Deepest Condolences to Billy Ocasio and the Ocasio Family

MAY 11, 2015


Dear Billy and Veronica:


On behalf of everyone who works in the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, I want to express our deepest sense of collective grief upon learning of the physical loss of your beloved mother, Gladys. I have wonderful memories of her, her friendship, her hospitality, her cooking, and everything which made her a truly exemplary Puerto Rican mother.  It is indeed ironic that she passed away on Mother's Day - Her Day.


With deepest sympathy,

José E. López and all of the PRCC program directors and staff


Visitation Information

Thursday 5/14/15, 9am- 11am wake/visitation.  11am-noon service/Mass.

Noon, leave for cemetery. 

Alvarez funeral home 

2500 N Cicero

Sign the Remove Riot Fest from Humboldt Park petition!
By Brayan Contreras

The Riot Fest festival has caused unacceptable damage, denied lengthy access to the community, created many negative issues for surrounding residents, and produced ecological destruction to the park.

For these reasons, Humboldt Park Citizens Against Riot Fest respectfully ask our Alderman Maldonado,  Chicago Park District and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to deny any permits that will allow the Riot Fest festival to continue in Humboldt Park.

In 2014, to the objection of many community residents, the festival grew to over 4X its original size and occupied the entire park. Not only were residents, sports groups and local park vendors denied access to the entire park, the set-up and breakdown of the festival caused major disruption of traditional events and access for residents for almost three weeks. Contrary to what festival organizers claim  the community and businesses around the park did not benefit from the experience.

Sign the petition.

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

Latino Unity Day in Springfield

By Stefanie Rodríguez, Affordable Care Act program

On May 5, four of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's In-Person Counselors traveled to Springfield, IL for the Illinois Latino Unity Day. José Soto, Stefanie Rodríguez, Edwin Cortés, and Luis Rodríguez joined hundreds of other Latinos across the state for the opportunity to take part in important decisions that impact our communities. 


Many local politicians were present and they each had a chance to address the audience. One of them was State Representative Cynthia Soto, who was there to advocate for Latino youth and to talk about what she has been doing to continue fighting for our rights as residents of the state. Some DREAMers also spoke about their experience. Additionally, our very own Edwin Cortés spoke. He addressed a group of high school students and spoke about the struggle he is so devotedly fighting for. The students were impressed and Edwin was given a pin from ASPIRA as a form of gratitude for sharing his story and the importance to keep fighting for your beliefs.  


Latino Unity Day was of great encouragement to all Latinos and minorities alike; we look forward to taking part in future events. 


By West Town Bikes

It's been a busy, busy start to the bike season, and we have lots of new and exciting developments at Ciclo Urbano!


Ciclo is excited to welcome our newest youth apprentices, Ulana and Max!  Ulana got involved in programs at WTB nearly 3 years ago, and is one of the early members of WTB Girls Bike Club.  Ulana is a whiz with a wrench, rides a wicked KHS pursuit bike, and has maintained a terrific role as a youth leader of GBC.  Max comes to us from the world of freak bikes, and has built more tall bikes, choppers and swing bikes than there are rats scurrying through your alley after midnight!  Max is a graduate of WTB's apprentice program, and brings with him an arcane knowledge of all things repurposed.  Ulana and Max are experiencing 'baptism-by-fire' as they and the rest of the Ciclo gang respond to Chicago's springtime bicycle mania.


We are building scores of new and used bikes every week, so if you don't find something today, stop back in a week and we're bound to have a whole new batch. Ciclo is currently stocking bikes from Breezer, SE, State, Torker, and Surly - and soon we'll have new bikes from KHS!  Stop in for a visit to check out what we've got!

José E. López Keynotes Latino Recognition Ceremony 2015 at Southern Illinois University

By Michael Emmer, Puerto Rican Cultural Center 

On Saturday May 9th, 2015 the Hispanic/Latino Resource Center at Southern Illinois University invited Jose E Lopez to Keynote the Latino Recognition Ceremony.


The program included remarks by Dr. Rene Francisco Poitevin, Coordinator, Hispanic/ Latino Resource Center and Dr. Katherine Sermersheim, Dean of Students. The introduction of the keynote speaker was made by Yahaira L. Heller, Student Staff, Hispanic/Latino Resource Center.

The ceremony is an annual event recognizing the achievement of Latino students from S.I.U. upon their graduation. The group of graduates included those receiving Bachelors, Masters and P.H.D. degrees.


After congratulating the graduates, Jose framed his remarks about their role as future citizens of the Americas, within the context of the following quote from the Brazilian educator, Paolo Freire: "Education either functions as an instrument whish is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

His speech was warmly received by the students, parents, and faculty of Southern Illinois University who were present. 

Tasteful Manners Chef Monica Hayes Comes to Parent University at Clemente 

By Michael Kurshan-Emmer

Last Friday May 8, 2015 saw ten parent participants from the Safe Passage program take part in the first installment of Chef Monica Hayes' Tasteful Manners healthy cooking class. Parent University participants from the Safe Passage programs at Clemente Community Academy and Wells Community Academy have participated in mini-courses in Digital Video through the Grace Media Group, African Drumming through Holy Goat percussion, and now Tasteful Manners healthy cooking class with Chef Monica Hayes. The Tasteful Manners mini-course is scheduled to run every Friday morning for the next five weeks at Parent University on the 3rd floor of Clemente Community Academy.


At the onset of the class Chef Hayes spoke with parent participants about their diets, what they commonly eat at home, what they commonly enjoy cooking, and where they go grocery shopping.  She made the point that each of the ingredients her recipes call for can be purchased at local stores. At this point in the class the founder of Tasteful Manners went on to provide creative ways in which to use healthy alternatives in common recipes, and emphasized that she does not use salt in the preparation of her dishes.


Chef Hayes then introduced the first recipe of the class, a Thai recipe for chicken sate with a tantalizing peanut sauce and a delicious cucumber onion salad. Chef Hayes took the parent participants through each step of the recipe, going into some detail on each ingredient and answering questions and responding to comments. Once the dish was completed and participants began to eat and enjoy the Thai delicacy, Chef Hayes began to take suggestions for next week's dish. The participants of the mini-course finally decided on a Tilapia dish, and were excited to get their minds and hands into next Friday's recipe!


Chef Monica Hayes-Jones is a pastry chef and the CEO and President of Tasteful Manners NFP. Tasteful Manners was founded out of Chef Monica's disappointment concerning the poor diet choices and lack of manners today's youth exhibit.

Health Education at the 

Diabetes Empowerment Center Every Wednesday!

By Leony Calderón

Health Education Every Wednesday, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm.

Manage, Control and Prevent Diabetes.  Ask Doctors, Residents, Nutritionist, Pharmacist and Dietitian Your Pressing Health Questions.

Weekly Topics

  • *       Diabetes 101
  • *       Medication Education
  • *       Nutrition Class
  • *       Intro to Diabetes & How the Body Works
  • *       Protecting Your Eyes
  • *       Protecting Your Feet
  • *       Oral Health
  • *       Using The Glucose Meter & Meds
  • *       Heart Health Education
  • *       Physical Activity and Diabetes

Diabetes Empowerment Center, 2753 W. Division St. 773-342-0855

Free and Bilingual.


Educación de Salud todos los Miércoles de 12:00pm a 1:00pm

Manege, Controle y Prevenga la Diabetes. Haga Preguntas a los Médicos, Residentes, Nutricionistas, Farmacéuticos y Dietista Acerca de Su de Salud.

Temas Semanales

  • *       Diabetes 101
  • *       Educación Medicamentos
  • *       Clase de Nutrición
  • *       Introducción a la Diabetes y Cómo funciona el cuerpo
  • *       Proteja sus ojos
  • *       La protección de sus pies
  • *       Salud Oral
  • *       Uso del medidor de glucosa y Medicamentos
  • *       Educación para la Salud del Corazón
  • *       Actividad física y la diabetes 

Gratuito y Bilingüe.

Centro de Empoderamiento Contra la Diabetes, 2753 W. Division St. 773-342-0855


Job Opening at Puerto Rican Cultural Center



Organization: Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Job Title: In-Person Counselor (IPC) (Full-time, temporary position)


The Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1973 to serve the social and cultural needs of Chicago's underserved communities.


We are seeking bilingual (English and Spanish or other languages), motivated, and organized who are already certified or have an inactive In-Person Counselors (IPCs) license. IPCs will maintain expertise about the newly expanded Medicaid program and the Health Insurance Marketplace that are part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IPCs will provide information and services in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner to the community members. Additionally, IPCs will be comfortable as public speakers and conduct activities to facilitate enrollment in health coverage.



  • Seeking Certified IPC - or IPC with inactive license
  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)
Availability to work during non-traditional hours, including limited evening and weekend hours, and throughout the different seasons under Chicago weather conditions. Download the full description and contact info here.

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.

Puerto Rican Cultural Center Calendar of Community Events

Tues. May 19th Naming of Dr. Steve Whitman Greenhouse at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School. (Time TBA)


Fri. May 29th Event commemorating Oscar López Rivera's 34 yr. Anniversary of his arrest, La Casita de Don Pedro & Doña Lolita, 2625 W. Division St.


Sat May 30th NY Rally for Oscar Lopez Rivera's 34 yr. anniversary of his arrest (leaving Chicago on Fri May 29th)


SAVE THE FOLLOWING DATES * 2015 Puerto Rican Cultural Center * Annual Events

Puerto Rican People's Parade                    22nd Fiesta Boricua "De Bandera a Bandera"

Sat June 20, 2015                                        Sept 5 - 6, 2015 * 12pm - 8:30pm

Starting 2PM-Division/Western                Honoring: Cayey, Puerto Rico, Orlando, Florida


Haunted Paseo Boricua, Sat Oct 31, 2015 
Los Tequis


Bunkr is a fully web-based presentation site. Make presentations the same as you would on PowerPoint or Keynote, but add all sorts of elements - like videos, articles, social media posts, or you can even code something yourself - and it'll show up in your deck. 


This has all kinds of cool applications. For example, if you're presenting something that changes over time, like a GitHub repo or Twitter feed, you won't need to update the deck to keep it current. You can even sync Bunkr with slide decks on other services, like 


  • From Our Community Partners

    Venezuela is not a Threat, We are Hope

    Venezuela no es una Amenaza, Somos Esperanza


    Maximilien Sánchez Arvelaiz

    Ambassador designate, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela


    Thursday, May 14

    at 7:00pm


    DePaul University, Schmitt Academic Center, Room 254 

    2320 N. Kenmore, Chicago 


    Sponsored by DePaul University *-Department of History,  & Chicago Stands with Venezuela


    follow us on Facebook: Chicago Stands with Venezuela

    Honorable Toni Preckwinkle Visits Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School

    By Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School Journalism Team

      On Thursday, May 7th, our students and staff welcomed a visit from the Cook County Board President. Not knowing exactly what to expect, our students prepared to extend both a warm "bienvenida" as well as share critical questions for our guest considering her role with key decisions related to the prisons and hospitals in Cook County.


    Captivating the audience's attention, Honorable Preckwinkle spoke about some of the challenges that she confronts with disproportionate rates of Black and Brown people incarcerated and only a small percent actually serving time, versus waiting for trial. Our students were taken aback by her honesty and genuineness with her comments stating "We have never heard a politician speak so openly about real problems."


    Hoping for more time, our students posed questions about economic development, mental health services being cut in the City of Chicago, and about full access to appropriate healthcare. Toward the end of the exchange, our students presented Honorable Preckwinkle with some "Albizu Gear" and explained to her what they are learning about urban agriculture in our school's greenhouse.


    Our students left the exchange excited, hopeful and interested in doing more to make our world a better place.

    Culinary Competitions Pay Off

    By Luis Salgado, Roberto Clemente Community Academy

    It was a busy and successful one for some of our culinary seniors at Clemente. The three students pictured with their chef instructor (Erica Hernandez, Chef Leszczewicz, Hannia Vidals, and Shantel Lane) completed the final phase of one of their scholarship competitions. For the final phase, the students were given ingredients and two hours to create Poulet Chasseur avec Pommes Tournee and strawberry cream crepes with chocolate sauce. Our students did a fantastic job, overcoming a kitchen crowded with fifteen other CPS culinary students. In the end they all finished on time with beautiful dishes. All of their hard work in preparation paid off. Two days later, at the awards breakfast (photo), the scholarship awards were handed out.

    Later in the week, the same students, along with several others, cooked and served for the CPS board'sInterdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies Curriculum reception at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Our future culinarians served one hundred guests a cornucopia of Puerto Rican and Mexican fare.

    At the conclusion of the week, our culinary seniors participated in the CPS Culinary capstone, Passport on a Plate where Clemente was chosen to represent dishes and culture from Poland. Over fifteen other countries were represented by the other CPS culinary programs. At this event, more scholarships were earned by our students bringing the total for the week to over $80,000 in money for college to our top culinary students! Congrats and good luck to all!

    The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has 

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

    Published every two weeks- next issue will be published 4-20-2015

    View past issues here.


    WRITE TO OSCAR LOPEZ, #87651-024

    FCI Terre Haute,  PO Box 33

    Terre Haute, IN,  47808 

    Transportation leaving from 10 cities in Midwest and East Coast.
    For more info:

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

    "Live and Help to Live"