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"Planting Flags on Division Street" NOW ON SALE!
Profits on every copy sold to benefit the Campaign to Free Oscar

National Puerto Rican Agenda
A Newsletter documenting the Puerto Rican Stateside Response to the Fiscal and Humanitarian Crisis

Stand Up For Puerto Rico demands action from Federal Executive Branch
Stand Up For Puerto Rico, an organization run by young Puerto Ricans, reiterates its demand to the Federal Executive Branch to take responsibility over the Island's severe fiscal crisis.

"With the visit of Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, this past week in Puerto Rico, we reiterate our demand to President Obama to take executive action and address the fiscal crisis on the Island.  The Treasury Department, for example, should intervene with the bondholders to try to find a way to restructure the debt", said Alejandro Manzanares, director and founder of Stand Up For Puerto Rico.
According to Manzanares, the President can take executive action without Congressional backing, but the Obama administration has not taken meaningful action for Puerto Rico.

"We also call on Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla to echo our demands, which are shared by other officials and organizations such as: National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, National Puerto Rican Coalition, Hispanic Federation, Jubilee USA, among others", said Manzanares.

Stand Up For Puerto Rico is a civil rights movement that urges the Government of the United States of America to accept its responsibility over Puerto Rico's economic, social, and political conditions that have been neglected and affect the 3.5 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. Using social media as the main platform, Stand Up For Puerto Rico's mission is to educate and elevate the conversation within the United States and engage our leaders on matters that have not yet been addressed in order to establish an economic and social plan for a prosperous Puerto Rico.

 "We invite all Puerto Ricans, friends, allies, and supporters to use the hashtag #StandUpForPuertoRico in social media and demand Executive Action.  The island is facing a critical time and we need to act now before it is too late", concluded Manzanares.
About Stand Up For Puerto Rico
Stand Up for Puerto Rico is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to engage and build up the voice of Puerto Ricans.  Our goal is to promote action by raising awareness on the issues that affect the lives of 3.5 million U.S. citizens.  It is a civil-rights movement powered by social media, through which all voices can be heard.  For more information visit www.StandUpForPuertoRico.org

Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle for Puerto Rico's Future
The impoverished island turned to hedge funds to stave off collapse. Now someone has to pay.
The money poured in by the millions, then by the hundreds of millions, and finally by the billions. Over weak coffee in a conference room in Midtown Manhattan last year, a half-dozen Puerto Rican officials exhaled: Their cash-starved island had persuaded some of the country's biggest hedge funds to lend them more than $3 billion to keep the government afloat.
There were plenty of reasons for the hedge funds to like the deal: They would be earning, in effect, a 20 percent return. And under the island's Constitution, Puerto Rico was required to pay back its debt before almost any other bills, whether for retirees' health care or teachers' salaries.
But within months, Puerto Rico was saying it had run out of money, and the relationship between the impoverished United States territory and its unlikely saviors fell apart, setting up an extraordinary political and financial fight over Puerto Rico's future.
On the surface, it is a battle over whether Puerto Rico should be granted bankruptcy protections, putting at risk tens of billions of dollars from investors around the country. But it is also testing the power of an ascendant class of ultrarich Americans to steer the fate of a territory that is home to more than three million fellow citizens.

Visit us at unidosporpuertorico.wordpress.org for an updated list of articles on the Puerto Rican fiscal crisis

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Alternative Gifts International Organization Donates to El Rescate
By Jackie González, Program Director, El Rescate
This week El Rescate Transitional Living Program want to share our gratitude to Alternative Gifts International Organization for continuing supporting our youth.

"El Rescate Transitional Living Program  depends  greatly on community partnerships to be able to do what we do, particularly at this time, given the State of Illinois budget impasse.This week we received a wonderful visit from Mr.Tony Princ, Executive Director of  Alternative Gifts  International  which is a non-profit organization, that inspires support for humanitarian and environmental causes. They  offer donors the option to designate charitable gifts through carefully selected agencies in the name of their relatives, friends and associates. Mr. Princ was accompanied by Mr. Brainmah, Tim a Scholar On Sexual Orientation Issues affecting Refugees. On their visit to our facility(Program) we were presented with a kind hearted donation. And on behalf of El Rescate Transitional Living Program resident's and staff I would to like express our gratitude to Alternative Gifts International Organization for continuing  supporting our youth."
La Voz Welcomes Healthy Lifestyle Blogger Fat2Flaca!
By La Voz Staff
Boricua Blogger, Meal Preparation Guru, Dance Fitness Instructor and all-around wellness badass, Janeida Rivera serves up equal parts fitness and nutrition tips, healthy recipes and empowering thoughts on self-acceptance on her blog, Fat2Flaca. Also, did we mention after weight loss surgery and becoming active, she has lost and kept off 230-lbs to date? Born and raised in Humboldt Park, we are excited to add this Puerto Rican healthy lifestyle blogger's fun and relatable voice to La Voz del Paseo Boricua. Find her on Twitter, IG and Facebook: @Fat2Flaca.

Ask Fat2Flaca

"Querida Fat2Flaca, How do I start over after my NY resolution crashed and burned. lol





"TryingToMelt, you are definitely not alone. February is here and much like yours, most of the resolutions set have plummeted into an abyss and are forgotten. I even dropped the ball on one of the goals I set for myself because I didn't follow some of the very guiding principles I am about to share with you. Luckily for us, we can start or and stop the cycle of self sabotage and stay committed.

1. Include your partner or family and friends in the process. Meet with them and have a family meeting about what you are attempting to achieve and tell them that you need their support. This is also the time to ask them specifically what you need from them. Do not feel discouraged if you don't immediately see eye to eye with your familia. There are always potential supporters in co-workers, online support forums, like meetup.com, facebook groups or create your own social media support network! I find that if I post that I am going to work out, I get to the gym and post my accomplishments or setbacks because I am accountable to the people cheering me on who I also support. Getting positive feedback on your journey helps to excite you to meet your goals. Just remember, people will let you down, but at the end of the day you have to hold yourself accountable, so check in regularly with your #1 supporter. YOURSELF!.

2. See your doctor and get a referral to a nutritionist. This process is 80% healthy eating and 20% exercise.  A nutritionist can guide you in eating healthier and tailor a plan for you based on your unique needs. You will also get a clear picture of your limitations so that you or potentially a certified trainer know where you are beginning. Also, some people have unhealthy eating practices because they compensate for issues with food. We see girls in movies going through break-ups and downing cartons of rocky road ice cream. If you have these kinds of experiences regularly, consult with a therapist and give yourself an additional tool to resolve what the real issue is. It took regular check-ins with someone for me to understand that I didn'y really love alcapurrias more than I valued my health. Because of this team, I was ready to get moving which leads me to my next point:

3. Muevete el esqeleto! If you have a membership you have never had, use it or cancel it and stop wasting your money. There are too many ways to get active at home or free fitness resources at local community centers such at The Diabetes Empowerment Center, West Humboldt Park Development Council, The Humboldt Park Field House or affordable gyms and bootcamps in and around the area like the YMCA, Blast Fitness or 606 Fitness bootcamp. You have to figure out what works best for you. In my case a personal trainer showed me where to start.

4. Eat "Clean". This doesn't mean to scrub your food with jabon. It means avoiding processed foods with added chemicals, dyes, preservatives, high in unnatural sugar or added sodium and eating more food that comes from the earth like fruits, veggies, whole grains and even some lean meat and dairy. There are also plenty of books and other free online resources that can help you develop a weekly meal plan, grocery list but, before changing the way you eat seek the advice of a nutritionist.

5. If you bite it, write it! Documenting what and when you eat, your mood, menstrual cycle, can help you understand your your daily nutritional progress and setbacks with measurable evidence. Myfitnesspal is my absolute favorite food journal and fitness tracking website and app, but I am also not opposed to an old school notebook and pen. Whatever works for you. You Like it? I love it!

Luckily, reaching your wellness goals is completely possible any month of the year besides just January, but you have to work hard and hold yourself accountable. You will get annoyed and upset along the way. You will want to give up more than once, BUT you have got to remember that so many of our families are plagues with obesity related illnesses like diabetes and your family depends on your commitment to being healthier. Your life literally depends on this. You can do it!"

Have any health, wellness or nutrition questions for Fat2Flaca? Connect with her online or e-mail janeida@fat2flaca.com.
VidaSIDA represents PRCC @
Creating Change Conference
by Pedro Mercado, VidaSIDA
This past weekend, PRCC-Vida/SIDA's very own Pedro Mercado, Milani (Gustavo Varela), Maya Lozano, & Maritxa Vidal, were able to represent PRCC at the annual Creating Change Conference. Being the largest LGBTQ conference in the United states, Vida/SIDA was honored to work along with Union=Fuerza Latino Institute as a community partner. They spoke with community leaders from all across the country that attended the Conference. Dialogues took place regarding the work being implemented in the Latin@ Community of Chicago. By engaging in workshops, seminars, and plenaries, our staff will be able to implement new strategies to the programs at PRCC-Vida/SIDA. They were also able to network with other activists and have been invited to participate in other conferences and trainings. The conference is scheduled to take place next year in Philadelphia.
Message from Kevin Garcia, Program Coordinator
UIC Integrated PASEO will be starting up soon and we hope to provide care for those in the community! We are reaching out to individuals 18 through 24, African Americans and Latinos, straight or in the LGBT community, who are in need of testing either for HIV/STI or Hepatitis C, and we can link you to care. If interested, please come see us at 2736 W. Division St. Hope we can help!
Last week, UIC Integrated PASEO and L-Act went to New Life Covenant Church on Division St. and Homan Ave. to provide information about our services to the homeless who were staying there through the week. Ricardo Jimenez was in charge of the presentation and gave some educational input on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). After the presentation, we stuck around to answer any questions regarding our clinic, how to be safe with consuming drugs and sexual behavior. 
What Integrated Paseo Does
by Anthony de Jesús, Integrated Paseo
Hundreds of thousands of deaths were taking place in the 1990's because of the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since then, there has been a significant decrease due to treatment and people becoming more aware of ways to protect themselves from HIV, the Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV), and other sexually transmitted infections (STI's). Within communities that engage in unprotected sex or that use illegal drugs, individuals are taking precautions to make sure they do not become exposed.
Integrated PASEO has a responsibility to these communities to decrease this prevalence of HIV, HCV, and STI's and to stop the spread while increasing awareness. Every weekday, Integrated PASEO offers testing to individuals for HIV, HCV, and STI's. For anyone who tests positive, a referral is made for treatment; any individual who screens positive for substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they are allowed to participate in the free Seeking Safety Counseling Program.
Feel free to stop by the Norwegian American Hospital location on any weekday, Monday through Friday, at anytime between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to get tested or stop by the Garfield Park Community Center location on any weekday, Monday through Friday, at anytime between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM to receive free HIV and HCV testing and screening, free harm reduction kits, free female and male condoms, and free packages of lubrication.

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
Googles Free Virtual Feld Trip Program
Expeditions teams will visit selected schools around the world, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Denmark. Each team will bring a complete Expeditions kit with everything the teachers need to take their students on journeys anywhere. The team will show teachers how Expeditions works and help set it up before class.

There is no charge or cost involved in the program. Find out more.

From Our Community Partners

Naomi estudió en universidades del Estado en Puerto Rico & España. En Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Bayamón & Recinto de Río Piedras  & Universidad de Barcelona & Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España.
Durante sus estudios ejerció su liderato como vicepresidenta del Consejo de Humanidades, en la Facultad de Humanidades UPR-RP.
A su temprana edad ya ha escrito en periódicos nacionales como El Nuevo Día, Claridad y Diálogo Digital y en periódicos Internacionales como Diagonal. Citada en periódicos internacionales como El País. Escribió en HAHR online de Duke University. Tiene publicaciones en revistas académicas y culturales.
Tiene 13 años en trabajo institucional en temas sociales & culturales de manera formal. Sobre 10 años en experiencia escribiendo, editando y publicando; y organizando y dirigiendo actividades educativas & culturales. Ejerció labores de índole social y comunitaria, mientras estudiaba y trabajaba al mismo tiempo. Sacaba tiempo para contribuir en ámbito social. Colaboró en proyectos culturales con confinados en Puerto Rico.
Obtuvo becas durante sus estudios y premio por su tesis. Entre becas y premios que obtuvo, mientras estudió, se destacan varios fondos para viajes en presentaciones de conferencias internacionales, por labor destacada, por labor comunitaria, entre otros.
My Experience with Project Prepare
By Nicholas Ramos
There are many things I have experienced in Project Prepare at Roberto Clemente Community Academy over the last couple of months, and thanks to Amy and Sarah it has been smooth sailing. For starters, what is Project Prepare? Project Prepare is a program to assist students in developing skills to help them prepare for college and the workforce. My first time going to Project Prepare was when I turned sixteen. I couldn't wait to get a job, and I was so excited that the day after my birthday I went to my BAM counselor and told him that I wanted a job right away! That same day, he took me to Project Prepare and that's when I met Amy. She was so kind and encouraging and I couldn't even count the "wows" when she heard the experience I built up to prepare for the day I'd get my first real job.
One important thing she did recently was help me out with my resume. I didn't even know how to start, and she guided me step by step in the long process that would help make me stand out professionally for someone my age. Throughout the process of creating my resume, we talked about how I can make my first impression, which is key for a good interview. One of the goals of Project Prepare is to help me and other students stand out in the interview process for jobs and college. I am already feeling more confident that when I interview and begin working I will have already begun developing the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
Another experience I had was when we were applying for a job. It was pretty hard at first, but then Amy guided me in the application process. The way she explained it to me and walked me through the process really helped. Within two weeks, I was feeling confident enough to do it on my own. After I applied, Amy and I discussed the process of what to do if I haven't heard anything back. We talked about how I could call them to try to set up an interview. I have now called a couple of places I have applied to. Each time before I call, Amy and I talk about what I am going to say and act it out so it is easier for me to talk the hiring manager.
Finally, another experience I had in Project Prepare was learning the step by step process of what an actual interview looks and feels like. One of the things we talked about in this process of an interview is how I would present myself physically and emotionally. We discussed how I can make a great first impression to whoever is interviewing me and going to be giving me the job.
With my resume, job applications, techniques to avoid feeling nervous when I am calling about the job, and the skills for how I present myself, I feel very prepared to be entering the workforce. Even after I get a job, I am still going to work with Project Prepare so I can keep improving my job skills and be ready for college and the career of my future. I want young kids like me that are still in high school to be able to realize how easy it is to feel job ready when they work with Project Prepare. The amazing staff members with Project Prepare have made it easier for me to begin the process of job searching and I am now 100% more confident that when I do get a job I will be ready.
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
¿Por qué no liberan a Oscar López Rivera?

La pregunta resurge de cada cierto tiempo, sobre todo, tras el indulto a Jeremy Ruiz

La lucha por la excarcelación del preso político, Oscar López Rivera, lleva más de una década y pese a los múltiples reclamos -nacionales e internacionales- en pos de su liberación su salida de la cárcel estadounidense en la que se encuentra no se ha producido.
Un indulto del presidente Barack Obama permitiría la excarcelación de López Rivera. Luego de que el lunes el gobernador Alejandro García Padilla le concediera un indulto al joven Jeremy Ruiz Tomassini, la pregunta vuelve a surgir: ¿por qué Oscar López no ha sido liberado?
"Se trata de un caso complejo. Es un caso que tiene repercusiones internacionales y están involucradas las relaciones entre Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos. El presidente escoge el momento más preciso para él, su país y su partido. El caso de Oscar es un caso complejo", dijo el portavoz del Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico, Eduardo "Tuto" Villanueva.
"Seguimos sumando esfuerzos. Haciendo gestiones con diversos países, amigos. (Pero) Obama es el que sabe cuándo es el momento (para liberar a López Rivera) porque tiene el poder del indulto", agregó.
Indicó que hay personas que piensan que la liberación del preso político, que ya tiene 72 años, recae meramente en el apoyo masivo que reciba una petición de esa naturaleza.
"Y no es así. No miran que él (Obama) actúa cuando sea conveniente", indicó Villanueva, quien fuera presidente del Colegio de Abogados.
"Cuba lleva años consiguiendo en Naciones Unidas que se vote contra el bloqueo 189 a 3 y sigue Obama con el bloqueo. Solo ha reestablecido las relaciones diplomáticas. De eso se trata", afirmó el abogado, El embargo comercial impuesto a Cuba comenzó en 1962,
Villanueva reconoció que la no excarcelación de López Rivera genera algún tipo de desánimo entre quienes impulsan su excarcelación. Incluso, reconoció que hay quienes piensan que la excarcelación no se ha producido porque no se ha hecho lo suficiente.
"Me duele mucho que se piense eso", dijo.
Desde 2011, López Rivera sometió su petición de clemencia a Obama, después de que la Comisión de Libertad Bajo Palabra le denegara la posibilidad de ser excarcelado a corto plazo. Bajo los procesos rutinarios, la liberación de López Rivera no ocurriría hasta junio de 2023, cuando tendría 80 años.
López Rivera lleva 34 años en una cárcel federal, más que ningún otro prisionero político en la historia de Puerto Rico. Durante su encierro, López Rivera ha estado 12 años en aislamiento total. Fue sentenciado a 70 años de cárcel por cargos de conspiración sediciosa debido a sus vínculos con las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, grupo clandestino de lucha por la independencia de la Isla. Por años, organizaciones comunitarias como el Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico y figuras públicas han clamado por la libertad de López Rivera.
"Si no fuera porque Oscar tiene una conciencia clara de los ideales que representa, a él mismo se le haría extremadamente difícil (estar en prisión). Lo alienta saber que tiene el apoyo de su pueblo y saber que está luchando por un ideal justo", puntualizó Villanueva.
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: info@boricuahumanrights.org

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

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

"Live and Help to Live"