Latin American & Latino Studies Program 
@UIC Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Danny Solis, Alderman, 25th Ward, City of Chicago
Danny Solis, Alderman, 25th Ward, City of Chicago

  Last night, the Latin American & Latino Studies (LALS) Program at UIC celebrated 40 years of academic achievement and community advocacy. None of this would have been possible without the student activism that took place in the early 1970's throughout high schools and university campuses across the United States. Over 200 people, activists, founders, alumni, administrators, faculty and community came together to celebrate the past and talk about the future. The struggle that it took to create the Latin American & Latino Studies program at UIC is a struggle that built bridges among different ethnic and community groups and continues to prevail. 

Amalia Palleres, Marta Ayala, Bruce Tyler and Dolores Ponce de León led the planning committee, which included Leonard Ramírez, Nora Bonnin, Teresa Cordova, Mario Lucero, Jennifer Juarez, José E. López and Alejandro Luis Molina, among others.

Last nights event, a fundraiser for the newly established LALS Student Scholarship Fund at the National Museum of Mexican Art with title "From Vision to Legacy" featured presentations on the history and future vision of LALS. 

Mary Kay Vaughn, the evening's keynote speaker, delivered a concise, powerful summary of the events and personalities leading up to the founding of LALS, which drew repeated applause. Leonard Ramírez, Carlos Heredia, Matt Rodríguez, Ric Estrada and José E. López all spoke to the bridge that had been built between community and academy through the struggle to found LALS. Oscar López Rivera, the Puerto Rican political prisoner who will start his 34th year of federal imprisonment early next year, was mentioned as a key organizer by many of the speakers.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Roberto Clemente Community Academy and Que Ondee Sola Magazine were among the sponsors of the anniversary series and will host an event in Humboldt Park on November 14th at our National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Visit for more info.

Roberto Clemente Community Academy & Que Ondee Sola Partner with University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Latin American & Latino Studies Program to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

HUMBOLDT PARK, CHICAGO- Roberto Clemente Community Academy, which only last month celebrated its own 40th anniversary, has partnered with the UIC Latin American & Latino Studies (LALS) Program to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Community groups and leaders who were involved in the creation of LALS, together with current students, faculty and staff are busy preparing a 2 week celebration (schedule below).


Of particular significance are the 2 partnerships; one by Roberto Clemente Community Academy's TV and Video Department led by Mildred Amador, which took on the amazing (and time-intensive) task of having her class video-tape 16 representatives of the celebration. Mildred, along with her class, prepped the participants, read the questions and, along with Milton Tanco, Clemente Videographer and Tech, and Matt McCanna, edited the videos into 2 minute segments. It was a superb example of the way partnerships between community and university partnerships should function.


In addition, Que Ondee Sola (QOS), the longest published Latino student newsmagazine in the US and based at Northeastern Illinois University, is dedicating a section of its November issue to the LALS Program's 40th Anniversary celebration. Alyssa Villegas, QOS Editor stated "We look forward to collaborating with LALS and continuing to develop our relationship with the UPRS and other student groups. This small contribution is our responsibility to the development of future leadership."

13th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua

Featuring Carnival Circus Extravaganza &

Healthy Treats for Children of All Ages


Chicago, IL - October 1, 2014- hosts the 13th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua on Friday, October 31st in the Humboldt Park neighborhood along Division Street from Western to California, between the giant Paseo Boricua Gateway Flag monuments. The festivities begin at 4:00pm and go until 7:30pm. Admission is free and open to the public. We provide a safe space for hundreds of families to enjoy the Halloween festivities, trick or treating and have plenty of fun. 

This year's festival includes over dozen of "halloweenesque" stations inspired by the carnival circus theme infused with a bit of Puerto Rican culture such as: a Haunted Casita, Scary Graveyard, Spooky Dancing & Thriller Stations, Healthy Treats Station, and the infamous and devilish Puerto Rican VEJIGANTE Station. 


This is the second year that Haunted Paseo launches the initiative " Healthy Treats for Healthier Kids" a campaign to inform children and their families about moderation and healthier snacks choices. We encourage our businesses to offer alternatives to candy in order to help prevent diabetes and obesity among our youth and in our community.


This event is being co-sponsored by: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos H.S., West Town Bikes/Ciclo Urbano (Boys & Girls Bike Club), AfriCaribe Cultural Center, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Batey Urbano, Roberto Clemente High School, Muevete - Diabetes Empowerment Center, VIDA SIDA, The Chicago Park District, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward), Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, and The Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness.  



Find us on Facebook:Haunted Paseo

or Flickr: Haunted Paseo 2012




Did you know that the average kid consumes 3 cups of sugar during Halloween?             

Last year Haunted Paseo launched an extraordinary campaign to promote healthy alternatives and moderation during and beyond the Halloween celebration. Children all ages and families were genuinely happy to receive more than candy, but also delicious treats that won't scare good health away.


We are encouraging donations of every kind within this category to help realize this initiative. 


Some examples are:

  • Fruit Gummies
  • Pretzels
  • Juice boxes
  • Mini water bottles 
  • Plain cookies (graham crackers, Teddy Grahams, vanilla wafers, etc.)
  • Baked chips, baked tortilla chips
  • Popcorn
  • Low-fat granola or cereal bars
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Small toys (be conscious of small children)
  • Stickers


Donations can be dropped off at DSBDA, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, Erie Elementary Charter School, Diabetes Empowerment Center and many others. 


Lets make it happen!

Charla / Dinner with Charles Hey Maestre and Josefina Pantoja Oquendo, attorneys from Puerto Rico


(donation for food)


Monday November 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Nellie's

Hey Maestre, long time civil rights attorney, has been the director of Legal Services of Puerto Rico since 2006. From 1990 to 2008, he was one of the lawyers in the carpetas, or "subversive files," case, suing the Puerto Rico Police for illegally surveilling and keep files on independentistas. He will talk about this case and bring us new developments.


Pantoja Oquendo, long time feminist, human rights activist, Legal Services attorney, and chairperson of the Puerto Rican Organization of Women Workers founded in 1982, is one of the founders of33 Women for Oscar. She will talk about the struggle for women's right in Puerto Rico. 


They will be fresh from a legal visit with Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Georgina Lazaro opens our "Jornada Centenaria a Julia de Burgos" with an amazing range of presentations

The love for literature and the need for creativity to be explored was the central topic of children's book author Georgina Lazaro's at various book readings and presentations all around our community this past week. On October 21st toddlers from our Centro Infantil Consuelo Corretjer" visited the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NRAC), where they got introduced to the book El Flamboyán Amarillo. Later that day she visited Bernard Moos Elementary where she presented a 3rd grade class with the process of how to make a book, followed by the book reading of Julia, a book dedicated to Julia de Burgos.Lazaro has received many international awards for her literature and pedagogy, including the  Educator of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce of the Municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. On Thursday, Georgina was received by over 200 students from different Charter Schools, among them Erie Charter School and Volta, who were also able to learn the process of creating a book, as well valuable information about Julia de Burgos. NPRAC is now showing a beautiful exhibition installed by BACCA Coordinator Maria Borrero and ACA Navigator Raul Maldonado, which brings together historic images of the poet as well as a 3D painting titled: Transcendent Julia. Students were also encouraged by their chaperones and professor to walk around and learn about our Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. The exhibition ad book readings are all part of the Jornada Centenaria and centennial celebration of Julia de Burgos, which will also include the play presentation of Julia de Burgos: Child of Water by Urban Theater Company . 

CIC Children Thank Georgina Lazaro!


On October 21, 2014 Centro Infantil students were very excited about going to the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC). When they got to NMPRAC they were going to listen to book. The book they listened to was called El Flamboyan Amarillo and what made this trip to NMPRAC more special there was a special guest and that person was Georgina Lazaro the Author of El Flamboyan Amarillo. They were really excited about it because the staff members read her books to the kids all the time so they were familiar with the books she was reading to them. They were a little shy talking but they enjoyed it. We would like to thank Georgina Lazaro for taking the time to read to the students!.

On Sale Now

November Chicago Magazine "Why José López Stands Between Gentrification and Humboldt Park"

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Chicago Magazine, which features an interview by Puerto Rican Cultural Center ED José E. López conducted by Elly Fishman.

PRCC's Affordable Care Act Program Prepares for Open Enrollment Nov. 15


As the date for the Marketplace's Open Enrollment Period approaches (November 15), the PRCC's Affordable Care Act staff has been hard at work. Our Navigators have been revisiting previous partners, such as Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the Burbank Unemployment Office, the Logan Square Library, and the Grito Desesperado Shelter. The ACA team has also started developing new partnerships with places such as the Diversey Unemployment Office, the Irving Park Pantry, and the Humboldt Park Library. So far, people's response has been amazing and we hope that Year 2 will be even better. 

From Our Community Partners

Amazing Productions!

by Nereida Berrios and Evette Morales, Student Journalists,

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School

On October 23, the Mobile Journalism Unit of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS) attended the "Meet and Greet" with Puerto Rican author Georgina Lázaro, who spoke about her book, Julia. This event celebrates the 100th birthday of Julia de Burgos, a powerful role model -- for the Puerto Rican people and also for people around the world who realize the worth of her words. Julia de Burgos was a feminist, a Puerto Rican nationalist, an internationalist, and a monumental human being in history.

The author spoke, as well as artists and others who recognize the significance of her work. This was very emotional. We returned with an important message --  

     See the exhibit, "Images of Julia de Burgos" - at the Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (MPRAC). Artist Raul Maldonado calls his work of art, "Transcendent Julia" -- because she continues to live through her poems." Also, see the play, "Julia de Burgos: Child of Water," which runs Nov 4 - Dec. 14. This will be the first play running at the beautiful NMPRAC, surrounded by the amazing exhibit.  Artist Maria Borrero, who curated the  exhibit," asked the audience to, "Tell others - Spread the Word". Don't miss it!

West Town Bikecitement Celebrates 10 Years!

by Andriana Vera, West Town Bikes

West Town Bikes held their 2nd Annual Fundraiser and celebration, Bikecitement, on October 28, 2014. The board, staff, and youth honored their partners and celebrated 10 years of educating youth and fostering Chicago's bicycling community at Revolution Brewery.  A Paddle Raise & Silent Auction which included items from Bite Cafe, Divvy, The Cubs, Bern, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago to name a few. The night was a great success with crafty beers and tasty treats, that helped West Town raise more than $20,000. 


Funds raised from the event will go to start new youth bike programs at Community As A Campus partner locations such as Moos and Yates elementary schools. These Humboldt Park schools are along the forthcoming Bloomingdale/606 elevated trail that will be opening in the Spring of 2015. West Town Bikes is excited to be a partner that will engage neighborhood youth and their families to use this new community resource. 


Thank you to all who attended Bikecitement and help support the work of West Town Bikes!


Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera


FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

33 Mujeres at South Bronx Hub

The group 33 Mujeres NYC x Oscar held its monthly rally today at the South Bronx Hub on East 149th Street to demand the freedom of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.


33 Mujeres NYC x Oscar is a group of women from New York City committed to securing Oscar López Rivera's freedom. We hold monthly rallies for 33 minutes on the last Sunday of every month from 4:00 - 4:33pm to signify the 33 years that Oscar has been imprisoned in federal penitentiaries, and will continue to hold monthly rallies until he is released. Our rallies coincide with the 32 x Oscar monthly rally that will occur at the same date and time in San Juan, Puerto Rico which are organized and held by 32 women who initiated these public rallies last year to mark Oscar's 32nd year of imprisonment.


Oscar López Rivera - the Nelson Mandela of our generation - is the longest held Puerto Rican political prisoner in the history of the nation's independence movement. Activists, singers, politicians, actors, students, religious leaders and lawyers the world over have called on President Barack Obama to exercise his Constitutional power of pardon, and to grant immediate and unconditional release to Oscar López Rivera.


The group's next rally will be held in East Harlem in Sunday, November 30th.

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
o. 773/342-8023 f. 773/342-6609

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