The Boards and staff of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School and National Boricua Human Rights Network would like to offer their deepest condolences to the Rosa- Perez family on the passing of their maternal grandfather, Don Pantaleon Pérez in Orlando, Florida. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Join the VidaSIDA 2015 AIDS Run and Walk Team
Did you know that each week, 40-50 Illinoisans become infected with HIV? I believe that all families and individuals affected by HIV deserve access to care and you can help me ensure this by participating in the 2015 AIDS Run and Walk. 90% of the funds that we raise collectively for Team Vida/SIDA's Life Savers will be given back us to facilitate programs and improve services access in our community.  

We need you to be part of team Vida/SIDA's Life Savers this year.

The online registration for the 2015 AIDS Run and Walk is open and we need you to register.

Our team Vida/SIDA's Life Savers is live. It's time to register!

Register at your earliest convenience and start fundraising!  The following is the link to register:

After you click the website link above, click the tab labeled REGISTER, then search for teamVida/SIDA's Life Savers and follow the rest of the registration instructions.

Let us know if you have any questions to register.

Pedro Mercado
Vida/SIDA's Life Savers Team Captains


Proyecto Atabey at NAME conference in NOLA Needs Your Help!

Proyecto Atabey intergenerational mentoring program for young mothers provides support to young mothers attending the Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center (FLC) so that they can achieve educational, professional, and personal goals. As part of the program, young mothers are paired with a mentor, themselves former young mothers who are recruited from FLC graduates and other women in the community, and have faced challenges and attained success in certain areas of their lives. Mentors receive training and purvey transformational and authentic mentoring to FLC students; mentoring activities include hosting their mentee at their workplace or school site, helping mentees apply for jobs and fill out college applications, and spending family time together. Goals of the program include not only helping young mothers graduate from high school and transition to post-secondary activities, but also promoting advocacy skills amongst generations of young mothers and challenging negative stereotypes related to young parents. 
The Lolita Lebron Family Learning Center (FLC) is an educational program serving the needs of Puerto Rican/Latina and African American mothers in Humboldt Park, Chicago, a community located about four miles northwest of the downtown loop that has long been associated with the city's Puerto Rican community. The FLC is a program of the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Alternative High School (PACHS), a high school that has been in existence for over 40 years.   
What We Need 
Proyecto Atabey has been accepted to conduct a workshop at the National Association for Multicultural Education conference in New Orleans, to be held October 1-4, 2015. The workshop will provide the opportunity for staff, mentors, and mentees to share their experiences in the program and engage attendees in discussions about how to challenge the stigma often placed on young mothers and work productively and respectfully with young mothers to help them achieve success. The program has limited funds to attend the conference and needs help to be able to attend. We are hoping to raise $2500 to fund the following:
  • Airfare for 1 staff member, 1 mentor, and 1 mentee
  • Hotel room for 3 nights
  • Food costs for 3 days
Every little bit helps!! This is a great opportunity for the program to publicize their emerging model of transformational and intergenerational mentorship, and for mentors and mentees to further develop presenting skills and network with others involved in similar work.

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From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

University of Chicago Students Learn about Paseo Boricua and Perform Community Service
Trenton Crawford, University of Chicago
 "When I began my visit to Pedro Albizu High School in Humboldt Park, I did not realize how many services were offered by them. I was a part of a group from the University of Chicago, which helped clean up and organize a facility that will soon be turned into new classrooms and learning centers. After offering what little help I and a group of 20 people could give to the center, I had a discussion with Marvin about programs that he and other community members had started over the years to help Puerto Rican families in Chicago receive a quality education and to pay special attention to single mothers or children who have fallen behind in reading and comprehension. Marvin even told me his personal story which mimicked that of my own: having been raised by a single mother in a low-income household. His work and dedication to the young Puerto Rican learners in Chicago has inspired me and given me hope as I prepare to begin my first year of college, and it has reminded me of the good that can result from a community coming together to support a common cause."

23 students began their day in Humboldt Park, where they learned about the community struggles with a short lecture and Q&A with José E. López. Then, they took a guided tour of Paseo Boricua led by Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director of the Division Street Business Development Association (DSBDA). From there, they enjoyed a Puerto Rican lunch at Nellie's Restaurant, where Michael Rodriguez, community activist co-founder of the Café Teatro Batey spoke to the students about his involvement and participation in the development of Paseo Boricua.  Marvin Garcia, Community as a Campus Director, then directed a short community service clean up project, that the students enthusiastically finished early.

Many thanks to Amy Chan, Director of the University Community Service Center (UCSC), and the University of Chicago students who participated in this project for their willingness to learn and participate in this project.

Thanks to Ricardo Jiménez, Manager of Linkage to Care & Treatment, VidaSIDA and Marvin Garcia, Community as a Campus Coordinator, Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director, DSBDA and José López, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center for coordinating their efforts for a successful community service project.
Puerto Rican Cultural Center names Dr. Mayra Estrella Interim Director of VidaSIDA

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) has named Mayra L. Estrella, PhD, MPH, as Interim Director of Vida/SIDA. With more than 10 years of experience in public health, she has a breadth of public health knowledge and experience in program management, implementation, and evaluation. "We are very pleased to announce this appointment," reported Mr. Juan Calderon, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the PRCC. "Mayra will bring leadership and a deep sense of commitment to our HIV prevention efforts. She joined the PRCC in 2013 as the Director of Quality Management and Evaluation, and also served as the Director of our Affordable Care Act Program."

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Estrella is a socio-behavioral scientist with a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health and Master in Public Health (Biostatistics) from the University of Puerto Rico. She has expertise in adolescent and young adult
health, community wellness, and prevention. She has been a Lecturer at the UIC Jane Addams School of Social Work, and has previously worked at UIC, Northwestern University, and as an independent consultant. Dr. Estrella was the Director of the PRCC's ACA Program, overseeing outreach, education,
and enrollment efforts with a focus on Latinos and other underserved groups - Spanish speakers, low health literacy, homeless, and at risk for HIV and HIV positive. PRCC-Vida/SIDA is a grass-roots organization, borne out of community identified needs and has developed all its programming with the whole person in mind. PRCC works to address the HIV/AIDS
epidemic in collaboration with many with other agencies within the greater Chicago metro area to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic within the context of community and cultural preservation.
"its the beginning the new  school year the children are learning during play time
Centro Infantil Consuelo Lee Corretjer

Interested in urban gardening, 
farmers' markets and healthy eating?

Interested in learning more about urban gardening and farmers' markets? Have some free time to help your community? Looking for urban farming service learning opportunity? Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center has gardens throughout Humboldt Park and we are looking for volunteers. Whether you are a people person, a gardening person or a community member eager to learn something new, please contact, Urban Garden Team Members, Erika G Abad at either or (773) 850-2467 (text or call) for more information.  


Le interesaria ayudar a su comunidad? Quisiera hablar con miembros de la comunidad acerca de comprar comida organica? Quisiera compartir su sabiduria acerca de sembrando comida? El Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño Juan Antonio Corretjer, tiene jardines en el barrio de donde se vende comida para asistir en ayudar a los jardines. Se necesita ayuda en los jardines y en alcanzar a miembros de la comunidad durante los mercados. Si nos puede ayudar, comuniquese con Erika G Abad al or (773) 850-2467 (text o llame) para mas informacion.


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
How to stay secure on Facebook
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Facebook creates the illusion that we are sharing posts and photos in a safe space, among friends and family. But in reality, if we're not careful, outsiders can swipe our personal info to gain access to our email, banking, and credit card accounts; to steal our identities; or even to spam and scam our friends. Follow these five steps to secure your sensitive info on Facebook.

From Our Community Partners

The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has its own 
e-newsletter: The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar
Published approximately every two weeks
View past issues here.

Write to Oscar:
Oscar López Rivera, #87651
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Oscar at the Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas convention
On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto Rico, its president Mark Anthony Bimbela and first vice-president Alejandro Torres Rivera made sure that Oscar figured prominently. President Bimbela created a special presidential award for Oscar, presented at the plenary session, received by Oscar's brother José López and Oscar's daughter Clarisa López Ramos. "Libertad para Oscar," the title of the page in the President's Report, included a letter from Oscar to Bimbela, along with photos from their legal visit, and "Same Thing: a visit with Oscar López Rivera on Holy Saturday," a bilingual publication of notes from the visit, was distributed to every participant. Marco Antonio Sagastume, president of the Bar Association of Guatemala, invited guest, declared his support for Oscar's release during his address to the plenary session, and representatives from the Dominican Republic were similarly supportive. President Bimbela not only invited Oscar's attorney Jan Susler and Comité Pro Derechos Humanos spokesperson Eduardo Villanueva to present at a forum about Oscar's defense, but also introduced a resolution calling for Oscar's release, which passed unanimously. 

Therese Coupez ¡PRESENTE!  Rest In Power
by Rose Maria Arrieta
Therese Coupez, 62, was a bright spirit who gave everything she had to make this world more just. She slipped away from us during the dawn hours of Tuesday, September 8.
She wrote on getting the news that she had pancreatic cancer: "I feel surprisingly peaceful about it all. I've lived a good life, mostly with grace and always with integrity." After a ceremony we held at her house in August, Therese shared with us: "Today just might have been the finest gift I've ever received. My heart is still open and full from the blessings of the pipe, and the care from all of you."
Therese grew up on the Port Madison Indian reservation of the Saquamish tribe on Puget Sound with her grandmother, who was Irish and spoke Gaelic. Therese was a healer, an acupuncturist who found her way to the Mission district where she lived for 31 years. Therese came here after being paroled from the federal penitentiary in 1984. She served almost 7 years for political activities in the late 60s and early 70s as part of the George Jackson Brigade.
She said at one point: "A lot of people were wiling to risk a lot in order to make change, to try to make the world a fairer and better place. Why I individually chose to respond to that came from an early life's training to care about what was going on in the world, and take seriously what our responsibilities were to make the world a better place. And to stand up to injustice and wrong when it showed its face in the world.
In her early years she worked with UFW. "I come from working people so there was a great respect for unions. And unionizing and the 8-hour day and no child labor and there's a whole history of fighting for that. And Seattle's a good union town. So I worked with the United Farmworkers Union and learned then about the conditions in the migrant towns and the way that our food was harvested in this country, and the way the people who harvested our food were treated." 
Therese believed that activists too, were real healers. "I did go on to become a healer, in many ways, true activists are healers. That if you're an activist in the world, you're working to make the world a better place. You're working to see that people have a home. To see that people have healthy food, to see that people have access to healthy lifestyles, parks, and places to walk, run. That people have access to good, solid, healthy education. All of those things. That's healing to our culture, its healing to our society as a whole."
Therese told me that she eventually moved her way "into working outside the law and -- it did look like the world was on the brink of some pretty profound and fundamental change in the late 60s and early 70s.
"So, it was my great honor to do time with a number of nuns who had engaged in civil disobedience and were doing six months or a year - they would break into the Naval Weapons Station in Banger, Washington state, and hammer on the heads of the missiles. Purely symbolic, and then they were convicted of a federal crime because they put a dent in the head of the missiles and they would pour blood on the missiles too.
"And then I was lucky enough to have done time with Ide Torres from the Puerto Rican movement, and with Judy Siff, who was one of the Weather Underground related groups and with Carmen Valentine and Dylcia Pagan from the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, and all of these people - whether it was the civil disobedience or more direct illegal acts, they were just incredible people. They all had so much integrity.  A lot of people were wiling to risk a lot in order to make that change, to try to make the world a fairer and better place.
"There are still close to 100 political prisoners in the United States today either part of or related to the Black Panther Party; and Leonard Peltier-the American Indian Movement; Oscar Lopez-the Puerto Rican independence Movement. People still to this day are locked up for, in most cases, nothing more than a conviction to conspire - not even for actual acts. We must not forget them."
She added, "These were some of the most honest people that I ever met. And sincere in what they were about and what they were doing and in their willingness to risk their lives. And their families and to just risk everything in order to stand up for independence. In order to stand up for their land and their people."
Therese Coupez. ¡PRESENTE!

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

"Live and Help to Live"