Stop the racist attack against Hispanics Housing's Borinqueneers Latino Veterans Housing Initiative
By the Puerto Rican Cultural Center 
See attached racist online petition and the coded racist language of the following 6 points.
Its time to stand up for our community!


"We, the people in the area have put together a petition to why we want to keep the present zoning for the area.  We want to to keep the present zoning because:

1. The project has inadequate community support (What community?)
2. The project's size and design is not characteristic of the community (What about all those new condos?)
3. Developers have not presented evidence of capacity to develop a sustainable, safe and healthy construction of this size and use
4. Developers have not presented any demonstration of substantial demand for the need of this construction in the area
5. To support 200 residents, the area lack infrastructure such as parking: hospital patient care, schools, & grocery store
6. The area cannot provide a large number of low income / unemployed residents with the jobs that they need and that makes them able to provide for themselves and their families


Two story, residential single-unit detached houses suit our neighborhood and the new residents much better than a large scale, highly dense construction. (NOT THE SAME 'NEW' RESIDENTS)

The 60 feet high, 49 unit construction is, according to the developer, meant for low income residents. We, the Humboldt Neighbors Association welcome all people to our neighborhood but want to give new residents the housing they deserve. The neighbor's recommendation is to keep the zoning as is, two story, residential single-unit detached houses. With two story, residential single-unit detached houses the developer, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, the Norwegian American Hospital and the neighbors would show the newcomers that we appreciate their presence in the neighborhood."


Attend community hearings on Wed. Dec 17
5:30pm at HP Fieldhouse, 1400 N. Sacramento Blvd

When you do your Holiday shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs


CPS came out with new school ratings yesterday.  The news is great for Community as Campus schools. No schools were rated at Level 3, the lowest rating, and have 5 schools that are at Level 1, the highest. Those schools are Casals, Cameron, Mitchell, Columbus, and Moos.

Oh, the Places We've Visited!

By Geniz Hernández, PRCC-ACA Program

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Affordable Care Act Program was at The Chicago Cultural Center for the Artist Health Care Town Hall last Friday, December 5, 2014. There, In-Person Counselors assisted freelance artists in finding affordable health insurance plans that met their needs. Furthermore, we took parts of two telethons: one at Univision, the other at CBS 2. During both events, various staff members spoke with individuals from all over Illinois and were able to answer their questions regarding the health insurance marketplace or to set up appointments with In-Person Counselors for individualized enrollment assistance. Also, a reporter from Telemundo visited our office to interview some of our staff. The new enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace has opened new venues for our In-Person Counselors and it has been a fantastic and exciting experience for everyone involved so far.


By Linda French, El Rescate

El Rescate is preparing for their 1st Holiday Fundraiser to be held Thursday, December 18, 2014 from 6pm to 11PM.  This event sponsored by Norman Belmonte Y Amigos will be held at Antronios Bar in Berwyn, Illinois.  Norman Belmonte whose relationship with El Rescate began when he performed at the 2013 Youth Christmas Party and after engaging with Program Director, Jackie Gonzalez   Norman became impassioned when hearing about the youth at El Rescate being the only Latino LGBTQ program of it's kind in the Midwest.  Mr. Belmonte, an entertainer in the Gay community and in his own persona has lived with some personal struggles.   He decided that he wanted to do something to contribute to our efforts in addressing youth homelessness.   We are very please to have Norman Belmonte & friends support El Rescate's continued efforts to alleviate youth homelessness in Humboldt Park and throughout the Chicagoland area. 

Puerto Rican Cultural Center Safe Passage Program is Hiring!

by Ivan Vega | Safe Passage Supervisor

Looking for part-time work? The Safe Passage Community Watcher position provides a safe passage for students attending Roberto Clemente Community Academy and William Wells Community Academy.  


Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent and ability to pass crimianal background check to work with children.


To apply, please submit a resume to Ivan Vega at or apply is person at 2546 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622 | (773) 394-4935

Heads, Shoulders, Knees, Toes!
By Hope Poirier, Centro Infantil Childcare

For today's exercise activity the kids wanted to do heads, shoulder, knees and toes song they start singing it slowly and gradually they started to sing a lot faster. As the song had gotten faster they were getting confused on what to do next but they had a lot of fun and by the time the song ended they were out of breath from touching there and head and toes.   

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.

From Our Community Partners

RCCA Students Help Fight

World Hunger

By Kayla Vaughn
Around the world the painful growls awaken children and adults struggle from day to day not knowing when or where their next meal will come from. They savor whatever they can get their hands on, hoping that one day it'll all be over. Then there are people in this world who take advantage of these resources such as water and food. Things that we see as simple, like a can of soup, could make another person's  day.  We tend to get so caught up in our everyday routines that we forget to value the simple things in life. What may seem like not much may mean the world to someone who needs it the most.
One like myself may ask, "Why does world hunger even exist?"  There are a few causes of hunger around the world.  Different causes of world hunger include natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts and many more. Overpopulation, war, and poverty are also causes of world hunger.
There are things that we can do as a society to try to make this situation better. One thing we can do is communicate with our community ideas on how to spread the word.  Another way we can help includes organizing a food drive.  At my school, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, we are organizing a food drive.  We are asking all freshman students to bring in cans or dry food that is not being used or that their family is willing to donate.
In our biology class we have been studying world hunger, watching videos and reading articles about this issue. We also have had discussions and completed worksheets and homework on world hunger. We also brainstormed ideas of what we can do to help this issue. That is where one of the students mentioned doing a food drive at our school, so a few students including myself have been working on organizing a food drive.
The reason that I personally got involved in working to put together a food drive was because of the feeling I got watching other people in the videos that Mr.Holmes showed in class suffer over not having necessities like food, water, and things that are essential for survival.  This experience gave me the passion to want to try to help them out. The more that I have heard and seen about this issue, the more I come to appreciate what I have.  This for me just feels like the right thing to do after watching all of these videos and seeing what these human being are going through.
In conclusion, around the world hunger strikes in the bellies of many, world hunger results from war, poverty, overpopulation, and natural disasters. We need to work together as a whole and work toward bettering this situation. You can help spread the word and donate canned food to help those in need.
by Danette Sokacich, Director, Lolita Lebrón Family Learning Center

Donate to the Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center for their Annual Winter Blessing for Young Families.  Donations are to give families toys and books for their children.

Here is the donation wish list:

$10 donation - One toy

$20 donation - One book and toy

$30 donation - Two toys and a book

$50 donation - Three toys and two books

Winter Blessings
Winter Blessings


Young families experience many of the same life challenges as adults, without the resources to provide for their children. The adolescent parents often are ostracized and stereotyped because they choose to be caring, responsible young adults. However, at the Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center supports young parents without those boundaries.


The Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center is a program for parenting students that provides academic, social, and emotional support for adolescent parents to work towards graduation at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School. Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School is a not-for-profit organization. All donations are 100% tax-deductible. Donate now.


Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera


FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 


A San Francisco Bay Area printmaker, Doug specializes in fund raising, outreach and educational posters. Past collaborations include work with ILWU, Rain Forest Action Network, SF Mime Troupe, ACLU, The Lawyers Guild, CISPES, United Auto Workers, Africa Information Network, Ecumenical Peace Union, ADAPT, Cop Watch, Street Sheet, and Veteran's for Peace. In the late 1980's Doug designed the poster for the Campaign to Shut Down the Lexington Women's Control Unit, led by the Network's predecessor, the National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.


The above poster, printed in a limited edition of 75 by the artist, is silkscreened, in Spanish, measures 18x24, and is available for $200 plus shipping and handling.

Buy Your Holiday Gift Now and Support the Campaign to Free Oscar!

Email Alejandro Molina at or Diana Castillo at to reserve your copy

Miles brindan por el aguante
El grupo Calle 13 cerró su gira mundial en el Estadio Hiram Bithorn
El concierto que ofreció anoche Calle 13 fue un viaje musical que pasó desde los inicios, cuando René Pérez, el vocalista, utilizaba su cabeza como lienzo de barberos con un ritmo bastante parecido al reguetón, con paradas en los temas de fuerte crítica social y de afirmación latinoamericana, y sin dejar de lado su más reciente exploración existencialista. ...Y quizás el mensaje más contundente de la noche no lo ofreció él, sino que le cedió el micrófono a Clarissa López, hija de Oscar López Rivera, quien leyó una carta para exigir la liberación de su padre. "Free Oscar López now", pidió para quienes sintonizaban el concierto desde fuera de Puerto Rico. El público le respondió coreando: "libertad, libertad, libertad" Siguir aqui.
Calle 13 - Palabras Clarisa López (Oscar López)

Good evening:

I am Clarisa López, the sole, proud daughter of Patriot Oscar López Rivera, the Puerto Rican political prisoner who has been unjustly imprisoned for the past 33 years. I appreciate the opportunity vested in me tonight by the talented and committed group of friends, masterfully lead by René Pérez Joglar, our Calle 13. To René and his group: we salute you tonight with great respect and admiration for your consistent support for the campaign for the release of my father, Oscar López Rivera. We are aware of the fact that René and his team support multiple causes. What we're highlighting now is how they always use their sonorous voice, which resonates all over the world, for justice, and this time they're using it to raise awareness of the urgent need for President Barack Obama to grant my father a presidential pardon so that he may return to our homeland.


Calle 13 - Palabras Clarisa López (Oscar López) (Vivo Puerto Rico) 7/12/2014
Calle 13 - Palabras Clarisa Lopez (Oscar Lopez) (Vivo Puerto Rico) 7/12/2014

My father and I cherish the dream of an early release. But for this, we can't rest, not even for a single minute, and we have to make the most of each of the moments and spaces available to strengthen and amplify our voices for his early release. Tonight is one of those times.


Tonight, I have come to ask for only one thing: that, if you are not active in this great effort for the release of my Father, start now. We need to unite our voices and we can do it through multiple platforms. There are many ways to become active with this cause and many others can and should be created. Sign petitions to President Obama, write letters to President Obama, Tweet asking for his release, attend or organize public events for this effort. The possibilities are endless and the goal is only one. We are aware that those who demand his freedom are more and more every time, and we have to make our voices be heard. That's my only request tonight. It's time to bring Oscar López back to his homeland! And if you are watching from outside of Puerto Rico, the message is simple:


Free Oscar Lopez now, President Obama. Let it out loud and clear: Free Oscar López now, President Obama!!!


Thank you for your attention and solidarity. Enjoy this unique platform that René Perez and his extraordinary work provide. Good night.

22nd Annual Pancake Waffle Breakfast and Artisan Bazaar Raises Money One More Year as Campaign Continues Going Viral
By Diana Castillo, National Boricua Human Rights Network, Chicago Chapter

Last Sunday, December 7, Casa Puertorriquena was filled with community members, friends and families who came together to raise commissary money for Oscar Lopez Rivera and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio. as part of the Network's 22nd Annual Pancake/Waffle Breakfast Fundraiser. Casa Puertorriquena was filled with community members, friends and families who came together to raise commissary for Oscar Lopez Rivera and Norberto Gonzalez Claudio.


The event showcased the work of local activist and poet Michael Reyes who introduced his latest work, dedicated to Oscar Lopez Rivera, the video to Reyes poem Bring Him Home. Local Puerto Rican artisans sold their work at the bazaar displayed throughout the venue and at the sound of parranda and people were able to do early Christmas shopping to the sound of Parranda. Thanks to all of your donations and contribution we were able to raise $1,600 dollars. This would not have been possible without the help of all the volunteers, contributors and donors who made the Pancake/Waffle Breakfast a success.

Cleveland and Detroit say 'Bring Him Home'

By Raquelle Seda, National Boricua Human Rights Network, Detroit Chapter

This past weekend NBHRN member and poet Michael Reyes premiered his new project 'Bring Him Home' in the cities of Cleveland and Detroit. 'Bring Him Home' is a short film based on the poem by the same name dedicated to Oscar Lopez-Rivera. The screening included performances by local artists and was followed by a meet and greet with former Puerto Rican political prisoner Ricardo Jimenez. These activities were also used as a way to announce the May 30th march to free Oscar in New York City. The screenings were held at the Denison Avenue United Church of Christ in Cleveland and Repair the World in Detroit.  Future screenings to be held in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.


100,000 Tweets for Oscar!
Birth of a Patriot, Star of a Nation: Social Media Campaign on Oscar López Rivera's Birthday January 6, 2015.
La Respuesta Magazine & National Boricua Human Rights Network

On January 6, 2015 La Respuesta magazine and National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) call on you to act on behalf of the Puerto Rican people's longest-held political prisoner. In honor of the man who has withstood thirty-three years in prison the campaign is called "Birth of a Patriot, Star of a Nation".

The worldwide campaign calls for 100,000 messages to the twitter accounts of the President, White House, and Justice Department on January 6, 2015, Oscar's birthday and the Day of the Epiphany/ Three Kings, the holiest day in his Puerto Rico homeland. We also call on participants to share "virtual gifts" in the form of photographs, videos, and writings on their social media pages in honor of Oscar's birthday.

Are you a poet? Artist? Photographer? Chef? Athlete? Dancer? Educator? Student? Health worker? Laborer? Mother? Father? Whatever you are or do, wherever you are, write a post, take a photo, record a video - dedicate a "virtual gift" to raising awareness and building support for Oscar López Rivera.

Post one of your poems, share a picture of your art or photography, cook and photograph a meal, run a few miles and write about it, record yourself dancing, take a selfie with a sign. Get creative and let the world know that you demand the release of Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera!

This January 6, 2015, on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, or any other platform you use, post using the hashtags #FreeOscarLopez and #Gift4Oscar(#RegaloPaOscar for Spanish-language messages). On Twitter, make sure to tag @BarackObama and @TheJusticeDept so that those with the power to release him hear our demands. We encourage you to begin planning your action to make sure we are all heard in unison on January 6.

Oscar, who was born on Three King's Day, has become the Puerto Rican nation's shining star, able to unite a people facing the divisive effects of a more than one-hundred year colonial occupation. Now, more than ever, the Puerto Rican people have come together in a way that presents U.S. President Barack Obama every reason to exercise his power of pardon and release Oscar. To learn more about Oscar and to read his original essays, visit:

Let's use social media for social change and send the clear message: RELEASE OSCAR NOW, 33 YEARS IS TOO MUCH!


For more info:;

El nacimiento de un patriota, la estrella de una nación: Campaña de medios sociales en el cumpleaños de Oscar López Rivera

Revista La Respuesta & Red Nacional Boricua Pro Derechos Humanos

El 6 de enero de 2015 la revista La Respuesta y Red Nacional Boricua Pro Derechos Humanos (NBHRN) hacen un llamado a la acción pro la liberación del prisionero puertorriqueño que más tiempo lleva encarcelado. Esta campaña en honor al hombre que ha resistido treinta y tres años de prisión se llama "Nacimiento de un patriota, la estrella de una nación".


La campaña mundial espera conseguir 100,000 mensajes a las cuentas de Twitter del presidente y del Departamento de Justicia el 6 de enero de 2015, el día de cumpleaños de Oscar y el Día de los Reyes Magos, el día más sagrado en su tierra natal Puerto Rico. También pedimos a los participantes a que compartan "regalos virtuales" en forma de fotografías, videos y trabajos escritos en sus páginas de medios sociales en honor al cumpleaños de Oscar.


¿Es usted poeta? ¿Artista? ¿Fotógrafo? ¿Chef? ¿Atleta? ¿Bailarín? ¿Educador? ¿Estudiante? ¿Trabajador de la salud? ¿Obrero? ¿Madre? ¿Padre? Lo que usted sea o lo que haga, esté donde esté, escriba algo y publíquelo en las redes sociales, tome una foto, grabe un video --dedique un "regalo virtual" para crear conciencia y apoyar la campaña en pro de la liberación de Oscar López Rivera.


Publique uno de sus poemas, comparta una foto de su trabajo de arte o una fotografía, cocine y tome una foto de la comida, corra unos cuantos kilómetros y escriba sobre su experiencia, grábese bailando, tómese una selfie con un cartel ... Sea creativo y deje que el mundo sepa que usted exige la liberación del patriota puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera!


Este 6 de enero de 2015, en Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram o en cualquier otra plataforma que utilice, haga publicaciones utilizando los hashtags #FreeOscarLopez y #Gift4Oscar (#RegaloPaOscar para los mensajes en español). En Twitter, asegúrese de etiquetar @BarackObama y @TheJusticeDept para que aquellos con el poder de liberarlo oigan nuestras demandas. Les exhortamos a que comiencen a planificar para asegurarse de que todos seamos escuchados al unísono el 6 de enero.


Oscar, nacido el Día de los Reyes, se ha convertido en la brillante estrella de la nación puertorriqueña, capaz de unir a las personas que enfrentan los efectos divisores de una ocupación colonial de más de cien años. Ahora, más que nunca, el pueblo puertorriqueño se ha unido para presentarle al presidente de Estados Unidos Barack Obama motivos para ejercer su facultad de indulto y para que libere a Oscar. Para obtener más información sobre Oscar y para leer sus ensayos originales, visite:


Utilicemos las redes sociales para lograr un cambio y enviar un mensaje claro: ¡LIBERE A OSCAR AHORA, 33 AÑOS ES DEMASIADO!


Para más información, escriba a:


New York Coordinator to Free Oscar Hosts Alicia Rodríguez for Int'l Human Rights Day
By Ana López, NYC Coordinator to Free Oscar López Rivera

In the Celebration of International Human Rights Day, Alicia Rodriguez was keynote speaker at the event in Hostos Community College. The room filled with students, faculty and staff who listened attentively to Alicia tell the story of her imprisonment, prison conditions, campaign for their release and Oscar Lopez Rivera's Freedom Campaign in Puerto Rico.  She was awarded with a plaque as Champion of the Human Rights Struggle by the Puerto Rican Student Organization. It was a great honor to have her at Hostos Community College, said Ayesha Martinez, vice president of the Puerto Rican Student Organization. Students were so moved by Alicia's presence that they were speechless. Alicia revealed how Prof. Ana Lopez and her children visited Alicia in prison and kept her informed of the outside world. Alicia explained that the campaign for the freedom of Oscar is going viral. 


El Nuevo Dia

Querida Karina, En estos días oí hablar del alto número de jóvenes que hay en la cárceles de Puerto Rico, muchos de ellos cumpliendo largas condenas, en condiciones que difícilmente podrán rehabilitarlos.

Cuando salga en libertad me gustaría aconsejar a esos jóvenes; enseñarlos a replantearse el futuro y hacerse dueños de su tiempo, que es lo único que les pertenece.

No hay que malgastar el tiempo, mucho menos en la cárcel. Aunque uno se vea en la obligación de pasar casi todo el día encerrado entre cuatro paredes, hay que hacer el esfuerzo de preparar una agenda y, a como dé lugar, cumplir con ella. Parece un chiste hablar de agendas en la cárcel, pero yo que la he sufrido por casi 34 años te digo que es posible. La agenda está compuesta de acciones o de pensamientos y, teniendo en cuenta que el tiempo es el elemento más valioso en nuestras vidas, porque es irrecuperable, no podemos perderlo o tirar la toalla y pensar que da igual.

En segundo lugar, les diría a los jóvenes que para rehabilitarse y salir de la cárcel con dignidad, deberán cuidar su salud. Hacerlo entre rejas no es tan difícil como parece, siempre que los confinados se propongan cumplir con un régimen de ejercicios. Y lo mismo en cuanto a la dieta. En ninguna prisión la comida puede ser buena, de ahí la importancia de tratar de mantener un balance con los alimentos que nos ofrecen, hacer todo lo posible por saciar el hambre con los que son más saludables, y rechazar los que nos hacen daño, las frituras o las harinas procesadas. Ya te he hablado en otra carta de lo mucho que sufre la población penal por causa de la diabetes y otras enfermedades que contraen debido al sedentarismo y la mala alimentación.

En tercer lugar, en las prisiones hay que descansar un poco y meditar. Muchos confinados se acuestan, pero no descansan. El ambiente en las prisiones es hostil y deshumanizante, por eso hay que aprender a relajarse, que es algo que se consigue oyendo música, leyendo, escribiendo, haciendo ejercicios de respiración o incluso durmiendo una siestecita.   

La salud mental es la clave para sobrevivir no solo el presidio, sino las condiciones que uno va a enfrentar cuando salga a la calle. Cada ser humano ha sido dotado de una creatividad especial y hay que saber buscarla, identificarla aun en las circunstancias más difíciles, pues la soledad mal empleada es el peor enemigo que tenemos.

Lo siguiente sonará tal vez incomprensible para algunos confinados, pero quiero insistir en la necesidad de ser éticos y mantener convicciones firmes dentro de la cárcel. Eso no tiene nada que ver con la política, sino con la entereza, con el corazón de cada ser humano y el respeto que es capaz de sentir por los demás.

Y algo más que les enseñaría a los jóvenes confinados es a no dar nada por hecho, no aceptar las cosas tal como se las dicen, sino desarrollar un espíritu crítico y pensar por sí mismos. Por ejemplo, cuando vean el agua saliendo de la pluma, deberán preguntarse de dónde viene el agua, si es potable y si la pueden beber en confianza. Deben salir de la jaula donde están metidos gracias al diálogo interior.

Aun cuando alguien enfrenta una larga condena hay que atreverse a tener metas, sueños e ideales. También atreverse a expresar las ideas y escuchar con respeto las de los demás. En la cárcel, en ese microcosmos tan violento y difícil, ganarse el respeto es importante. Eso sí, sin dejar de cuestionar las cosas, manteniendo el pensamiento inquieto, eso es lo único que nadie nos puede arrebatar.

Al final del día, es la práctica de los principios lo que en verdad nos permite sobrevivir. En la monotonía de los días prisioneros, solo las almas fuertes mantienen la esperanza.

Yo estoy esperanzado y a cada rato me pongo alas para volar a Puerto Rico y abrazar la isla. Igual te abrazo a ti.

En resistencia y lucha, tu abuelo,

Oscar López Rivera

Los Tequis

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