The November Issue of La Voz de Paseo Boricua is Out!

Oscar López Rivera le habla a los universitarios
por WIPR
Oscar López Rivera, el prisionero político puertorriqueño que más tiempo ha estado encarcelado, a través de su hija Clarisa López Ramos, ofreció ayer martes una Lección Magistral en la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey donde le abordó el tema de la educación versus el adoctrinamiento.
López Ramos fue la encargada de darle voz al líder independentista cuando leyó la carta de once páginas que su padre escribió desde la cárcel.
"Es mucho más que un honor poder compartir este escrito con ustedes. Con mucha humildad, respeto y amor en mi corazón y que sea mi querida hija la que lo lea. Soy y seré un humilde servidor de mi patria que vive con la esperanza de algún día poder saludarlos (as) a todos (as) en persona con un cariñoso abrazo", mencionó agradecido López en su carta.
La UPR Cayey lleva realizando lecciones magistrales por más de 30 años consecutivos. En las mismas, han participado figuras de renombre mundial como Isabel Allende, escritora y premio Nobel de la Paz en 1987, y expresidente de Costa Rica, el doctor Oscar Arias.
Help Fund a New Children's Book, "Plantando Banderas en la Calle Division" on Kickstarter!
Help me tell my new story.

Dear Friends & Family Members,

I'm writing to you today to let you know about the Kickstarter campaign for my new children's book "Planting Flags on Division Street." This project has been in the works for a while and I want to share why I've decided to self publish this story.

Why do I write?

I write to forget, I write to escape. I write to change what I see before my eyes into something better. I write to wipe out the bad and to give me, and others, better memories of fairer histories.

I write stories that for people who've been told they don't have any stories to tell. I write to fill the Grand Canyon sized hole that the children's literature publishing industry has created by not addressing the needs of Latino children.

As a little girl in Lorain, Ohio I didn't have books about Latino girls and boys growing up in the United States of America. All the stories I read were filled with children that didn't look like me set in communities that were different than my neighborhood.

After I had my first child I found out what a challenge it was to find stories that reflected my daughter's culture and reality. Now, with my 8 year old son I continue to struggle to find stories that celebrate our culture and values, as well as share with him other cultures, beliefs, and realities. It's even harder to find stories that encourage him to imagine and see himself in different places doing different things.

As a professor and former teacher I know how important stories are and how they shape and define how we see ourselves and others. It's important for many different kinds of stories to be told. It's also important for us to read, hear and tell stories that encourage us to imagine, hope and dream of something better and work for a cause bigger than ourselves.

That's why I write.
Please join me in making our children's books as diverse as the lives we live.

Together we can tell stories that make a difference.


Click here to see our Kickstarter campaign.
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

You Can Still Make a Donation
El Rescate in full force for Sleep Out Chicago
by Jackie González El Rescate
On November 20, El Rescate staff and residents participated in the Sleep out Chicago event, organized to raise awareness and money for the most vulnerable population, the homeless.
Inclement weather or the predicted 8 inches of snow did not keeEl Rescate away. We showed up in full force to support the eighteen other organizations that work with the homeless population. The crown began gathering about 6 pm, some set up their tents for the night others sat around listening to the live music provided by local talent and a DJ.  Other participants worked the donations tables, giving away winter coats, scarves and clothing and most importantly, food.
Because the event was highly publicized, two residents from El Rescate, Marcel and Angel were interviewed by channel 20, and Jason was able to go on stage to speak on behalf of El Rescate. Although the rain/snow and the shifting wind complicated the visibility, the show went on through the night. 

Its not too late to make a donation to El Rescate - You have until December 31st. Please help us to help the most needy of our community this holiday season.

Alderman Maldonado gives away 100s of Turkeys to the most in need in our  community
During two days last week, Ald Maldonado distributed 100s of turkeys to the community most in need. Because of this, hundreds of families will be able to celebrate.

Centro Infantil Annual Dinner Opportunity to Share, Learn
by Centro Infantil Corretjer Daycare
Centro Infantil Consuelo Lee Corretjer's annual family dinner is where parents of the children share their favorite dishes. This year, the event took place on November 20, at 4:30pm. Parents accompanied their children, sitting and eating together. The food varied from culture to culture. Main dishes included arroz con gandules, mole, fried chicken, lechon and tostadas. Dessert included cookies, chocolate cake, fruit yogurt, cupcakes, and apple pie. Parents were able to meet with each other and talk about their children during the dinner. Furthermore, the variety of the food allowed people of different cultural to enjoy new dishes they have had never had. In the background, music such as christmas songs and famous Puerto Rican music encouraged both the parents and children to dance.
Centro Infantil Consuelo Lee Corretjer Reminders
  • November 10, 2015 Headstart hearing and vision screening
  • November 20, 2015 Family Potluck Dinner at 4:30pm
  • November 26-27, 2015 Happy Thanksgiving! Daycare will be closed
Please bring your child appropriate weather clothes since the children are going outside everyday weather-permitting.

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
By newseditor, Lavasoft
As the holidays are around the corner and Black Friday sales start earlier every year, we want to keep our users safe and secure by providing the following online shopping tips: 
Is Everything Up-To-Date?
Before you start your online shopping, ensure that your preferred web browser is up-to-date. Most browsers list update information in the Help or About sections of their main menu and updates are a critical component of avoiding the latest security and privacy threats.
Additionally, ensure your operating system is up-to-date and that the latest security updates are downloaded and installed on the system. Most operating systems download and install critical system updates automatically so most users can skip this part. Windows users who've disabled this automatic update feature can search for the Windows Update interface. In Windows 7, this is accessible through the Start Menu search bar by typing "Windows Update." In Windows 8, click the Windows icon in the left corner to open the Start Screen and scroll to the far right- select the magnifying glass icon on the top right corner and search for Windows Update. Select "Check for updates" or "Check Now" depending on the respective operating system to verify that your version is up-to-date.
Check your antivirus software - are the latest virus definitions and updates installed? The user interface of your antivirus program should indicate whether additional updates are required. 

From Our Community Partners

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School designated a Level One School
By Danette Sokacich, Principal, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School
Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School has been designated a Level 1 for the 2014-2015 academic year by CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Forrest Claypool.  In an announcement shared on October 26, CEO Claypool described the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) as the most "equitable and comprehensive model for measuring school performance".  The SQRP measured growth in the STAR assessment, credit attainment and graduation success, and progress to graduation, which includes average daily attendance and retention.  Albizu Campos High School scored highest with 100% graduation rate, 80.1% attendance for the year, 71.1% growth in STAR Reading and 63.4% growth in STAR Math.

Looking for a successful and culturally relevant school for youth?  New students are welcome!

Interested in supporting a great school with a great mission, donate at our Network for Good page.
Personal Project Research Underway
By Becky Seemann, 10th grade US History teacher
Roberto Clemente Community Academy
This week all of our sophomores are dedicating time to researching their personal projects. Personal Project is an IB program component that all sophomores are required to complete. The purpose of this project is to give students the planning, research, and development skills they will need throughout college and their future careers. The fun part about it is that students can choose to research any topic their heart desires! It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to show their creative side and express their personal goals in an academic format. These project and topics vary from student to student. Here are some examples of just how unique our sophomore's goals are:
to learn sneaker restoration techniques, and restore a pair of old sneakers.
to create an original comic book, in print and possible digital formats.
to find a way to make nail polish from cheap and easily accessible materials.
to create candles using a variety of wax types to determine which ones burn longer.
to write a report on Chicago homicide rates and possible preventatives.
to learn how to cook 3-4 recipes of Italian food in order to create a full dinner for friends.
As you can see the student can pick literally any topic that interests them as long as there is a research component to show that they are learning something new!
Unidos por Puerto Rico/United for Puerto Rico
A Newsletter documenting the Puerto Rican Stateside Response to the Fiscal and Humanitarian Crisis
Chicago's Puerto Rican Agenda Contingent to include: Fernando Grillo, ASPIRA, Roberto Sanabria, Puerto Rican Cultural Center Board, Pablo Medina, Puerto Rican Agenda, Deborah Lopez, NACOPRW, Madeline Figueroa, NACOPRW, Michael Rodríguez, National Boricua Human Rights Network, José E. López, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
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
A Gift for Oscar and a Gift for You
By the National Boricua Human Rights Network
This holiday season, make a donation of $25 or more, NBHRN will provide you with the music CD "La Lucha es Vida Toda", which was put together by Puerto Rico's most famous musical legends, Lucecita, Andy Montañez, Roy Brown, El Topo, Zoraida Santiago and many more. A musical classic and well as a historical milestone, the other campaign to free Oscar.

Give a gift to Oscar and you will receive a gift.
For more information:

This the Second Limited Edition
AGUEYBANA - Roy Brown y Zoraida Santiago
MI PEPINO EN EL RECUERDO - Trío Taboas-Scharrón
EN CÍRCULOS - Mickie Rivera, Chabela, Antonio Cabán Vale "El Topo"
SEÑOR FEDERADO - Lucecita Benítez
LA CELDA - Walter Morciglio, Fofé, Eduardo Alegría
UN ABUELO Y SU NIETA  - (poema) Alicia Rodríguez
NIÑA - Danny Rivera
NO ME ARREPIENTO - (poema) Rafael Cancel Miranda
LA FIESTA DE OSCAR - Haciendo Punto en otro Son

Chicago Pasteles Making Raises over $2500.00 For Campaign, Oscar's Holiday Commissary
By Chicago Chapter, National Boricua Human Rights Network
The National Boricua Human Rights Network would like to thank all who once again, purchased delicious pasteles to benefit the Oscar López Rivera Commissary Fund.

Thanks also go out to the individuals and programs of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center who came out in the winter weather to help make these pasteles. Programs represented in force were: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Mujeres por Paseo and Centro Infantil Corretjer. Lourdes Lugo, Oscar's niece and long-time member of the Network, coordinated the extraordinary effort. Specifically, Madeline and María Bezares, Maritza and Xochitl Ramírez, Alma Moreno and Maria Almazán from the childcare. From the high school Principal Danette Sokacich and Business Operations Manager Juanita García and sister Janette, teachers and staff included Carlos Ruiz, Brenda Torres Figueroa and Roberto Pérez, Gustavo Colón Braña, Gusiman Suárez, and Jason Castro. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center was represented by Executive Director José E. López, Viola Salgado, Carlos Muñoz, Mujeres Director Sandra Candelaria, Felicia Hernández, Maria Trujillo and Sylvia Correa. The Network members were ex-political prisoners Luis Rosa and son, Luisito Jr. and Ricardo Jiménez, Erika Abad, Michelle Morales, Scott Greene, Xavier Morales-Greene, Timothy Greene, Diana Castillo, Michael Rodríguez and Laura Ruth Johnson.

As we enter the next year- hopefully our last year- of struggling to free Oscar López Rivera, let's proceed knowing that WE WILL make a difference through our work and actions. 
We sold nearly 130 dozen delicious pasteles and we grossed nearly $2500.00
Oscar López aboga por una educación libertadora
Mediante un mensaje escrito, el prisionero político ofreció la Lección Magistral de este año de la Universidad de Puerto Rico
Cayey- El prisionero político puertorriqueño, Oscar López Rivera, abogó esta mañana por la construcción en Puerto Rico de un sistema de educación libertador que permita a los niños ser ciudadanos activos, pensadores críticos, éticos y con un profundo amor por la justicia y la libertad; un sistema que eduque en vez de adoctrinar.
En un mensaje leído por su hija, Clarisa López Ramos, el prisionero político más antiguo de América, ofreció la Lección Magistral de este año de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), Recinto de Cayey, por medio de una carta que escribió desde la cárcel de Terre Haute en Indiana y que tardó más de dos semanas en llegar a la Isla.
"Puerto Rico ha enseñado, pero no ha educado", reflexionó López Rivera en un análisis de la educación nacional, la que describió como un calco del sistema norteamericano, "con la meta de crear elites de puertorriqueños que le ayuden a administrar y controlar la colonia, preparar trabajadores para que les fueran más útiles a las industrias estadounidenses y para preparar puertorriqueños para sus guerras, que les sirvieran de carne de cañón".
"Si contamos la cantidad de boricuas que han formado parte de la Fuerzas Armadas Estadounidenses viviendo en Puerto Rico o, en la diáspora boricua, la cantidad de doctores, maestros, profesores, ingenieros, abogados, artistas y trabajadores industriales, vamos a encontrar que los boricuas somos, per cápita, la etnia que más contribuciones le hacemos al gobierno estadounidense", estimó.
Ese, señaló, es el producto de una dinámica de adoctrinamiento que ha prevalecido a pesar de importantes batallas, pues "los que controlan y siguen controlando las riendas del poder utilizaron todas sus fuerzas y poco a poco fueron neutralizando y erradicando los focos de lucha".
Mencionó al Comité Coordinador No Violento que en la década del 1960 se dedicó a organizar las llamadas escuelas libertad, en el estado de Mississippi; el Movimiento Libertad de Expresión, liderado por un estudiante de la Universidad de California, en Berkeley, entre finales de los 60 y los 70, y las protestas de estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico que consiguieron sacar el Cuerpo de Entrenamiento de Oficiales de la Reserva del Ejército de Estados Unidos (ROTC, en inglés) fuera del campus universitario, así como el trabajo de la diáspora boricua en Chicago con la educación alternativa de la Escuela Pedro Albizu Campos.
por Alex Anfruns, IslaMia
En audio, declaraciones a la periodista Norelys Morales Aguilera,  de Fernando González Llort, uno de los Cinco cubanos presos en Estados Unidos, que luego de su excarcelación, da testimonio sobre Oscar López Rivera, con quien compartió celda, durante cuatro años.

A principios de los años 60, el movimiento por los derechos civiles liderado por afroamericanos había logrado imponer la cuestión de la igualdad en el tablero político estadounidense. Fue en Chicago, ciudad en la que las luchas sociales por la igualdad siempre fueron muy fuertes, donde Oscar López Rivera (nacido el 6 de enero 1943 ) se implica durante su juventud.

Pero el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos iba a encontrar una salida muy oportuna para las masas de jóvenes latinos y negros dispuestos a rebelarse contra un sistema injusto y un futuro sin dignidad. El sistema evitaría la rabia de esos jóvenes enviándolos como " carne de cañón " a la guerra de Vietnam. Oscar López Rivera fue uno de ellos...

1968: Miles de personas de todos los orígenes se sumaban esta vez al movimiento contra la guerra. La derrota de los Estados Unidos fue doble: en el terreno de Vietnam y en la conciencia de una generación entera contra la guerra, que finalmente abrió los ojos. Fue sólo a su regreso que López Rivera comprende que ha sido, junto con miles de otros jóvenes, un peón desechable del imperialismo. Entonces va a desarrollar una conciencia anticolonial y convertirse en uno de los principales líderes de la causa por la independencia de Puerto Rico.

La violencia de la "democracia más grande del mundo" entonces se ensaña contra sus propios ciudadanos. En 1981, durante su detención y el juicio que se le hizo por "conspiración sediciosa" y "pertenencia a las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional", Oscar López Rivera decide no tomar su defensa. Dijo ser, con sus compañeros, un "prisionero de guerra".

Hoy, a los 72 años, Oscar López Rivera es el preso político más antiguo en los EE.UU. y en todo el mundo. Desde hace 34 años languidece tras las rejas, de los cuales 12 años los pasó en régimen de aislamiento total por atreverse a defender el derecho a la libre determinación de los pueblos.
Message from Oscar López Rivera to Kenya Serrano, President of ICAP
By the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
Kenya Serrano Puig, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples and Leima Martinez of the North America Department of that institution have just finished a tour of  several cities in the United States to strengthen the ties of solidarity between the two countries.  The tour was a collective effort of many organizations who work in solidarity with Cuba in the United States.
Photo by Bill Hackwell
As a sign of respect for the Cuban Revolution and the prestige that Cuba has in the world today all the events were filled to maximum capacity from New York, New Jersey and Washington DC to the Bay Area of Northern California.
This is the first time that a President of ICAP has formally visited the United States and comes just a few weeks before the first anniversary of the historic announcement of Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama. December 17, 2014 marked the start of a new era of rapprochement between the two nations and the victorious return of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero, the three remaining Cuban 5, to Cuba.
Near the end of the tour, one of the events took place at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in the city of Richmond, California. This was the same theater where in 2011 the National Children's Theater group of Cuba, La Colmenita, performed Abracadabra, a play which advocated for freedom of the Five through the eyes of the children of Cuba.
The current Mayor of Richmond Tom Butt, next to now council-member Gayle McLaughlin, presented to ICAP a proclamation of welcome to the city. 

When Kenya Serrano went to the microphone the entire audience stood and gave her a warm standing ovation before she started her speech.
The program also included a message from Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera read by his granddaughter Karina Valentin.  Laura Gómez, a young North-American recently graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba (ELAM) talked about the life transforming experience she had getting a free education on behalf of the Cuban people to become a doctor. Also speaking was Walter Turner, President of the board of directors of Global Exchange. A musical performance by Son de la Tierra opened and closed the event.

Below we reprint the complete message:

Photo by Bill Hackwell
Hi everyone. My name is Karina Valentin and I am Oscar Lopez Rivera's granddaughter. I am so happy to be here and read this message that my grandfather has written for this event. I'll be visiting my grandfather in December and I'm sure he'll want to know all about the activity.

"On the 17th of December, 2014, the world found out that the Cuban and the U.S.  governments had agreed to start the process of establishing diplomatic relationships. It was a day of celebration for those of us who believed that what the US government had been doing to Cuba for over 54 years was a criminal act, and because the three members of the Cuban (revolutionaries, citizens?) who had been kept in prison unjustly were able to return to their families and their beloved homeland.
Up to that point, the US government's main goal was regime change in Cuba at all costs, including state sponsored terrorism carried out by the Miami based anti-revolution Cubans and its many attempts to kill Comandante Fidel Castro. But in spite of the many criminal acts, such as the embargo, and all the suffering the Cuban people experienced caused by them, they were able to survive with dignity and to remain faithful to their revolution. They not only survived, but also helped many poor nations by sharing with them doctors and other medical professionals, by providing military help to countries like Angola, and by sending engineers and teachers to countries in need of them. By 2014, Cuba was beginning to stabilize its economy and had already survived the "special period" that had been instituted after the fall of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe.  
It's important to remember that many terrorists who committed heinous crimes like the bombing of the Cuban airplane over Barbados that took the lives of 73 young Cubans live in the US, and have never been charged with any crimes even though they have carried out terrorist acts on US soil.  

How unjust and cruel can the US government be that almost one year after starting the process of diplomatic relationships with Cuba, it still maintains the embargo and occupies the Cuban territory of Guantanamo, where it has a naval base and a prison for prisoners of war whose human rights have been flagrantly violated. So, let the US lift the embargo and return Guantanamo to Cuba. And let us do as much as we can to make sure that the US government accepts the vote of the 193 countries that voted in favor of lifting the embargo. Let's maintain our solidarity with the Cuban people and their revolution. Let's do it because we want a better, more just and peaceful world."

Thank you!

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

"Live and Help to Live"