donated surplus is available; that will be on tables in bags.

* No reserving food bags; 

first come first serve basis

* limit one bag per family




For more information:



Free English CPR Training

Block by Block would like to invite you to participate in two free upcoming trainings for individuals. The American Red Cross will provide these trainings, which will both be facilitated in English only. 

The English CPR Training and First Aid Training for individuals will take place Saturday, July 13, 2013 and Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM.


You must attend both trainings to receive your CPR and First Aid Certification, call or e-mail janeida Rodriguez to reserve your space.



- These trainings will require participants to be able to kneel on the ground throughout the training.

- We cannot accommodate to train groups from organizations, but are glad to share the contact information for the American Red Cross so that you can coordinate a training for your organization. 


The trainings will take place at our facility: The Greater Humboldt Park Diabetes Empowerment Center is located at 2753 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622.

Parks, Politics & People: A Walking Tour of Humboldt Park

Saturday, July 20

10 AM to 12 PM

You are invited to join Alliance Core Members DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture and The Polish Museum of America for a tour of Humboldt Park, which has historically been a magnet for immigrants who bring their own cultural traditions to the neighborhood and park.


Explore how these communities shaped this neighborhood since its founding in 1869 and hear the stories of how these three ethnic groups worked to make Humboldt Park home while continuing to honor ties to their respective homelands.


This two hour walking tour through the park and surrounding community leaves from the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture. Tickets are $20 per person.


This tour is part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance's Experience Chicago program, and its development was funded by a generous grant from The Boeing Company.


First United Puerto Rican People's Parade: A Historic Achievement in the Promotion of Culture and Community

The First United Puerto Rican People's Parade, despite the logistical obstacles, was indeed a historic success. Thousands of people participated. Dozens upon dozens of groups and floats joined the procession and the overwhelming positive media coverage was unprecedented. The important themes around culture, community, youth, education and human rights, particularly the campaign to free Oscar López Rivera, were highlighted both in the Parade as well as in the coverage. Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, the mayor of San Juan who served as the first Grand Marshal of the Parade, was joined by some of the most important political figures in the community and in Illinois including Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Governor Pat Quinn, Cook County President Toni Preckwinckle and Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.

Puerto Rican and Latino elected officials, from all levels of government, also joined the dignitaries' contingent: State Senator Iris Martinez, State Representative Cynthia Soto, State Representative Antonia "Toni" Berrios, Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Alderman Rey Suarez, Alderman Rey Colon, Alderman Proco Joe Morreno, and Alderman Ariel Reboyras. Additionally, this year a contingent noting the important roles of Puerto Rican veterans of the 65th Regiment, most importantly the Borinqueneers, also played an active role in the parade.
The parade was covered live on cable television by CAN TV, was featured on Sunday, June 16th on ABC and in the public channel in Puerto Rico. The printed media particularly Hoy and the Chicago Tribune also carried lead articles. 


Community Receives San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto with Love and Warmth

Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto was warmly received by 60 leaders of the Puerto Rican Agenda at a luncheon at La Bruquena on Friday, June 14th. At the luncheon the various leaders, including Alderman Roberto Maldonado and Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes, discussed cultural, economic and educational opportunities between the Puerto Rican community in Chicago and San Juan with the Mayor. Carmen Yulín at a Press Conference covered by ABC was presented by Alderman Roberto Maldonado with a Chicago City Council Resolution honoring her as the First Grand Marshal of the First United Puerto Rican People's Parade. She was also interviewed by Hoy newspaper and was featured on the front page of La Voz del Paseo Boricua. Throughout the day on Friday people lined the sidewalks to get her signatures on the front page of La Voz.

Obviously the reception she received during her short stay here and during the parade was truly an example of how deep is the love and respect people in Chicago feel towards her successful campaign to be mayor of San Juan and her leadership. On Friday evening, at the Dignitaries' Event held at Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, the Mayor was welcomed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. The Governor proclaimed his desire to create a sister river with San Juan. On Saturday, June 15th an intimate breakfast was held with Congressman Luis Gutiérrez to thank her for her support of the campaign to free Oscar López Rivera. At noon on Saturday, Mayor Carmen Yulín led the first United Puerto Rican People's Parade along with various dignitaries including Congressman Luis Gutiérrez and Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto's visit was a historic visit and we look forward to when she will return to Chicago again.
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School Celebrates, Commemorates Close of 40th Year

On Tuesday June 18th, 2013 Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School held its 40th annual commencement ceremony. With 27 graduates this year, the boathouse was filled with family, friends, and non-graduating students of "La Escuelita" to congratulate our graduates during this important occasion. Although with cold temperature, the ceremony was warmed with celebration and condolences to the families of Irma Romero, a long-time activist in the Puerto Rican community and member of the school's board of directors who passed in January along with the family of Karla Olivares, a senior in our school who's family received an honorary diploma due to her unfortunate passing this month.


Bringing its 40th school year to a close, the school was able to acknowledge the work of its founders - like Oscar López-Rivera. In addition, the school took time to acknowledge its supporters, community partners, and collaborators in making the school year a success. The school's music and culture class performed at the ceremony along with one of our school's alumni, Casandra Figueroa who opened our event with our ceremonial singing of La Borinqueña Revolucionaria. On behalf of our students and staff, we extend our gratitude to all of those who were in attendance as well as those who have made contributions in support of our school's efforts to engage students in critical pedagogy connected to community and culture.

Clemente HS Celebrates 2013 Graduation

This past Monday, Roberto Clemente Community Academy said farewell to the senior  class of 2013. All fifty  of the students participating in the College Pipeline project,twenty two of which were inducted into the National Honors Society,  joined their peers in the commencement ceremony opened by Marcey Sorensen. Pipeline students Yanarily Rodriguez and Ariana Myers held the positions as Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively, both reciting motivational speeches to their peers wishing them well on their paths after high school. Yanarily recently accepted a full ride to Oberlin University which she will be attending in the fall. Along with the the principal and assistant principal, Marcey Sorensen and Christina Menedez, Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno and Rev. Wilfredo "Choco" De Jesus, big the students farewell and good luck on their futures in higher education. Students are called by divisions to accept their diplomas and officially become high school graduates. All of the pipeline students have been accepted into the  universities or colleges of their choice and are all on track for their first day fall 2013. Congratulations College Pipeline Students! 


PRCC Thanks Sponsors and Supporters for Making the Parade and La Voz a Community Success Story!

The PRCC thanks all those who volunteered and who purchased ads for La Voz. This was the largest La Voz edition ever with the most advertisements. La Voz contains an insert on the International Baccalaureate Program at Clemente High School and an exclusive interview with Alderman Maldonado on the new redlining in our community. 

IPRAC Trailer Proyect opens new exhibit featuring Pioneer Puerto Rican journalist Claudio Flores

Nearly a 100 people gathered at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) on Friday, June 14th to open a new exhibit sponsored by Trailer Proyect on the Puerto Rican journalism pioneer Claudio Flores and his newspaper El Puertorriqueño. The exhibit was partially curated by his granddaughter Kelly Gonzalez, whose graduation from DePaul School of Journalism with a Master's Degree coincided with this momentous occasion. A sizable number of children, grandchildren and other relatives of Claudio Flores were present at this opening. We urge our readers to visit this small but powerful showcasing of one of Chicago's Puerto Rican community's major achievement: the development of a journalism tradition.


The West Town Bikes Crew Joins the Puerto Rican People's Parade 

Rain Snow or shine West Town Bikes is always present. Bike Parade Floats made from recycled bike boxes representing the traditional elements of Puerto Rican Imagery. The Cotorra, the Amapola, and the Flamboyan bikes were being pulled by a four-person pedal powered Bike (ZEM CAR) were the featured Bike floats in the West Town Bikes Group. Our very own Boys and Girls Bike Club and other West Town Bikes Partners also accompanied West Town Bikes


El Rescate Shows Love for Community

Residents from El Rescate rolled their sleeves during the last few days to show their love and support to the community. They actively participated in the beautification of planters on Division St., distributed La Voz del Paseo Boricua newspaper, and packaged condom in anticipation for the First Unified Puerto Rican People's Parade.


For many of the residents this was their first time involved in the community events that started with the pageant coronation on Friday night at Circuit, being part of the distribution of condoms and waiving at the crowd with their flags of pride on Saturday, and continued to Monday as they teemed to clean and beautify Division Street cleaning sidewalks, along other residents and business owners that know this street is our home.    

We thank and congratulate all of the residents of El Rescate for their efforts to make Humboldt Park shine.
Combating the Food Desert in Humboldt Park
La Bruquena is on Division Street in Humboldt Park on the Near Northwest Side. Its Facebook page promises a gastronomic experience with Puerto Rican cuisine fused from the culture's more than 500 years of Taínos, Spanish, and African influences. Zoraida Tañón has owned it with her husband, Roberto, for 25 years. Keep reading...

Teach For America Immersion Tour on Paso Boricua

On Thursday, June 20th 50 Teach for America teachers will be coming to visit our community. These teachers will be working in various schools throughout the Greater Humboldt Park area beginning in the fall. The purpose of the day's events is to immerse the teachers in the Humboldt Park community in order for them to better serve the students of this community.  The day will include a panel discussion with community leaders, a tour of Paseo Boricua, and lunch at various restaurants on Paseo Boricua. They will also volunteer at different community organizations including the Division Street Business Development Association, Norwegian American Hospital, Vida Sida and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. The day will end with some time for reflection with Jose E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

Best Wishes, Compañero Félix!
Below we reproduce a note from Félix Shafer, to Alejandro Luis Molina. Félix, a compañero in solidarity with Puerto Rican independence and freedom for Puerto Rican political prisoners over 40 years, is presently battling cancer.

"¡Hola! compañero(s)


Greetings from the alert night world of my San Francisco. You've heard some news of my health crisis and hopefully of the way that I and we are meeting it- fight like the soviets at Stalingrad but with a good deal less violence, more privilege, humor and allied support

plus great doctors etc. Enclosed is a photo of "my" innermost ring: the ones's who have exchanged the keys to each other, some of whom for more than 45 years. The picture was about a week ago....since than "adios pelo" (goodbye hair)


As you can imagine I am fairly drenched, inundated by peoples responses of love and solidarity, and I'm thinking a lot about Tommy, Herman Wallace, the stroke to Mutulu and Jalil (long-term Black political prisoners) and more

Please accept this abrazo -militant and tender and share it with Jose. Actually, physically, I feel quite improved as there are real gains from the treatment so far. The photo is worth 1000 words






The Paseo Boricua Farmer's Market will reopen this weekend. Through this initiative the PRCC seeks to provide a place for Humboldt Park community residents to acquire fresh produce. The Famer's Market takes places on Fridays from 2pm-7pm and Saturdays from 10am-3pm at 2628 W. Division St. 

Campaign breaks wall of censorship;
Oscar López Interviewed by El Nuevo Día, Univision-Puerto Rico and Claridad Newspaper

In one of three interviews obtained as result of direct intervention by Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, pressure from the campaign to free Oscar and serious professional journalists who delivered what the Puerto Rican people wanted to hear, Oscar, after a very long dry spell of no contact with the media was granted three telephone interviews back to back on the same day. The three were:


Candida Cotto, CLARIDAD newspaper, coming soon

José Delgado, El Nuevo Día, published Wed, June 19. Read here.

Sylvia Gómez, Univisón Puerto Rico, televised Wed., June 19.


Clarisa López Ramos, Oscar's daughter, testifies at the UN Decolonization Committee hearings

This past Monday, June 17, 2013, Clarisa López Ramos, daughter of Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera presented before the Special Committee of 24 at the United Nations in New York.  The president of the committee, Mr. Diego Morejón Pazmino made a short presentation before Clarisa began her testimony. One of the most emotive moments of her testimony was her reading a part of a letter Her father had sent on May 29, the day he began his 32nd year of prison.


"A person dressed like a prisoner, with mussed up hair and in a dehumanizing and toxic environment like the ones in prison tend to create a bad impression on a 10 year old girl. With your look, you communicated  a lot. But it let me know what I had to begin to get close to you. Bit by bit, the visits became easier. Each time I saw you, I studied your looks and features. Seeing you arrive for each visit was very gratifying and made me super happy. Seeing you leave was a pain in my heart already split in half."


While those present listened to the details described by Clarisa, tears ran down the faces of almost all present. Equally powerful where the closing words of her presentation- the last paragraph of a letter written to her by her father. "The strength that you have, helps me very much The most interesting is that we are emotionally similar. We have a lot in common and also because of our genes. 32 years have passed and not a  day goes by that I have not been thinking of you, sometimes feeling deep preoccupations and on other occasions feeling rays of happiness, but always sending you much love and positive energy. To give you a better idea of the butterflies that accompany the paintings of Karina and yours throughout the years, the Monarch butterfly flies from the Canadian border with Minnesota to the central part of México. From the time you were a baby I have dreamed of making a trip of the Monarch butterfly with you and including Karina- in a Volkswagen Beetle, stopping at a Native reservation (Lakotas or Navajos) and then keep going until we reach the Monarch's final destination. If an insect can make this journey, then it's worth making the trip together."  Clarisa demonstrated to the audience that no bars, nor prison, nor distance can contain her love for her father and vice versa.


This was the 32nd year the at the Decolonization Committee has resolved that international law applies to the colonial case of Puerto Rico, The resolution was sponsored by Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador and adopted by consensus for the 11th year in a row.


Among the significant things involved in the resolution were a recognition of the continuing imprisonment of Oscar as a humanitarian concern. Also, most of the petitioners from the independence movement and many who were not, distinguished Oscar's case as a point of concern. Clarisa was last speaker of 40 petitioners and when she finished, there was not a dry eye in the house. Afterwards, the president of the committee from Ecuador,  congratulated Clarisa on her beautiful remarks. Most of the petitioners waited in line to congratulate her afterwards. After the hearing, the Venezuelan mission had a reception for the petitioners, community leaders and other members of the diplomatic corp. On one side of the mission was an art exhibit of the famous Puerto Rican leaders throughout history, including Oscar and a full program that included, poetry, music, and speeches.


Message from Oscar to his granddaughter, Karina on the occasion of her graduation

Dearest Karina:  i would like to congratulate you on what will be one of the greatest, most memorable and glorious days of your young life.  After 16 years of schooling you have graduated from the University of Chicago.  When your name is called make sure your beautiful eyes shine with great joy and  great pride, but also with humbleness and humililty.  Never forget that life is full of challenges and often times with disappointments.  But don't let anyone or anything deter or discourage you, because you have the internal fortitude to face and overcome whatever obstacle that come your way .  The greater the challenge the harder your response.  If you fail then try and try again, because success often comes after many trials and tribulations.  The fact you are graduating today is enough evidence you have what it takes to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself.  Look forward with courage and patience and you will succeed.


For me you are the second greatest gift i've received in this world. You and Clarisa are always in my heart and mind, and in spirit i'm by your side at all times, even during this momentous occasion.  i'm fairly certain you are a greater gift to Carmen.  For being what she has been to you i'll always be indebted to her.  i know this is a great day for her and i hope she will be just as happy as you are.  

You are blessed young woman and i hope you'll remain as such for the rest of your life.  As you go forward always fill your heart with love, compassion, hope and courage.  Love yourself, your family, your brethren, the earth, the sea, freedom and justice and everything that represents and makes live possible and of course learning. Big kiss and a big hug with short Puerto Rican arms, but with lots of love, OLR

Independent Video Archive Stores Puerto Rican Nationalists memories
Rare video of Puerto Rican Nationalists release in Chicago; Grand Jury resister speaking. View them here.
Ahorre un 25%
Si usa un cupón especial o código de promoción, inclúyalo aquí. O, indique si el cupón se debe imprimir y presentar personalmente. ¿Es transferible el cupón? De ser así, inste a los receptores a compartir las ofertas con sus amigos o familiares para maximizar el efecto viral del cupón.
La oferta vence: Ingrese la fecha de vencimiento aquí