¡Felicidades Luis on Your 60th Birthday!
The members of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and National Boricua Human Rights Network wish our "Gallito," Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, a happy 60th birthday. His birthday, December 10, coincides with International Human Rights Day and the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty in 1898.


Fast Recovery!
The members of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School rejoice at the fast recovery that our heroic Jan Susler has made in confronting a difficult health situation. We wish her a complete and speedy recovery.


Get Well Soon!
We wish compañera Luis Sanabria, a leading member of the network in Philadelphia, a fast recovery from his hospitalization. We do know that with his fortitude he will be able to confront some of the health issues he is confronting.

"Still Dreaming": Available at Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Autographed copies of "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill" by Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, are still available. Contact Alejandro: 

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.


Los Tequis
Hot Science Website! SpongeLab

Exploring Gene Expression Inside the Human Body is a visualization tool to communicate the relationship between your body, genes, and disease. 
Congratulations Graduates!
Congratulations to our newest graduates, State Rep Cynthia Soto and Jessie Fuentes, who will be receiving their bachelor's degree this Sunday from Northeastern Illinois University.


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Las manos en el cristal: Serie de Cartas de OLR a su nieta Karina


El Nuevo Dia Oscar Letters in English


The Movement to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera
Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist who has been in prison for 32 years for "seditious conspiracy." Juan Gonzalezco-host for "Democracy Now!" and columnist for The New York Daily News, talks about his case and why activists are pushing for President Obama to pardon Rivera by Christmas.

Dos crímenes y dos miradas
Las miradas de Nelson Mandela y Oscar López. Obsérvelas. Son muy parecidas. No solo en lo feroces que fueron una vez y en el aire sabio que se les vio después. También lo son en la manera en que vieron a sus países sometidos a políticas indignas y guiados por ese fuego interno que solo algunos elegidos pueden sentir empezaron a andar. Sigue la lectura aqui.


A Brief Unity of Purpose: Marching for Puerto Rican Prisoner Oscar López Rivera
November 23 was a gorgeous day. Cool breezes blew through the streets and the temperature was nothing short of ideal on what I expected to be a stifling hot Saturday afternoon. Even the trees on the grounds of the Federal Court appeared to be in on the act, providing shade from the bright Caribbean sun. It was as if nature had conspired to create perfect weather, as if it, too, was somehow in solidarity with the thousands of us who gathered in front of the Federal Court building in Hato Rey, the economic hub of Puerto Rico's capital city, San Juan, to demand the release of the country's longest-held political prisoner. Keep reading...

College Pipeline and BACCA To Celebrate Success of Clemente Students

On Wednesday, December 18th, the PRCC's College Pipeline Program at Roberto Clemente Community Academy will be taking their students to Batey Urbano in order to introduce them to the space and to celebrate their progress in this semester. Each student will be presented with a certificate to acknowledge their individual accomplishments and improvements. The Barrio Arts, Culture and Communications Academy will also be providing goodie bags to each student that includes information about the PRCC's Anti- Underage Drinking Campaign. Food and refreshments will also be provided for all students participating.

New Life Covenant Church Opens Its New Church

On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, hundreds of well-wishers gathered for the opening of New Life Covenant Church's flagship church-its Main Campus- at 3400 W. Division in Humboldt Park. Led by Pastor Wilfredo de Jesús, better known as Pastor Choco, New Life Covenant Church is one of the fastest growing churches in Chicago.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Alderman Joe Proco Moreno, Representative Luis Arroyo, along with other elected officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the 27,000-square foot space. The new building seats 1,000 congregants. After Mayor Emanuel spoke, everyone was invited inside for tours of the Church, by members of New Life. Puerto Rican Cultural Center Board member Alejandro Luis Molina, Deputy Director Militza Pagan, and Community Liaison Lourdes Lugo were on hand, and congratulated Pastor Choco after the ceremony. Executive Director José E. López was speaking in Philadelphia and sent his felicitations.


For the last 10 years, New Life Covenant has rented out Roberto Clemente High School and performed four Sunday worship services and one Wednesday Bible Study using the school auditorium. Under the leadership of Pastor Choco, the church's membership has grow from 160 to more than 17,000.


Alternative Schools Network and Youth Connection Charter School Hold Hope and Opportunity Briefing 
CHICAGO -  Over 300 educators, students, administrators and elected officials listened to new data on truancy, chronic truancy and high school dropouts in Chicago and Illinois being released at a high-level policy briefing, "Hope & Opportunity: Creating Futures for Out-of-School Youth." This briefing helped to frame discussions with the Chicago Public Schools regarding future plans and opportunities for out-of-school youth.
The program, introduced by Sheila Venson, Executive Director of Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) and Jack Wuest, Executive Director of the Alternative Schools Network (ASN)  led off with Linda Hannah, YCCS Board President, and  Alejandro Luis Molina, Vice-President, speaking on the YCCS history and its vision for growth in the near future. YCCS has been without a contract for the last 17 months but is confident that the obstacles to signing a contract will be resolved shortly. Jennifer Vidis, representing CPS, also spoke to changes in how CPS was working with Options (formerly alternative) Schools.

Students from the following YCCS Schools were introduced by Michelle Morales, Associate Director of the ASN, and testified: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, Rudy Lozano High School, Antonia Pantoja ASPIRA High School, Community Christian Academy, Academy for Scholastic Achievement, Prologue, Innovations and Sullivan House. The collection of data released at the Hope & Opportunity briefing highlights comparative trends between truancy and dropouts and shows dropout rates in Chicago and Illinois ostensibly declining by nearly half between 2006 and 2012, while truancy and chronic truancy appear to have doubled between 2006 and 2009 and then after falling, shot up almost threefold in 2012.
"The new collection of data reveals that while dropout rates appear to be declining, truancy and chronic truancy in Chicago and Illinois appear to be dramatically escalating.  While this data presents a hopeful sign for declining dropouts, the seeming rise in truancy and chronic truancy is troubling and warrants further analysis," said Jack Wuest, Executive Director at the Alternative Schools Network in Chicago.
The data framed discussions for re-enrolling out-of-school youth at the policy forum held on December 5th at The Union League Club of Chicago.  Convening co-sponsors for the briefing included the Chicago Urban League, Illinois State Council on Re-Enrolling Students Who Dropped Out of School, Youth Connection Charter School, and the Alternative Schools Network.
PRCC Executive Director Travels to Philadelphia
Speaks at Taller Puertorriqueño, St. Ambrose Epicycle Church and Esperanza High School

During the weekend of December 7th - 9th, José E. López of the PRCC traveled to Philadelphia to participate in a series of events in that City's large Puerto Rican community. His first stop was at the Taller Puertorriqueño where he participated in a panel discussion with several of the artists who mounted a new exhibit in that center on the Puerto Rican mythical figure the "Vejigante". His remarks framed the "Vejigante" as a representative iconic culture expression which helps to define Puerto Rico's, and more so the Caribbean's, syncretism - in this case, the melding of distinctive cultural elements of the African, Spanish, Moorish, Muslim, and Catholic experiences.


This exhibit features the works of various Puerto Rican artists, whose creativity has been shaped by their diasporic Puerto Rican experience. Thus, the installations relay how each artist defines the image of the "Vejigante" through their own lived reality as exiled Puerto Ricans and through their very own prism. The artist include Denny Torres from Philadelphia, La Buruquena from Abington, Pennsylvania, Maria Dominguez from New York, and Marina Gutiérrez also from New York.


On Sunday José spoke to a luncheon gathering, which was held following a service, at St. Ambrose Epicycle Church. He focuses his presentation on his brother- Oscar Lopez Rivera's, community work in Chicago and how that work speaks to Oscar's legacy in that city.


The next day, Monday December 9th, Jose presented to a capacity filled assembly hall at Esperanza High School. His talk focused on how Puerto Rican and Caribbean identities have been defined by maroonage practices in that region - the first globalized area of the world. There, maroon societies would forge, in the heat of resistance, a counter narrative against the systems of colonialism, slavery, racism, and plantations, which originated in that region after 1492. He also discussed how that resistance, would resonate in the revolutionary movements for independence and in the modern day struggles for self-determination, self-actualization, and self-reliance in that part of the Americas.

The Borinqueneer Congressional Gold Medal Alliance Team Visits Clemente

The Clemente JROTC Department recently had the distinct honor of hosting the Borinqueneer Congressional Gold Metal Alliance team.  The team is seeking Congressional approval to bestow the Congressional Gold Metal upon the Latino veterans who served in segregated units.


The "Borinqueneers" were a group of highly trained Latino soldiers that served in the 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico.  This was the only Hispanic-segregated Active Duty unit that played a prominent role in our American military history by participating in three US wars. Our students were given the opportunity to view a presentation that outlined the numerous successes that the Borinqueneer unit recorded during its period of activation.  Our students also had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with one of the sixty-five living Borinqueneer veterans.  Cadet Commander Ashley Roman reflected on the visit and stated, "This was an awesome experience!  I never knew that there were so many Latino heroes that helped to ensure the freedom that I have today."

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21 Years and Counting: Annual Pancake Waffle Breakfast and Holiday Bazaar Continues to Raise Commissary for Puerto Rican Patriots

Over 150 people came to eat delicious pancakes and vegan waffles, buy their holiday gifts and most of all, contribute to the Commissary for Puerto Rican political prisoners Oscar López Rivera and Norberto González Claudio. The history of the breakfast, organized by the National Boricua Human Rights Network and several solidarity activists for 21 years, first to fundraise holiday commissary for the group of 11 Puerto Rican political prisoners arrested in 1980, 2 in 1981 and 4 in 1983, and the group of patriots arrested in Puerto Rico on August 30, 1985, and then to continue to send commissary to Carlo Alberto Torres, the Puerto Rican political prisoner arrested in 1980, who spent 30 years in prison before being released in 2010, and Avelino and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, arrested in 2010 and 2011. They were convicted of taking part in the 1983 Wells-Fargo expropriation and had remained in hiding for over 22 years before being arrested. Avelino is free to day and Norberto is scheduled to be released next year. Along the way, the breakfast has sent small amounts of money to the prisoners families, and to the Puerto Rican and solidarity grand jury resisters of the 1970s and 80s. Because of this ongoing support, we were able to send both Oscar and Norberto holiday commissary.


The program was emceed by Matt McCanna, Network member and filmmaker, who impressed upon the crowd the importance of the letter-writing campaign to Pres. Obama and asked people to take packets of 32 letters and get their friends and family member to sign them. The Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School music class, led by David Rivera, whose students included Tristin Pérez, Amber García, Selena Valentín, Jose Cruz Talavera and Carissa Delvalle and a guest musician. They played Dame La Mano Paloma, Ese Pobre Lechón and Este es Nuestro Barrio, along with guest vocalist Juanita Garcia and received tremendous applause as they left the stage. Eduardo Arocho, the unofficial poet laureate of Paseo Boricua then recited "Ode to: Soldiers of the 100 Years War" to popular acclaim. Lourdes Lugo, Oscar's niece and member of the campaign to him, also spoke from the family's perspective , of the losses of family members but also of the new family members being born who had never met Oscar.

  8 community artisans took part in the bazaar, offering paintings, masks, dolls, "coquito" and other goodies for holiday gifts. They are an important part of the breakfast, not only braving the cold, but standing firm in their support of Oscar. Thank you to them and all who support the campaign!


Contact mattm@boricuahumanrights.org to pick up your packet of letters!