The Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Affordable Care Act Program is proud to announce that it is now part of the Get Covered Illinois Youth Committee. This group works to target people ages 18-35, the population known as The Young Invincibles. In-Person Counselors from different organizations and people who work in the media have come together to create events and find topics of interest to young people. One of these events will be held on January 16, 2015 in The Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (4046 W Armitage Ave) and will be a celebration of cultural diversity, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


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From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day
By Hope Poireir
Our students are getting ready for Valentines Day! Even though its not until next month they are excited to get candy and cards from their friends. The students are helping the daycare staff decorate the window and their classroom with hearts, as you see in the picture they have hearts and they are decorating them and those hearts are going on their daycare window so people that are outside could see the work they are doing. 

El Rescate Christmas Season Fundraiser

By Jackie González

There is certain vulnerability with LGBT youth and the complex needs of this population, but 3 years ago El Rescate Independent Living Program opened its doors to address some of those needs. As the first LGBT program of its kind in the Midwest and working with a limited budget it's doors opened. There were some obstacles to overcome but as the program moved forward from its infancy, El Rescate has been getting a lot of attention and recognition for the work it does. It also has become the focal point for many caring individuals such as Norman Belmontes who has stepped up to celebrate and acknowledge these youth. 


Norman, together with a group of his network friends held a fundraiser for the residents of El Rescate.  As Christmas was approaching, they felt it was the perfect time to celebrate the holidays together with the youth of El Rescate. to show them that people cared.

The fundraiser was held on December 18th at Antronio's Bar in Berwyn Illinois, a Gay bar that caters to the Latino gay community of Berwyn/cicero.

Norman also made arrangements to a have a Limo pick up all the residents at El Rescate, take them to Antronio's and drive the youth back home. Owner of Demarco Limousine service Sr. Jose Urbina made this service possible. He made sure that they had a great time in the limo as well as making sure they got home safely.


Upon arriving at Antronio's all the residents were greeted with a Buffet of delicious food, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages provided by the bar.

Later that evening, Drag Queens and other performers put on fantastic show in honor of El Rescate. Following the performances several residents shared their testimonials and expressed their gratitude for all that was provided for them that evening.  There were boxes upon boxes of clothing, toiletries, bedding, food, and winter gear collected by Norman and given to the residents.  The party when on to the wee hours of the morning as the residents danced, shot some pool, and mingled with the others in attendance. They were very excited and appreciative for all that was provided for them that evening. One resident, looking very pensive and emotional stated that although he has no family tonight he embraced and accepted all the residents and staff as his family. Program Director Jackie Gonzalez personally thanked all involved and was humbled by the kindness of all. 

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

Clemente students unlock the power of Socratic Seminars

By Roberto Clemente Community Academy

Sophomores at Clemente have unlocked the power of Socratic Seminars! In order to prepare for their individual oral commentaries, students practiced sharing and defending their opinions on what it means to be a role model and what they can do as young adults to be good role models for future generations. Is it their gender? Their income? Their popularity on social media? They spent weeks examining various people widely accepted as role models. Students analyzed their speeches and social media postings, as well as their backgrounds to determine what made them acceptable role models. Classes agreed that some of these individuals were good role models, while others should be questioned.

After this research was complete, students were ready to dive into a rich discussion about the factors that attract young people to certain "role models." Classes flourished into safe spaces in which to share personal experiences and beliefs about what it means to be an adult. One class had such a natural and powerful conversation that students hugged on the way out of class. Needless to say, Socratic Seminars are here to stay!

Norwegian American Hospital to Celebrate the Legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By Norwegian American Hospital

Norwegian American Hospital welcomes the community to join the hospital as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 19, 2015, 2 - 3 p.m., during a free program in the Hospital's Fifth Floor POB Conference Room.  


The 4th Annual MLK Day Recognition program is titled,"Dr. King: A Legacy of Service." Admission is free, but we encourage you to bring a non-perishable food item. 


The afternoon includes a keynote address from Hermene Hartman, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of N'Digo Magazine. Hartman also served as vice chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago.  


Norwegian American Hospital would also like to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by giving back to the community in which we serve. Throughout the week of January 19, the Hospital will be collecting can goods or non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the New Life Covenant Food Pantry.    


Help us provide for those in need by answering Dr. King's famous call to action - "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" Help us assist the New Life Covenant Food Pantry, "Manna for Life," fill their shelves with non-perishable food items.


Donation receptacles will be available in the main lobby and in the Fifth Floor POB Conference room during the program.


Please follow these guidelines when considering what to donate:

  • Healthy, non-perishable foods
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Beans
  • Healthy cereals
  • Peanut butter
  • Pancake Mix
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Lemonade or Kool-Aid Mix
  • Canned fruit or applesauce
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Rice or Noodles
  • Ketchup/Mustard

For more information please call 773-292-8200.

Proving it takes a village: José R. Sánchez and Norwegian American's remarkable turnaround

By Tamara Rosin, Becker's Hospital Review

When José R. Sánchez arrived at Chicago's Norwegian American Hospital to serve as president and CEO in October 2010, the hospital was struggling to stay afloat.

Norwegian American, which serves a predominantly Medicaid and a poor Hispanic population in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, had its finances in the red. The hospital's payer mix is 31 percent Medicare and 55 percent Medicaid, with just 1 percent of patients having commercial insurance. It had been under surveillance by CMS for several years for quality and safety issues and was on the verge of losing its Joint Commission accreditation. Records were still kept by pen and paper, physician engagement was weak and there was no relationship with the community.

Unlike most hospitals and health systems in the Midwest, Norwegian American is also challenged with future immigration reform, as high concentrations of undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for insurance seek medical care from the hospital.     

Mr. Sánchez, who at the time was senior vice president of the Generations+/Northern Manhattan Health Network, one of the largest healthcare networks in the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, saw Norwegian American as an opportunity. He could make a mark on his professional career, he explained, but he also felt a bigger connection to Chicago as a city.

Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera


FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

Campaign to Free Oscar: 2014 in Highlights


* Oscar marks his 71st birthday, and writes to his daughter Clarisa: "I feel very comfortable with my life and in my skin. I know I chose to serve the most just and noble cause that a Puerto Rican citizen could serve. My years in prison are only the occupational hazard that the struggle costs. But I was conscious of what awaited me, because the women and men who had chosen to serve the same cause and who had been imprisoned had allowed me to see what awaited me. From them I learned that I could survive, no matter how great the challenge."1


* Congressman Alan Grayson writes to President Obama.2 seeking Oscar's release: "I am constantly approached regarding the imprisonment of Oscar López-Rivera. My constituents, a significant number of Puerto Ricans, and political leaders from all three major political parties in Puerto Rico are pleading for his release. Mr. López-Rivera's 71st birthday is in four days, on Three Kings Day, or 'Día de Reyes' as it is known in Puerto Rico. I can think of no greater gift to him, his family, and the Puerto Rican community than his freedom and allowing him to return home on this important holiday,"


* Puerto Rican Independence Party Senator María de Lourdes Santiago and Juan Dalmau visit Oscar. "An emotional visit, equally inspiring, which has had the effect of reaffirming our commitment to the struggle for independence, which is a struggle for love," the senator expressed.3


* President of the Puerto Rican Senate, Eduardo Bhatia of the Popular Democratic Party, calls for Oscar's release. "The people of Puerto Rico, regardless of party lines, thought and politics, are all in agreement that Oscar López must be released."4


* Puerto Rico's main daily newspaper, El Nuevo Día, continues its series Las manos en el cristal, letters from Oscar to his granddaughter Karina.5 The series appears regularly in the newspaper throughout 2014. (Please send us any events we may have missed.). Read them here. 





5See, e.g.,

Llega a Puerto Rico Norberto González Claudio
Por Sharon Minelli Pérez

Al son de La Borinqueña Revolucionaria, cerca de 300 personas recibieron hoy, jueves, en el aeropuerto internacional Luis Muñoz Marín, al líder independentista Norberto González Claudio, quien fue liberado horas antes de una prisión federal en Coleman, Florida.

González Claudio estuvo preso en instituciones del Negociado Federal de Prisiones desde 2011, tras ser implicado en el robo de $7.2 millones a un camión blindado de la empresa Wells Fargo, en Hartford, Connecticut, el 12 de septiembre de 1983.

Apretado por amigos y simpatizantes, González Claudio, de 69 años, pudo caminar hasta una banca donde se trepó para emitir un breve mensaje.

"Quiero agradecer al pueblo de Puerto Rico por esta bienvenida. No saben lo feliz que me hacen con este recibimiento. Gracias, muchas gracias", expresó emocionado para citar luego algunos versos del poeta Juan Antonio Corretjer.

"¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!", concluyó sonriente mientras los presentes reaccionaron con gritos de apoyo.

Tras la liberación de González Claudio, la lucha independentista se concentra en lograr la libertad del prisionero político Oscar López Rivera, indicó el abogado Eduardo 'Tuto' Villanueva.

"Tenemos que redoblar esfuerzos para que allá en Estados Unidos, ese gobierno permanente entienda que nosotros nunca abandonamos a esos combatientes nuestros", reclamó Villanueva, miembro del Comité de Lucha por los Derechos Humanos.

"Regresará, Oscar va a regresar con nosotros", agregó el letrado entre vítores de los asistentes.

Villanueva aprovechó para mencionar que hoy fue sepultada en Ceiba la líder nacionalista Isabelita Rosado, a quien agradeció su entrega e indicó que con su muerte se convierte en "recuerdo y semilla" para la lucha independentista. La maestra ceibeña murió a la edad de 107 años, en Fajardo.

Presente la hija de Oscar López

La única hija de Oscar López Rivera, Clarisa, también estuvo presente en el recibimiento a González Claudio.

"Desde 1999 he venido puntualmente al aeropuerto a recibir a todos los patriotas que han estado encarcelados. Hoy recibo con mucho amor la llegada de Norberto de regreso a la patria y se aviva mucho más las esperanza de que con mi padre también pueda hacer esto mismo también: Llegar con él al Puerto Rico que lo vio nacer", manifestó en un aparte con este medio

Siga leyendo.


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 $125.00 plus shipping and handling.

Support the Campaign to Free Oscar!

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


Also available as a downloadable, hi-resolution, color graphic to print and post on your own!

Los Tequis

You Just Can't Hack It

Have I Been Pwned? Notifies You if You Get Hacked

It's happened to Adobe. It's happened to Snapchat. It's happened to Forbes, Sony, and more.

When a site gets hacked, personal info gets leaked. So it's time we posed the question: Have you been hacked?

There's one way to find out, and that's by checking the site Have I Been Pwned?

Started by software architect Troy Hunt, Have I Been Pwned (that's Internet speak for "owned" or "dominated") finds out if your information has been compromised in a breach. Simply provide your email (don't worry, it doesn't store anything) and it will give you the (hopefully good) news.

The site not only tells you if your personal info was leaked, but whether it's been pasted elsewhere online, what site it was stolen from, and what data - email addresses, passwords, password hints usernames, you name it - was compromised.

If you want to be kept up to date, the site can notify you if you get hacked.

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