September 4, 2013

Thank You!


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center would like to thank the following people, organizations, and institutions for their help and support throughout all of Fiesta Boricua's week-long festivities.


Special thanks to Alderman Roberto Maldonado and State Representative Cynthia Soto for co-sponsoring Fiesta Boricua!


Thank you to the Jayuya Delegation lead by Francisco Torres-Pagán, President of the Municipal Assembly of Jayuya, Puerto Rico.



State Representative 

Luis Arroyo

Commissioner Edwin Reyes

Judge Beatriz Santiago

Aida Giachello

Omayra Giachello

Judge Gloria Chevere

Vilma Colom

Ray Vazquez

Billy Ocasio

Veronica Ocasio

Iram De Los Hoyos


Faith Based Institutions

 New Life Covenant Church

Rebaño Church

St. Marks Catholic Parish




Jayuya Babershop

La Bruquena


Community Institutions

Institute of Puerto Rican Arts 

and Culture

Casa Puertorriqueña

Roberto Clemente Community Academy

Diabetes Empowerment Center


Misa Jibara Coordinating Team

Hilda Frontany

Mary Nieves

Jaime Montezuma

Maria Concepción

Milly Santiago

Jessica Torres


Music Production

Jonathan Lizardi


Transportation Team

Luis Rosa

Frankie Diaz

Felix Rosa

Richard Torres

Alejandro Luis Molina


Cleaning Crew led by Lourdes Lugo and Matthew Rodríguez


Alyssa Villegas for National Boricua Human Rights Network


Video Crew

Matt McCanna

Edwin Diaz


Batey Urbano Stage

Becky Rios

Jessica Fuentes


Cooking Matters

Lola López


Volunteer Coordination

Mayra Estrella

Maria Borrero



Elias Carmona


FB 2013 Coordinating Team

José E. López,

Executive Director


Militza M. Pagán, 

Deputy Director


Juan M. Calderón, 

Chief Operating Officer


Alejandro Luis Molina, Secretary Board of Directors 



A cordial greeting to all. My name is Yolanda Muñoz and I am in charge of Prof. Luis Nieves Falcón's Art Collection, which is on sale for a good cause. Please visit our Facebok page. I can send you the catalog as well as additional documents. Any question or additional information needed interested parties can contact me at 787-370-9939 or via email
Humboldt Park Filmmaker's entry selected for Filminute, Int'l Film Festival!
Matt McCanna's short film, 'Safe Passage' has been selected as one of 25 1-minute films to compete in the international film festival, Filminute. Matt is a young leader, member of the Batey Urbano Collective, videographer and National Boricua Human Rights Network activist. 
Watch it, vote for it, give it a 5 star rating, and help Matt and Humboldt Park win the People's Choice Award! Please share!

Teaching positions available


Centro Infantil Corretjer

Job summary: Responsible for the education and general development of the children enrolled in the agency's Head Start Program. Implements the curriculum in accordance with Head Start standards, educational plan and the agency philosophy.

Download the job description here.

Centro Infantil 

Consuelo Lee Corretjer

Open Registration * Day Care Program * Head Start

We offer:

* Full day, Day Care for children 15 mos. to 3 yrs.

* Full day Head Start for children 3 to 5 yrs. 

* Research based curriculum

* Family involvement

* Nutritional Meals

* Parent workshops

Download the leaflet here.


Our Urban Agriculture

Last Sunday August 26th, the Giveaway Committee Volunteers (pictured below) gave away approximately 50 pounds of produce (mostly cherry tomatoes) to 35 people comprising 12 households. Thank you for the increased produce donations!
We're at the garden every Sunday from 11am-1pm and give away surplus Monarch Garden produce. Download the bi-lingual leaflet here and distribute to your friends, loved ones and neighbors.



* 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


You are encouraged to bring your own bags.

Growing Pride Community Garden Club of Humboldt Park

Garden Walk, Saturday, September 7, 2013, 1 to 4 pm


Los Tequis
Hot Website of the Week!

Visit our Social Media

(PRCC) #jacprcc
(PACHS) #albizucamposhs
(NBHRN) #free_olr



Network "dresses" Paseo Boricua with the image of Oscar, gathers almost 2000 signatures
The National Boricua Human Rights Network gathered allmost 2000 signatures during the 20th Fiesta Boricua while selling t-shirts, fans and buttons and books to further the message about the campaign for Oscar's freedom.

2 new pieces-1 by well known artist Erasmo Mayorga (above) and a new original piece of art by Puerto Rican artist Luis "Guillo" Diaz which will hang on Paseo Boricua for 1 week and then be mounted and travel to different institutions.


Comité Pro-Derechos Huamnos Spreads Message about Oscar

On August 29, we traveled to the town of Naranjito where the Committee 32 X Oscar continúes to impact the people with the participation of diverse sectors of Puerto Rican society encarcerating themselves in a 6 X 8 prison cell. 


We then proceded to the grand opening of  Oscar's exhibit Antesala de la Libertad in the town hall of Caguas, with the participation of the mayor, William Miranda Torres son of William Miranda Marin who continúes to follow in his fathers footsteps of unconditional support for Oscar's release.


Afterwards, we traveled to Manatí, where again the Committee 32 X Oscar was simulating Oscar 32 years of imprisonment.


We were not able to travel to Yauco, where compañero Adolfo Matos and the 32 X Oscar committee continúes to do work around the southern sector of Puerto Rico.  In Penuelas and Ponce, the comrades have been able to get the municipalities to pass resolutions in support of Oscar's incarceration.


We arrived back in Aguadilla, about 1:00 AM, tired and sleepy but with renewed strength to carry on the struggle for Oscar's immediate freedom.

32x Oscar
Play Video
32 Women Continue Monthly Sunday Vigils for Oscar
Cada último domingo de mes 32 mujeres se reúnen en el Puente Dos Hermanos en el área del Condado para desde allí reclamar la liberación de Oscar López Rivera. Oscar es un patriota encarcelado por 32 años, sin precedente en la historia contemporánea de presos políticos boricuas- más que Mandela. Su delito amar a su Patria Puerto Rico. Queremos que este trabajo se difunda con la intención de llamar la atención de esta injusticia. Reclamamos que el Sr. Obama firme la petición de indulto y libere ya a nuestro hermano.


"Art as a Weapon of Resistance"
The following message was written for the Oscar art exhibition in Caguas, Puerto Rico by Eduardo Villanueva on behalf of the Puerto Rican Human Rights Committee and can be downloaded in its entirety.

Dicen que en la guerra civil Española las fuerzas fascistas apresaban a los pintores porque los consideraban peligrosos. Ello, aunque no tuvieran una militancia política ostensible que los identificara con las fuerzas Republicanas. Preguntados los gendarmes porqué consideraban peligrosos a los artistas que pintan, respondieron: son peligrosos porque  son los que pintan las ideas. Oscar aprendió a pintar probablemente para combatir la soledad, para dar cauce a su necesidad continua de trabajar, para perpetuar personajes que habitan en su cerebro y que han sido esenciales en su formación como ser humano y como revolucionario

Fiesta Boricua 2013: 20 years of the Best of Puerto Rican culture and music

The 20th annual Fiesta Boricua took place this past Labor Day weekend on Paseo Boricua. The first time the festival encompassed two days, thousands attended Fiesta Boricua. Dozens of vendors lined up the street of Paseo Boricua highlighting the best that the Puerto Rican community in Chicago has to offer.


The festival featured many important musical acts including Haciendo Punto En Otro Son and Puppy Santiago. During its performance, Haciendo Punto en Otro Son closed with a finale dedicated to Oscar López Rivera. The festival focused on highlighting the city of Jayuya, Puerto Rico.  A total of 70 people came from Jayuya to share the art and culture of their city with Puerto Ricans in Chicago. 


Jayuya's Banda Indigena, an indigenous dance group, and the musical group Armonia Cultural performed at the main stage at California and Division. The two groups left a uniquely cultural stamp at Fiesta Boricua. People were amazed at the dances of Banda Indigena and sang and danced to the great music of Armonia Cultural.

Jayuya Delegation gets warm welcome at Jayuya Barbershop

On Wednesday, August 28th, 70 people from Jayuya, Puerto Rico arrived as representatives of their city for Fiesta Boricua, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's annual festival. Their first stop after arriving at Midway Airport was the Jayuya Barbershop where they were welcomed by the Oquendo Family, Judge Gloria Chévere, former Alderman Vilma Colom, and over 140 other Puerto Ricans from Jayuya currently residing in Chicago.  The Oquendo Family, owners of the Jayuya Barbershop prepared a feast for the guests that included a roasted pig, rice and other Puerto Rican food staples. It was a heartfelt welcome to the start of an extraordinary week for the Jayuya Delegation. 

Hunter College's Center for Puerto Rican Studies honors 16 Chicago Puerto Ricans 

On Thursday, August 29th at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC), over 150 people attended a special award ceremony held by Hunter College's Center for Puerto Rican Studies honoring 16 Puerto Ricans that have made a difference in the Chicago community. The awards were presented by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies' Director, Edwin Meléndez. The lives of Chicago Puerto Ricans involved in the arts, education, communications, public service and other sectors were highlighted. These Puerto Rican pioneers included Dr. Aida Giachello, Ray Rubio, Hilda Frontany, Ada López, Roberto "Bob" Medina and Dr. Jose E. López among others.  The night showcased the enormous amount of dedication of many who worked diligently and tirelessly to transform the Puerto Rican community in Chicago and the United States. 

Puerto Rican Cultural Center's 40th Anniversary Gala Honors Jayuya Mayor and Delegation

On Friday, August 30, over 225 people attended the Gala celebrating the PRCC's 40th Anniversary at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. While the event was delayed for an hour due to rain, the event ended a great success. In attendance was a delegation of 80 people from Jayuya and Comerio, Puerto Rico. The night showcased the talent of Jayuya, Puerto Rico. Jayuya's Banda Indigena, an indigenous dance group, and Grupo Tipico Armonia Cultural performed. Both the Mayor of Jayuya,  the Hon. Jorge "Georgie" González and the President of Jayuya's Municipal Assembly, Francisco Torres-Pagán were honored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Alderman Roberto Maldonado. The PRCC was presented with a large Puerto Rican flag as well as the Jayuya emblem. A resolution calling for the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera was also read.

4th Annual Misa Jibara begins principal festivities at Fiesta Boricua

The 4th annual Misa Jibara took place this past Saturday, August 31st at Fiesta Boricua. Unlike other years, this year's Misa Jibara took place at the main stage of California and Division raising its importance in Fiesta Boricua. At a Misa Jibara, those who convey the church's message are not the priests but rather a traditional "jibaro" musical group. This year Misa Jibara was organized by the municipal of Jayuya, Puerto Rico. The stage was decorated with a beautiful painting of the Virgin of Monserrate and featured young ladies dressed in traditional Puerto Rican outfits. It also included music performed by Jayuya's musical group, Grupo Tipico Armonia Cultura. Father Raul Morales Berrios, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination, led the mass. 

Puerto Rican Agenda meets with Mayors of Jayuya and Comerio

Thirty members of the Puerto Rican Agenda met with the Mayors of Jayuya and Comerio, Puerto Rico on the morning of Saturday, August 31st.  The event provided an opportunity for the mayors to meet many of the Puerto Rican leaders of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago. A fruitful discussion ensued about how to further engage Puerto Ricans in Chicago with Puerto Ricans from the island. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that a sub-committee would be created to develop the relationship between Puerto Rico and the Chicago community.

Community as a Campus officially endorsed by CPS CEO and CPS Board of Directors

On Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the CPS Board of Directors endorsed the Humboldt Park Community Action Council's Community as a Campus (CAAC) Plan. The CAAC plan will create an educational environment framed within the precepts of the International Baccalaureate academic standards, and transform all the schools within the area with the participation of community and institutional partners. Around 30 people attended the meeting representing various sectors of the community to show the great support this plan has in the Humboldt Park community. These supporters included State Rep. Cynthia Soto, Alderman Joe "Proco" Moreno, Kathleen Oskandy, Alderman Roberto Maldonado's Chief of Staff, Professor José E. López, Executive Director of the PRCC and other PRCC Staff, Marcey Sorensen, Principal of Robert Clemente High School and other Clemente staff, Idida Perez, Executive Director of West Town Leadership United with parents from West Town Leadership United, Humboldt Park Montessori School, Alternative Schools Network, Youth Connection Charter Schools, Cristina Pacione-Zayas from the Latino Policy Forum, CPS representatives, Celena Roldan, Executive Director of Erie Neighborhood House and many others. PRCC Executive Director, Dr. Jose E. López gave a presentation on the CAAC. After his presentation, the CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett and many board members praised the plan. The CPS CEO also announced that Bill Gerstein is now the official liaison to the CPS CEO to the CAAC. He will run the CAAC administrative office. Dr. López also made requests for the Von Humboldt/Duprey building to be reopened as a Lab school for students who learn differently and are going off track. Along with that it was requested the Von Humboldt Child Parent Center be the administrative office of the CAAC. Also an ask was made for a Montessori school be opened at the recently closed Lafayette school building. Lastly, it was requested that the YCCS Charter get a 5-year contract with opportunities to grow. The CPS CEO indicated that she would be willing to discuss these requests.


Cooking Matters at Fiesta Boricua

Promoting healthy eating was not an easy feat during a weekend ruled by "frituras", "morcillas", and "pina coladas", but the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's (PRCC) Farmer's Market and Cooking Matters (a project of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition) took on the challenge.   Together we proved that this community is "hungry" for healthy food options and accurate nutrition information. During the two-day festivities the projects worked together to create healthy recipes made with locally grown produce and low-cost ingredients.   On the menu this weekend were fruit smoothies, whole wheat pasta salad with sautéed vegetables, quinoa vegetable salad, chocolate cake sweetened with applesauce and brown sugar, salsa made with cherry tomatoes, apple yogurt salad, and a bean vegetable chili.  Festival patrons were able to taste all of the delicious recipes and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  In addition to the recipes Cooking Matters staff engaged visitors through the use of hands-on activities and fun visual aids. Visitors to the booth were surprised to see how much fat and sugar were in various beverages and fast food meals.   The activities and demos were used to raise consciousness around food choices and to help community residents be more informed consumers.


Cooking Matters staff would like to thank all of the visitors who made their way to our booth, as well as the PRCC and organizers of Fiesta Boricua for this opportunity.  We look forward to a continued presence in and collaboration with this community. For more information about Cooking Matters or to host a six-week Cooking Matters Class please contact Lilah Handler at or 312/491-8161 ext 23.  For Spanish speakers please contact Lolita López at or 312/491-8161 ext 27.


BACCA's Anti-Underage Drinking Campaign makes deep imprint during Fiesta Boricua

This past weekend we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Fiesta Boricua. We had great artists, performers, and vendors come to share and celebrate our culture. However, we also worked on a campaign to create awareness and help change an issue that has affected our community in many ways. We worked on an Anti-Underage Drinking campaign to combat the issue of alcoholism as it pertains to our youth. We want to change the way our youth think about drinking and how our community supports this by buying liquor for minors. We spoke to liquor stores in our community and they agreed to let us place stickers on the refrigerators and some liquor bottles to reach out to adults who were purchasing liquor for minors. These liquor stores were La Municipal, Yauco, and Borinken Food and Liquor. Also, to reach out to the youth, we made shirts that read "You Only Live Once, So Don't Let it Get Wasted". We chose this slogan because Y.O.L.O, which means you only live once, is a really popular phrase for our youth now. However, the youth connect this popular motto to partying and drinking. 


Therefore, we thought we'd give it a different perspective. Shirts were thrown out free at the Batey stage at Fiesta and they were a big hit. Some youth, as shown, were wearing them the same day. We're really hoping that this initiative has an impact on our future generation.


This presence was made possible through funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services.



The Paseo Boricua Farmers Market will be open every Friday and Saturday this summer. Through this initiative, the PRCC seeks to provide a place for Humboldt Park residents to acquire fresh produce.

Locally grown chemically free produce grown by our very own Humboldt Park youth is available!

The Farmer's Market takes places on 
Fridays from 2pm-7pm and Saturdays from 10am-3pm at 2628 W. Division St.

Disertan sobre conspiración sediciosa, Oscar López y Nelson Mandela

La aplicación del delito de conspiración sediciosa en el mundo, y particularmente a puertorriqueños independentistas por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, fue motivo de discusión este viernes durante la conferencia "Conspiración sediciosa: el caso de Oscar y Mandela", efectuada en el teatro del Departamento de Estado en el Viejo San Juan.


El tema se desarrolló alrededor de la figura del preso político puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, de 70 años, quien ha cumplido 32 años de prisión tras acusársele de conspiración sediciosa para derrocar al gobierno estadounidense.


Se comparó el caso del pepiniano López rivera con el del expresidente sudafricano Nelson Mandela, de 95 años, que estuvo 27 años en la cárcel por el mismo delito. Vease el articulo completo.

Tercer Maratón 10K Oscar López Rivera
El 25 de agosto de 2013 se cumplió con todas las aspiraciones de la tercera edición del 10K por la excarcelación del preso político puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera. El evento fue dedicado a dos personas que no se detienen en la lucha por su excarcelación; el congresista puertorriqueño Luis Gutiérrez y el líder ambientalista Alberto de Jesús mejor conocido por Tito Kayak. Agradecemos la colaboración de todas las organizaciones ambientales, comunitarias y políticas que trabajaron en esta tercera edición. El Centro de Información y Desarrollo Urayoan así como el Municipio Autónomo de Mayagüez continuaran sus esfuerzos para en algún momento celebrar una edición del 10K junto a Oscar López Rivera. A continuación les presentamos el siguiente foto reportaje de algunos momentos del Tercer Maratón 10K OLR.
Concert for Oscar in San Juan, September 14!


SPREAD THE WORD! Help promote LA LUCHA ES VIDA TODA, a concert to benefit for the campaign to free Oscar López Rivera. Famous Puerto Rican singer/songwriters Andy Montañez, Roy Brown, Lucecita, Tito Auger, Así Somos, Zoraida Santiago, Fofé, Intifada, Mapeyé, Morciglio, surprise artists and others will take the stage at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 14 to demand FREEDOM FOR OSCAR LÓPEZ RIVERA. Spread the word to friends, family and supporters in Puerto Rico. Tickets available at

"La lucha es vida toda" -Oscar López Rivera