Xavier “Xavi” Luis Burgos
On March 3, under the name “La Jornada 100 X 35,” the beginning of a yearlong journey of celebrations and initiatives to showcase and benefit the Paseo Boricua-Humboldt Park community was unveiled. On that day, exactly 100-years-ago, one of the great revolutionaries and the National Poet of Puerto Rico, Juan Antonio Corretjer was born. Also, 35-years-ago, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC), which bears the name of the prominent figure, was founded in this community.
At the launching of La Jornada 100 X 35, a representation of the dimensions of the island of Puerto Rico, over 80 invited guests were given a detailed tour into the fruits of labor of the PRCC. Since its inception, the PRCC has addressed the challenges that Puerto Ricans face in Chicago. With a goal of creating parallel institutions, the PRCC, with community support, built an alternative high school, a child care, a library, a youth space, a fresh fruits and vegetables program, a newspaper, an after school program, an anti-gentrification project and much more. The tour of the multiple institutions was also a fundraiser so that the PRCC’s vision for community could be carried-out.
Some of the notable guests included State Representative Cynthia Soto, a longtime supporter and contributor to the efforts of the PRCC as well as a representative from the Advocate Bethany Hospital. Guests were able to view the new recording studio in the Batey Urbano youth space, made possible with funding from Comcast. The recording studio will be used for the students of the radio section of the Barrio Arts, Culture, and Community Academy (BACCA) after school program. That day the students in the photography section of the BACCA program were also able to receive their digital cameras. The tour ended with a special dinner at Nellie’s Restaurant on Paseo Boricua and a private viewing of the heartfelt theater production, Crime Against Humanity, about the imprisonment of the Puerto Rican political prisoners.
As “100 X 35” is yearlong celebration, please keep reading La Voz for news about future events. For more information, please contact, Raul Echevarria at 773/278-6751 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: As a proud project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, La Voz del Paseo Boricua would ask for the support of all its readers. If you are in the position to make a financial contribution to the PRCC, please do so and help contribute to the preservation and development of Puerto Rican-focused community initiatives. Only together can we move the Puerto Rican community forward!