During PRCC's 100x35+7 Annual Event

El Rescate Celebrates Its Third Anniversary with an Entire Day of Events!

By Jorge Cestou, Vida/SIDA

On March 3, 2015, El Rescate (The Rescue) celebrated its third year anniversary with a program open house at 2703 W Division St., Chicago, IL 60622.  This open house included other programs of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center i.e. Vida/SIDA, Batey Urbano, the Affordable Care Act, and the Diabetes Empowerment Center.


The celebration continued at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture with a panel conversation titled 'The Latino Housing & Homelessness Question: A Panel Discussion.'  Over 60 individuals attended the discussion. They were very attentive to the panelists' insights on what's affecting our communities.

The Panelists included:

Tracy Baim, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Windy City Times

Sol Flores, Executive Director of La Casa Norte

Jackie Gonzalez, Program Director of El Rescate

Dan Harris, Assistant Director at Illinois Department of Human Services and Angelique Miller, Vice President of Housing Programs and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Moderated by Jorge Cestou, Vida/SIDA's Director of Programs and Services.


Participants were treated to the conversation that began outlining the basic definition of what a home consists. "A home is not just a bed, or a roof. A home is stability, security, and the foundation upon which people can build their future.  A home is, quite simply, the most basic of human rights." Said Jorge Cestou, Director of Programs and Services at Vida/SIDA who served as panel moderator.


Tracy Baim described the various initiatives that were created from the 2014 LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit. Some of these include the 750 Club for Apartment Adoption, the Chicago Storage Initiative, and may others that strive to alleviate challenges that homeless youth encounter in the City of Chicago.


Angelique Miller stressed the importance of facilitating services to those dealing with chronic diseases like HIV and AIDS. "We need to provide spaces for our clients to be supported on not to worry about where to spend the night. We need to allow them to concentrate in taking control of their health. Individuals living with HIV are at higher risk of homelessness." Said Angelique Miller.

Dan Harris of the Illinois Department of Human Services provided the panelists and audience with the funding plan from the state that will reflect a cut from $31 million to $16.1 million for all of the state of Illinois.  These news created concern among the panelists. Sol Flores demystified the idea that "homelessness does exist in the Latino community." She urged for participants to talk about this issue with their family and their elected officials.  "It's very important to let your legislators of these challenges that affect our Latino communities. If they don't hear you, they won't prioritize the needs that our communities have." Jackie Gonzalez mentioned "spaces like El Rescate are very successful in helping youth transition from homelessness into independence." She explained how clients of El Rescate have documented success of attaining better grades and improving in their health because of the supportive services that the program facilitates.


The group finalized the discussion by outlining the introduction of the Youth Vulnerability Index -a tool to identify homeless transition age youth most in need of permanent supportive housing. After the panel, a reception was held in the gallery section of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. The event included addresses from Mona Noriega, Chairman and Commissioner at the Human Relations Commission from the City of Chicago and Dan Harris from the Illinois Department of Human Services.  The attendees were treated to live art human exhibitions that depicted some of the spaces of where youth from El Rescate previously lived i.e. a park bench, a couch, etc. The attendees were treated to delicious Puerto Rican food and to a melodic Flamenco Music and Dance Troupe.

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

Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-7347778 and support us every time you shop.

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Parent University/Parent Popular Institute Opens at Roberto Clemente Community Academy 

By Michael Emmer, Puerto Rican Cultural Center Safe Passages staff

 We are extremely excited to announce that last Wednesday, February 18th, saw the opening of the Parent University/Parent Popular Institute at Clemente high school! The participant workers from CPS' safe passage program are the first group of parents from the community invited to take part in the initiative. Wednesday's first class, "Introduction to Video", is part of a mini course taught by Derek Grace of the Grace Media Group (www.gracemediagroup.net). Parent participants in the Grace video class are learning hands on skills including the fundamentals of lighting, camerawork, sound, the evolution of videography from analog to digital, interview skills, on set vocabulary and much more. The class will culminate with participants producing their own video with the skills they acquire in the course, telling their own stories and sharing their own experiences. 


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center would like to wish all the parent participants good luck in reaching their goals!


The Parent Popular Institute is a project put forward by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and powered by the Community as a Campus initiative in Humboldt Park, working in tandem with the Parent University, a project of CPS.

  New partnership equals greater opportunities

By Jonathan Contreras, Director, Integrated Paseo

On January 1st 2015, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center - Vida/SIDA together with Norwegian American Hospital, launched the Integrated PASEO program. This partnership has allowed us to provide wraparound services for HIV treatment, STI & Hepatitis C care, substance abuse & mental health counseling, for clients within the Chicagoland area. Our bilingual Spanish-English team creates personalized health plans for each client including specialized services referrals, to instill proper level of care and treatment. For more information, contact Jonathan Contreras, Director at 773-772-5455.

Tax Season Is Here!

By Geniz Hernández Rosado, PRCC Affordable Care Act Staff

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Affordable Care Act Program is currently collaborating with Ladder Up, a program that offers free electronic preparation and e-filing of individual income tax returns for Chicago-area taxpayers. This program will be offering their services until April 14 at the Roberto Clemente Academy every Tuesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and every Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00pm. One of our In-Person Counselors will be there to answer questions and enroll! Additionally, one of our In-Person Counselor has been going to the WIC Food Center on 3110 West Armitage Ave every Saturday from 9:00-12:00 where Ladder Up is also assisting consumers. Avoid the fine for 2015, get insured today!

Move for Life! Coming April 4th


By Leony Calderón

Move for Life!  is an annual one day community-driven outdoor event to kick-off the Spring/Summer physical activity seasons. Saturday, April 4th 2015, from 12:00pm-4:00pm. Join us as we Kick-off the Spring with an afternoon of physical activity; walking, biking, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, games, boot camp, nutrition information, music, games and much more.

Free and For all Ages!

Service Providers join us and showcase your physical activity, nutrition program to the community. To register or volunteer 773-342-0855 Moveforlife@prcc-chgo.org.


Ciclo Urbano Expands 

By Michael B, West Town Bikes, NFP

The nice thing about it being frigidly cold outside and only one quick month away from busy-bike-shop season is that we have had plenty of undisturbed time for finishing up important shop construction projects and training our new shop apprentices!


We've just completed a big expansion to Ciclo Urbano's shop, adding some much-needed floor-space to our retail area!  We are working hard to put the finishing touches on the final paint and detail work, as well as getting all of our stock ready to show off in the new space.  Soon you'll be able to peruse our expanded selection of used bike clothing and shoes, along with a new area displaying used panniers and bags.  Please stop by soon to check out how great everything looks!


We'd like to give a warm welcome to Deorey and Hector, both of whom have been coming around to West Town Bikes for several years. Deorey came to us through a Bickerdike youth development bike program way back in 2005 - when he was just 10 years old! During his first time in the bike program, he was the only one in his group to achieve a proper hub adjustment on his first try. Little did he know he was well on his way to becoming a pro mechanic...


Hector has been with WTB since 2010 with the Bike Club, and with us he brings his awesome skills and knowledge as a BMX rider and devotee during the past four years as he has worked his way through our apprenticeship program at Ciclo Urbano. Hector's knowledge and enthusiasm for BMX riding has enabled us to increase our expertise so we may better serve fellow BMX riders like Hector, in the community.  Hector also happens to be skilled with automotive mechanics, which has certainly come in handy for everyday tasks and activities we find ourselves busy with here.


Hector and Deorey are both extremely hard working, and they certainly know their way around bikes.  Most importantly, however, they have both quickly learned the difference of what it's like to be working on their own bikes during Bike Club and the responsibilities of working in a high-quality professional repair shop like Ciclo Urbano.


There's no doubt that we'll all have our work cut out for us as we get closer to the official start of Spring - especially with more and more of our fellow Chicagoans learning just how great our city is for those (like us!) who love bicycling!  Come by and visit us in the shop soon!


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.

Los Tequis

FCC's Net Neutrality Shift a Victory for Open Internet & Grassroots Activism

  After much anticipation, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." Tom Wheeler backed the regulation of Internet service like a public utility in order to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open Internet. The new rules would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content, or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. It would also extend such protections to Internet service on cell phones and tablets. The proposal comes after theFCC received a record-setting number of public comments - nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. President Obama also released public statements in support of Internet protections. The FCC will vote on the plan February 26, ahead of an influx of lobbying by the telecom industry, which has also threatened to sue if the measure passes. We are joined by Tim Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, one of the main organizers of the Internet Countdown campaign leading up to the FCC's net neutrality vote.

Continue reading.

From Our Community Partners

   Student Offered Full Ride to Howard University at Siemens College Fair

By Roberto Clemente Community Academy staff

A selection of junior and seniors student attended the Siemens College Fair which is an annual event that helps students gain admissions to historically black colleges and universities. In addition to admission, this fair aims to provide students with the scholarships and funding needed to make these colleges and universities attainable post-secondary options. Representatives from over 30 HBCUs from across the country were present and available to provide information and answer questions from prospective students. Additionally, many qualified students were offered partial or full scholarships to attend these colleges and universities.

At this fair, senior Niambi Smith met with an admission counselor from Howard University who reviewed her transcripts, ACT scores, and held a short interview. Being the valedictorian of her class with a strong ACT scores, they were able to offer her admission on the spot along with a full tuition scholarship. Howard University is a prestigious historically black college/university located in Washington, DC. Many notable alums have been educated at Howard such as Toni Morrison, P. Diddy, Tarajhi P. Henson, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Niambi was one of many students from across CPS thrilled to be admitted and offered scholarship dollars to attend college in the fall. The Siemens College Fair is a fantastic opportunity that continues to build relationships with CPS schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Students may qualify for the event in the future if they meet the following criteria:

  • CPS seniors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and ACT score of 20 or higher; or
  • CPS seniors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, an ACT score of 18 or higher and be ranked #1 in their graduating class; or
  • CPS seniors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, an ACT score of 18 or higher and serve as the class president or LSC representative for their school; or CPS juniors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and PLAN score of 20 or higher

The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has 

it's own e-newsletter- The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar

Published every two weeks- next issue comes out 3-8-2015



FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

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

"Live and Help to Live"