Archive | October, 2013

12th ANNUAL HAUNTED PASEO -Featuring Healthy Treats for Children of All Ages

Posted on 29 October 2013 by alejandro


Division Street Business Development Association & Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos H.S. hosts the 12th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua on Thursday, October in the Humboldt Park neighborhood along Division Street from Western to California, between the giant Paseo Boricua Gateway Flag monuments. The festivities begin at 3:30pm and go until 7:00pm. Admission is free and open to the public. We provide a safe space for hundreds of families to enjoy the Halloween festivities.

The festival includes 14 “halloweenesque” stations with various traditional scary themes infused with a bit of Puerto Rican culture such as: a Haunted Casita, Scary Graveyard, Spooky Dancing & Thriller Stations, Healthy Treats Station, and the infamous and devilish Puerto Rican VEJIGANTE Station.

This year we’ve incorporated a ZOMBIE WALK, which begins at 5:00pm from the Clemente H.S. parking lot on the south west corner of Western and Division. The first 100 people to gather at the Zombie Station will receive a free Zombie makeover from 3:30pm to 4:00pm. The Zombies will walk west on Division Street to California and back to Western Ave.

This is the first year that Haunted Paseo launches the initiative “Healthier Treats for Healthier Kids” a campaign to inform children and their families about moderation and healthier snacks choices. We encourage our businesses to offer alternatives to candy in order to help prevent diabetes and obesity among our youth and in our community.

This event is being co-sponsored by: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos H.S., West Town Bikes/Ciclo Urbano (Boys & Girls Bike Club), Africaribe Cultural Center, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Batey Urbano, Roberto Clemente High School, Muevete – Diabetes Empowerment Center, VIDA SIDA, The Chicago Park District, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward)Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, Barreto Union League Boys & Girls Club and The Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness, Extra Newspaper.


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Gutiérrez reads from his memoirs to capacity filled gallery at IPRAC

Posted on 29 October 2013 by alejandro


Community leaders and activists hosted the first reading of Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill, the new memoir by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez on Saturday, Sept 28, at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.

The Congressman and his daughter, Omaira, read excerpts from the book to a capacity filled gallery with more than 200 people present including some of Chicago’s most prominent movers and shakers, such as Ald. Ed Burke, Ald. Danny Solis, Ald. Joe “Proco” Moreno, State Rep. Cynthia Soto, Josh Hoyt, Carmen Velázquez, Emma Lozano, Rev. Coleman, Marvin Garcia, Maria Pesquiera, Celina Roldan, and Nancy Aardema, among others.

The new memoir is published by W.W. Norton & Company, and will be available in bookstores on October 7 and available  for pre-order online at and by major booksellers including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Nearly 150 books were purchased and signed that day, the proceeds of which will benefit the programs of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Signed copies of the book are still available, please contact Alejandro Luis Molina at Books are $35.

The Congressman was received with a warm and resounding standing ovation by those present after an introduction by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director, José E. López.

Gutierrez’ memoir recounts his political awakening and ongoing efforts as a national leader in the fight for immigrants’ rights. He writes of his formative years in both Chicago and Puerto Rico as he struggled with issues of language, ethnicity, and class.  He also writes of his battles with the Chicago Democratic machine, the inspiration he drew from working alongside the late Mayor Harold Washington, and how he has become the steadfast champion of the rights of immigrants and working people in the House of Representatives.

Still Dreaming has drawn early praise from reviewers. Kirkus Reviews called it “funny, feisty and heartfelt,” and Booklist called it “engaging.” The powerful and insightful reviews included the following: Senator Bill Bradley’s recommendation is on the book jacket, saying, “Read Still Dreaming and you’ll feel better about America.” Novelists Julia Alvárez and Helena María Viramontes, columnists Juan Williams and Juan González and Senate majority leader Harry Reid have also enthusiastically recommended the book.

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Puerto Rican Pioneer Antonio “Tony” Irizarry Feted!

Posted on 29 October 2013 by alejandro


On Sunday, September 15, close to 200 community leaders, elected officials and family members participated in a well-deserved tribute to Antonio “Tony” Irizarry. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center was proud to participate in the tribute, which was organized by Milly Santiago and took place at My Fair Lady Banquets.

Tony was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico and came to the US in 1949, and to Chicago in 1951. He earned degrees soon after from several institutions of higher learning. Tony was a pioneer who envisioned uniting Puerto Rico community leaders, some of whom were Graciano López, Mirta Ramírez, Trina Davila, Elias Diaz y Perez, and Haydee Garcia to name a few. Thanks at least partly to Irizarry’s intervention, the first Puerto Rican Parade Committee was formed and eventually led to the first official Puerto Rican parade in downtown Chicago in 1966.

He has played a leading role in the promotion of Puerto Rican culture, as well as an advocate for Puerto Rican rights. He has been instrumental in creating many Puerto Rican institutions, including “Nuestro Directorio, Fiestas Poblanas Puertorriqueñas, and Nuestro Awards ceremony. He was recently selected as one of the 100 Puerto Rican Pioneers whose life will be archived by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City.

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Barrio Art Fest 2013 at IPRAC

Posted on 29 October 2013 by alejandro


On the beautiful weekend of September 7 & 8, 2013 the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC) celebrated the 11th edition of Barrio Arts Fest (BAF13).  This weekend-long celebration featured the talent of over 40 artists, musical and spoken-word performances, and art educational workshops.  For many years BAF has been dedicated to promote the vibrant creative community of Humboldt Park.

In addition to the Arts market, the festival guests enjoyed performances by Las Bompleneras, Frankie’s People, Elizette Trujillo, Pocket Circus and AfriCaribe. Also joining this celebration were the poets: Maya Barros Odim, Eduardo Arocho, Luis Tubens and Dream aka Laura Nieves. Trailer Park Projects also cherished the scene with their unique educational offerings.  Artists such as Kristine Serbia and Lebster Pabon offered a book making and kite workshop, respectively, sponsored by Trailer Park Projects. In addition a creative writing workshop was hosted by artist Boca Floja and sponsored by Batey Urbano. This year the festival celebrated its first Runway show on IPRAC’s main gallery sponsored by Alerav.

Barrio Arts Fest 2013 was possible by the generous support of Trailer Park Proyects, Chicago Park District, Chicago Community Trust and the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture. For more information about this event and IPRAC’s programming visit our website at or, email us at or call at 773.486.8345.

by Brenda Torres

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PRCC E.D. Keynotes Cleveland’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Posted on 29 October 2013 by alejandro


The City of Cleveland honored the contributions of Latinos Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 with an evening gala that featured Keynote Speaker, José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center-Juan Antonio Corretjer. Professor Lopez spoke about the many contributions that Latinos have made across the United States; in particular, the important role that they played in the national presidential campaign that re-elected President Obama. As he touched on the topic of Immigration Reform, the approximately 350 people in attendance, were brought to their feet giving Professor López a standing ovation after he transported us on a cultural and musical tour of the Americas. He touched on the traditions of the Sephardic Jews and of the Moors in Spain to that of Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and highlighted the significance of the socio-political inter-connections of these contributions.

Emphasizing that this, one’s human and cultural mosaics, has made Latinos the 1st global human identity on earth, and that this historical identity should inform on how one can be transformational agents of change in the US. He touched on the paradox of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, that made Latin America the US “backyard”, and that demographically in 2013, Latinos are now in the US “living room”.

Following the theme of the event “Our Time”, he called on how Latinos are changing the discourse on citizenship, by advocating for “cultural citizenship” which embraces diversity, multi-lingualism and multi-culturalism.

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Puerto Rican Studies honors Chicago Puerto Ricans in “100 Puerto Ricans campaign”

Posted on 16 October 2013 by alejandro


On Thursday, August 29th at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC), over 150 people attended a special award ceremony held by Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies honoring 16 Puerto Ricans that have made a difference in the Chicago community. The awards were presented by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies’ Director, Edwin Meléndez. The lives of Chicago Puerto Ricans involved in the arts, education, communications, public service and other sectors were highlighted. These Puerto Rican pioneers included Dr. Aida Giachello, Ray Rubio, Hilda Frontany, Ada López, Roberto “Bob” Medina and Dr. Jose E. López, among others.  The night showcased the enormous amount of dedication of many who worked diligently and tirelessly to transform the Puerto Rican community in Chicago and the United States. The evening included ethnic foods which were authentically created by various ethnic groups in Chicago including Chicago-style pizza, Italian Beef, Polish Sausage, Chinese Fried Rice, and the Puerto Rican Jibarito sandwich. A special thanks to Representative Cynthia Soto and Borinquen Restaurant for their generous donations.

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Puerto Rican Parrot Update: All time record of 500 iguacas at Puerto Rican Amazon Recovery Program

Posted on 16 October 2013 by admin


I hope these short lines find all of you and your loved ones doing great and having success in your personal goals, your plans, and your projects. Earlier this year I sent a message that began as “The 2013 breeding season in the Iguaca Aviary (former Luqillo Aviary) began with the right foot…” Well, we had another awesome season on behalf of recovery efforts of this species.

As many of you may know, the captive management of endangered Puerto Rican Amazon is a collaborative effort between the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (José L. Vivaldi Memorial Aviary, better known as the Río Abajo Aviary) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Iguaca Aviary former Luquillo Aviary). Together, we had another great year. Ricardo Valentín, the Rio Abajo Aviary Manager and Aviculturist produced a record year for the program of 66 chicks (a record for the Rio Abajo aviary and a record for the captive breeding program. At the Iguaca Aviary, we produced 41 chicks. That is a total of 107 chicks in one season. A number of hatchlings have never been seen before and this is the first time in the history of the captive efforts for the recovery of A. vittata that more than 100 chicks were produced in a single season. Furthermore, since the first captive chick was produced, we reached the mark of 1000 hatchlings in captivity.
Both aviaries had high rates of fertility, hatchability and survival. Actually, the survival of hatchlings for the Iguaca Aviary, 86.36%, has been the higher in the history of the Luquillo/Iguaca Aviary. Survival for 2012 was a record as well until that year and was 70.17%. We are extremely pleased with the results, but we need to keep working hard as team to have even better years and keep raising the bar.
Both aviaries were able to provide fertile eggs and chicks for the management and success of several nesting cavities in the wild at El Yunque National Forest (formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest)and at the Rio Abajo State Forest, being the cornerstone of the release program by providing enough individuals for such purposes. We are very proud to say that when you put together all the components of the program (both captive breeding facilities, both wild flock management programs and the release program) we have an all-time record of around 500 Puerto Rican Amazons.
Passion and teamwork has been the key elements for success. I am extremely excited to share this good news with all of you. Please, feel free to share this good news with as many people as you want. I believe that it’s great to hear this kind of news about the success of conservation programs and how we can collaborate to make more of these success stories.


Update by Jafet Vélez-Valentín, M.Sc., M.A.R. Wildlife Biologist/ Aviculturist/  Iguaca Aviary 

Operations Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rican 

Amazon Recovery Program

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Pronta Recuperación para el Dr. Luis Nieves Falcón

Posted on 16 October 2013 by alejandro

Se nos informa que la condición médica del Profesor ha empeorado. Por este medio, todos y todas las personas que laboran en el Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño Juan Antonio Corretjer, nos unimos en una petición de pronta recuperación a esta legendaria figura de las letras y de la intelectualidad puertorriqueña y caribeña.
Culaquier persona intersada en ayudar al profesor puede ver en su página de Facebook: “Amor por un Gigante: Luis Nieves Falcón” para comprar una de las pinturas de su colección de arte.lnf-web

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Presencia Jayuyana retumba 20ma Fiesta Boricua

Posted on 16 October 2013 by alejandro


No solamente fue la oficialidad de declarar los días del 31 agosto al 1 de septiembre como- Días de Jayuya en Chicago – por una proclama firmada por el Alcalde Rahm Emanuel (y presentada por el Concejal Maldonado), si no también la energía positiva y contagiosa que colectivamente emanaba de la delegación de más de 70 jayuyanos que hizo palpar la presencia jayuyana en las 20ma Fiesta Boricua. Encabezados por el Alcalde, Hon. Jorge “Georgie” González, y por el presidente de la Asamblea Municipal, Francisco “Frankie” Pagan, este nutrido grupo  representando “Lo Mejor de Nuestros Pueblos” dejo sus huellas en Chicago.  Su presencia se hizo sentir a lo largo y lo ancho de Paso Boricua, desde su llegada el miércoles 28 de agosto hasta su salida el martes 3 de septiembre.  Con sus camisetas , sus artesanías, sus bailes, y los ritmos, como también de su Banda Indígena, como también el canto y la música de su Armonía Cultural  que captivaron su audiencias con música jíbara durante la Misa Jíbara, hasta su majestuosa presentación en la tarima principal el domingo 1ro de septiembre.

Con mucho entusiasmo el Concejal Roberto Maldonado reconoció la importancia de Jayuya en esta ciudad y el tema que ahora define la Fiesta Boricua: “Lo Mejor de Nuestros Pueblos.” También le entregó la proclama declarando 2 días – el 31 de agosto y 1ro septiembre- como “Jayuya Days” en Chicago.  El Concejal también hizo entrega de obsequios de Chicago a toda la delegación, y devunas canastas para el Alcalde y el Presidente de la Asamblea Municipal de Jayuya, al igual que para el Presidente de la Asociación de Alcaldes, Alcalde Josean Santiago, que encabeza otra delegación comerieña.

Durante la ceremonia que se realizó para reclamar a Jayuya en la tarima principal, el Director Ejecutivo del Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño, José E. López, acompañado por el Concejal Roberto Maldonado, hizo entrega de una obra en bronce realizada por el artista Carlos Roda. La obra de arte simboliza una llave del Paseo Boricua.

Dejaron sus pintores varias obras permanentemente en los tiestos que adornaron el Paseo Boricua con símbolos emblemáticos. Los símbolos son principalmente indígenas del pueblo de Jayuya, incluyendo su precisosa bandera.  También en el edificio del Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño (localizado en 2739 W. Division St.) se realizó un mural al insigne patriota Oscar López Rivera, haciendo así vigente el compromiso que tiene el municipio de Jayuya con la excarcelación de nuestro prisionero político.  Por ende aún por mucho tiempo estará Jayuya presente en el corazón de todos los boricuas de Chicago

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PRCC’s 40th Anniversary Gala Honors Jayuya Mayor Jorge Gonzalez

Posted on 16 October 2013 by alejandro



On Friday, August 30, over 225 people attended the Gala celebrating the PRCC’s 40th Anniversary at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. While the event was delayed for an hour due to rain, the event ended a great success. In attendance was a delegation of nearly 100 people from Jayuya, Comerio as well as New York. The night showcased the talent of Jayuya including its Banda Indigena, a group which perform indigenous Taino music and dance, and Grupo Tipico Armonia Cultural, which focuses on traditional jibaro music, performed. Both the Mayor of Jayuya,  the Hon. Jorge “Georgie” González and the President of Jayuya’s Municipal Assembly, Francisco Torres-Pagán were honored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Alderman Roberto Maldonado. The PRCC was presented with a large Puerto Rican flag as well as the Jayuya emblem. A resolution calling for the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera was also read.

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