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Charla/Forum at ASPIRA HS, Fri. March 4, 2016
The Puerto Rican Fiscal Crisis, 
Freeing Oscar López Rivera and the 
2016 Democratic National Convention
by The Puerto Rican Agenda
The Puerto Rican Agenda invites you to join a Charla/Forum meeting on issues affecting the Puerto Rican Diaspora at ASPIRA Business and Finance High School, 2989 N. Milwaukee, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2016. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez will be leading the discussion on three salient issues:
  • Economic crisis facing the island of Puerto Rico;
  • Campaign to release the longest standing political Prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera; and
  • Formation of a National Puerto Rican Agenda and its role in the National Democratic Convention in July 2016 
Your presence and participation in this dialogue is crucial for advancing the next steps related to the topics above. Please confirm your attendance no later than Monday, February 22, 2016 through submitting your registration here .

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

Planting Flags on Division Street is a 32-page bilingual picture book for children ages 4+. The title alludes to our hopes to share a simple story of a little girl missing her grandfather that spotlights aspects of our culture as it tells the story of political prisoner Oscar Lopez. It is more important than ever to tell stories that highlight the culture, family and struggle that bring us together as Puerto Ricans. The struggle for Puerto Rican freedom is ongoing, we should never forget the struggle or the men and women who have given and continue to give everything for our freedom. BUY YOUR COPY NOW AND SUPPORT THE 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.

National Puerto Rican Agenda
A Newsletter documenting the Puerto Rican Stateside Response to the Fiscal and Humanitarian Crisis
Did you know? #standupforpuertorico

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 for an updated list of articles on the Puerto Rican fiscal crisis

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

Do you know about El Rescate Basic Center yet?
by Ray Arroyo, Program Coordinator

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center is proud to introduce one of its newest program initiatives: The El Rescate Basic Center Program. This new program represents an expansion of our existing El Rescate umbrella services aimed at homeless youth.  The Basic Center focuses on serving Latino and African American LGBTQ youth who are 12 to 18 years of age and helps connect them with temporary shelter*, health insurance coverage, educational and vocational opportunities, job readiness, social and relational skills, mental health resources, and recreational programming.  All of our services are confidential and youth oriented and focused.
El Rescate Basic Center provides case management services and works with qualifying youth for housing and long-term support so that they may thrive and succeed in their life paths. Our bilingual team is there to facilitate programs that will help youth explore their options, develop needed self-care skills and activate their potential and creativity through the freedom of expression and within an accepting, understanding, and supportive environment.  El Rescate Basic Center proudly operates out of the historical Humboldt Park community reaching out to youth throughout Chicagoland area.
If you or anyone you know is in need of our services, or to learn more about us please call   (872)829-2654. 
"The New Faces of Integrated PASEO"
by Anthony De Jesús

Change is constant and inevitable. As time passes, we grow older by the second and change occurs in every atom and molecule of our bodies. Similar to our bodies, every organization is a living entity: growing, getting older, changing. Change within an organization brings new vision, goals, techniques, and individuals. These are individuals who are committed to changing the community for the better and to decrease the prevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV), and other sexually transmitted infections (STI's).

Norwegian American Hospital houses the Integrated PASEO program. Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Integrated PASEO offers free testing to individuals for HIV, HCV, and STI's. Integrated PASEO also offers free testing to any individual at the Garfield Park Community Center (located at '10 s. Kedzie'), Monday through Friday, at anytime between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. For anyone who screens positive, a referral is made for treatment; any individual who screens positive for substance abuse and/or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are allowed to participate in the free "Seeking Safety" Counseling Program. All services and resources are free to any individuals who are interested to participate.
Welcome to the Media Team!
by Kevin Garcia, Puerto Rican Cultural Center Media Team
Recently a media team has been officially formed as part of the growth of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC). The team is integrated by L. Alejandro Molina, Kevin Garcia and Carlos Muñoz, who have the task of developing and maintaining the new PRCC website. In addition, the group also collaborates in the development of the e-newsletter and La Voz, the PRCC monthly newspaper.

The team will maintain technological equipment in the different PRCC offices. Future projects include the improvement and reorganization of social media platforms, which will help us improve our online presence.
Our Classrooms
by Jacqueline Tovar, Centro Infantil Corretjer
At Centro Infantil we have four classrooms. Classrooms have different types of activities. Our first and second group are toddlers and they learn how to play "kitchen"and learn how to develop their motor skills. Another group of students are learning to build structures like towers and learning how to cut shapes. Also, there is a group known as pre-scholars and they are learning the process of tracing each other's bodies.

What is Move for Life?
by Leony Calderón, Muévete
Move for Life!  is an annual one day community-driven outdoor event to kick-off the Spring/Summer physical activity seasons. Move for Life! has three primary objectives:
1) to promote and support an active lifestyle;
2) to showcase the community's free and or low cost physical activity programming; and
3) to foster ongoing collaboration and networking amongst these groups.
Move for Life! brings together the community to plan the event over a three month period, features community organizations, programs, individuals as well as cultural activities and entertainment. Move for Life! This year will be on Saturday, April 2, 2016, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. inside Humboldt Park at the southeast corner near Division and California.

If your organization or program would like to take part in showcasing  call or email for a registration form, 773-342-0855,

Volunteer opportunities available, community service hours and enrichment hours students
Community Calendar

February-March 2016

January 22-February 28, 2016, FRI-Sat: 8pm Sun: 6pm
Aguijon Theater presents Epopeya
2707 N. Laramie Ave., Chicago, IL 60639
Tickets: $25, 2x $45

February 9-March 13, 2016 Thrs-Sat: 8pm Sun: 3pm
Urban Theater presents Adoration of the Old Woman
2620 W. Division St.
Tickets: Pre-sale: $15, Walk-up $20, Students: $12

Saturday February 13, 10:00am-2pm 
Love Your Heart Valentine's Day
Diabetes Empowerment Center, 2753 W. Division St., 

Wednesday February 17, 8:45am     
Keep the Promise Ordinance Press Conference and Public Hearing
Meet @ 2nd floor of City Hall , 121 N. LaSalle

Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:00-9:00pm, Ctr for Latino Research Celebrates 30 Years
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
Student Center Room 314 A&B
2250 N. Sheffield Ave.

Saturday Feb 27, 2016, 3:00-3:34pm
'34 Women X Oscar-CHI'
Division/Ashland/Milwaukee Triangle
Download the Calendar 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.

Los Tequis
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the vast world of interconnected devices with embedded sensors which are capable of providing data, and in some cases, being controlled, across the Internet. Common examples include many home automation devices, like smart thermostats and remotely controllable lighting fixtures, but there are countless others, from traffic sensors to water quality meters to smart electric grid components to tracking manufactured goods and vehicle fleets worldwide.
Because of the rapid growth in the IoT space, there are a number of competing standards, tools, projects, policies, frameworks, and organizations hoping to define how connected devices communicate in the modern era.Open source and open standards will become increasingly important to ensure that devices are able to properly interconnect, as well as for the back end of processing the enormous volumes of big data that all of these devices will generate.

From Our Community Partners

Students at Albizu Campos are Mastering Mathematics on Khan Academy
by Diamond Montana, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School

Many students in our community feel that they just aren't good at math. They think intelligence is fixed, but it isn't. The brain is like a muscle: the more you use it, the more it grows.
To help our students realize they they can learn anything, our Escuelita is participating in LearnStorm. Powered by Khan Academy, LearnStorm is a nine-week challenge where students can earn recognition for themselves and their school by mastering math skills and building a growth mindset.

Last week, our school had students received eight points for Mastery and 11 points for their Hustle.  Students earn mastery points by mastering math skills at their level on Khan Academy. Hustle points are designed to reward students who push themselves to keep learning, no matter what their level. Students earn hustle points by taking on challenging skills and working hard to complete them.  With our students' hard work and us to encourage them, we can even receive a special trophy to commemorate our students' achievement!
Let's go Puerto Rican High School!
Albizu!! CAMPOS!!

Roberto Clemente Community Academy has been nominated and selected as one of UNIVISION's exceptional schools across the District to be highlighted through February. 

Below is a copy of the commemorative graphic which will air during the broadcast.  

Roberto Clemente Community Academy's on-air mention will be on February 29, 2016 at 5 and 10pm.

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
E ola, e ola, e ola nā kini e! Kekuni Blaisdell
by L. Alejandro Molina, National Boricua Human Rights Network

Above: Angel Santos (deceased) (Chamoru), GUAM, Dr. Caroline Sinavaiana (American Samoa), and Dr. Richard "Kekuni" Blaisell at the 1994 Puerto Rican Peoples Parade.
The National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center extend their deepest condolences on the passing of Dr. Richard "Kekuni" Blaisdell, exemplary educator, historian and visionary activist in the struggle for Hawaiian Independence.

I was privileged to coordinate Ka Ho'okolokolonui Kānaka Maoli - Peoples' International Tribunal Hawai'i 1993 of which Dr. Richard "Kekuni" Blaisdell was the convenor. He later visited Chicago with a contingent of Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaians), which were the Honorary Marshals in the 1994 Peoples Parade. Over the course of twelve days in August 1993, the United States and the state of Hawai'i were put on trial for crimes against the original people of Hawai'i, the Kānaka Maoli, by the People's International Tribunal Hawai'i. This panel of international judges was convened to hear charges of genocide, ethnocide, the taking of the Hawaiian sovereign government and the destruction of its environment.

Kekuni was deeply committed to the struggle of the Puerto Rican for their independence and in support of freedom for Puerto Rican political prisoners. 
Above, Members of the 1998 group
Photograph left to right: Irma Romero (deceased) Sammy Toineeta (Lakota), Angel Santos (deceased) GUAM, Lourdes Lugo (Chicago), Rev. Dr. Nozomi Ikuta (UCC) Sonia Rivera (Chicago)
Dr. Caroline Sinavaiana (American Samoa), Dr. Deborah Santana (Puerto Rico), L. Alejandro Molina (Chicago) Nalani Baisdell (Hawaii) and representatives of the Philippines. 
Circa June 1994

Kekuni was an unforgettable man who strove to meet his historical responsibility at an extraordinary moment in the struggle for Hawaiian independence- the centennial commemoration of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1993.. We first met at the 1992 International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nations in San Francisco entitled "USA on Trial", as part of the resistance against the quincentennial celebrations of the Columbian Expedition. During the Tribunal, the representatives of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement testified before a panel of international jurists on their struggles- cultural environmental and political and also heard about other freedom struggles in the US, in particular the Puerto Rican. We developed a long and fruitful relationship based on solidarity, helping the Hawaiian contingent at the 1993 UN Human Rights Conference in Vienna, Austria, and then helping to coordinate the Peoples International Tribunal. Along the way, we began to discuss the possibility of uniting representatives of the island/nations invaded by the US in 1898. Several meetings of the "1998 Working Group" took place in Chicago and Hawaii, and a possible book was planned, but events, capacity and priorities changed and so did our collective plans.

Heartfelt Condolences
by Michelle Morales, National Boricua Human Rights Network
On February 14, 2016 a valued member of our Paseo Boricua community passed away. Johnny Tirado died from complications due to his struggle with diabetes at the age of 42. Johnny was a teacher, counselor and mentor at the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School. He was a member of the National Boricua Human Rights Network for the past 13 years. We all were able to witness his incredible singing when he joined the ranks of Nuestro Tambo. Johnny will forever live in our memories. He is survived by his fiancee, Awilda Gonzalez, his parents, brothers and his son.

¡Nuestro Futuro Tiene Sonrisa!

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

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

"Live and Help to Live"