La Voz del Paseo Boricua La Voz del Paseo Boricua Online, informing and advocating for our "pedacito de patria" Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:35:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 March 2017 /2017/03/march-2017/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:35:02 +0000 /?p=3782

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Community as a Campus (CAAC) in Full Gear /2016/12/community-as-a-campus-in-full-gear/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 20:42:11 +0000 /?p=3765

The Community as a Campus (CAAC) has been organized to support the schools of Greater Humboldt Park, which feed into the neighborhood high school, Roberto Clemente Community Academy. The CAAC implements it’s support through three education institutes that work with parents, support youth leadership development and school improvement and innovation.

The goal of the CAAC is to support all our schools for the benefit and success of the students, families and the community they serve and to align curriculum and resources to achieve this end.

Finally, the CAAC is a ”Community Action Council” of the Chicago Public Schools. There are nine councils in the Chicago land area and are comprised of 25-30 members, tasked with developing a strategic plan to achieve educational excellence in their respective school communities. For more information see the Family and Community Engagement web page of CPS.

The CAAC meets twice a month. For more information contact Marvin Garcia, CAAC coordinator at


15th Annual Haunted Paseo Boricua-Humboldt Park Take Over! /2016/12/15th-annual-haunted-paseo-boricua-humboldt-park-take-over/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 20:03:43 +0000 /?p=3758


This year marked the 15th anniversary of Humboldt Park’s Halloween tradition of converting the Paseo Boricua business district into a corridor of Halloween inspired cultural interactive activities, learning opportunities, family friendly performances and safe trick or treating on Division St. between Campbell Ave. and California Ave. About 400 children and their families were able to trick or treat for candy and healthier snack alternatives as part of our Healthy Kids Halloween initiative at over 35 local businesses and organizations along Paseo Boricua. Division Street was decorated with hay bales, corn stalks, unique Puerto Rican in uenced decorations including large paintings of skeletons with Puerto Rican eye patches, bomba drums carved like jack-o-lanterns, festive vejigantes by local artist Lebster Pabon, artistic scarecrows by muralist Cristian Roldan and a selfie wall painted by Puerto Rican artist Veronica Velez.

To celebrate our 15th year of Haunted Paseo Boricua, this year’s theme included a “Haunted Quinceñera Main Stage” hosted by local rapper Pinqy Ring and Puerto Rican B96 radio host, Gabriel Ramirez! Main Stage hosted a costume contest for prizes for the “Best Family, Best Child and Best Toddler” costumes with prizes sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Ciclo Urbano! Costume winners went home with board games, a children’s bicycle and razor scooter. Performers including local hip hop and spoken word duo and activists Lester Rey and Logan Lou, singer/song writer and producer, Che Guevara and Singer Ricardo Suarez serenading families with original music.

Haunted Paseo Stations included Puerto Rican scary story telling at Urban Theater Company/Batey Urbano, face painting, games with prizes by El Rescate and Vida/SIDA, Urban Agriculture worm culture give away by Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, children’s books as treats by Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care, Musical Chairs and Zumba by Muevete at the Diabetes Empowerment Center, Fortune Telling by La Bruquena Restaurant, Dancing Vejigantes at Africaribe Cultural Center, and Photos by local photographers Elias Carmonas, Charlie Billups and Carlos Munoz.

The PRCC’s Haunted Paseo Boricua would like to thank the organizing committee and businesses for their contributions and volunteers and making Haunted Paseo Boricua memorable and a success this year: The Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School, UIC’s Puerto Rican Studies Course and Roberto Clemente Community Academy; Ald. Roberto Maldonado, State Rep. Cynthia Soto and DSBDA.

By Janeida Rivera
Photos by Charlie Billups


Cartas a Karina Book reception: Poets Martin Espada and Juana Goergen “We Stand with Oscar” /2016/12/cartas-a-karina-book-reception-poets-martin-espada-and-juana-goergen-we-stand-with-oscar/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:55:05 +0000 /?p=3751




On Oct. 28, 2016 The National Boricua Human Rights Network sponsored a book reception for Cartas a Karina with Puerto Rican poets Martin Espada, who wrote the introduction to the book, and Juana Iris Goergen, poet and professor at DePaul University. During the light dinner, at Nellie’s Puerto Rican Restaurant on Paseo Boricua, Jose E. Lopez, Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director, introduced Juana Goergen, who spoke about reading the letters as they were published in Puerto Rico’s newspaper El Nuevo Dia several years ago, and how she was moved by the correspondence. She felt deeply honored to be able to speak about the Letters to Karina”, and composed an original piece of prose, for the event.

In Chicago, the book is available for $15.00 at 2546 W. Division St. It’s also available online at:

Martin Espada, also in town to promote his new book, “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed”, spoke movingly of his father, famous civil rights photographer Frank Espada, and growing up in Brooklyn. He referenced it as he spoke about Chicago, saying, he felt that he had come home when he saw the gigantic Puerto Rican flags on Paseo Boricua. “I’m from Brooklyn, and proud of it- but there is no place like Chicago for Puerto Ricans,” Espada said. He ended by saying, “Years from now, I want my grandchil- dren to know, in this moment, such an important moment for the Campaign, that I stood with Oscar like all of you stand with Oscar.”

by Alejandro Molina, National Boricua Human Rights Network.

Ald. Moreno Convenes Community Meeting on Proposed Teacher’s Village /2016/12/ald-moreno-convenes-community-meeting-on-proposed-teachers-village/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:37:43 +0000 /?p=3748


A community meeting was called on November 2nd by Chicago 1st Ward Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno at the former Von Humboldt Elementary School. PRCC and its partners, IFF, a non-proft community development organization, and the RBH Group, discussed their vision and initial plans to convert the now vacant building into a Teacher’s Square: a mix of teacher housing, a community-focused market and café, and a public square.

Ron Beit, a principal of RBH Group, presented the proposed site plans and designs for members of the community to provide input. The proposed project includes the renovation of the building into 84 rental units with a mix of studios, one and two bedroom units for teachers; a marketplace that would sell prepared foods and include communal tables for dining, and a space on the central main floor dedicated to bringing educators, parents, and youth together to learn.

The development also would include 34 units in above story building along Rockwell, an adjacent parking garage with enough spaces to serve both the residents and visitors to the market, and a central plaza designed to be a gathering space for residents as well as for the greater Humboldt Park community.

The former Von Humboldt Elementary School is currently owned by Chicago-based IFF. IFF has a long history of investing in and working with nonprofits in Humboldt Park, and it specifically recruited the RBH Group as the developer for this project because of its previous work in developing other teacher and education centered project counts for teachers to live there. He also said that a traffic study would be conducted as part of the process.

PRCC’s Executive Director, Jose E. Lopez spoke in support of Teachers Square and of PRCC’s engagement in the development to date, emphasizing that were it not for IFF’s interest and involvement, the building might have gone to a developer that would not be as engaged with the community or concerned about affordability. He also spoke about PRCC’s vision for the “Community As A Campus” and how the project would support that vision in the community. Raymond Valadez, Alderman Moreno’s Chief of Staff , also spoke in favor of the project.

Other attendees included neighbors, local nonprofits, schools and churches, and members of the East Humboldt Park Neighborhood Association. Additional community meetings to discuss Teachers Square will be scheduled as the project moves forward.

by Rich Wallach, IFF

Ald. Moreno Hosts Community Meeting on the Pennycuff-Castillo 100 % Affordable Development Proposal /2016/12/ald-moreno-hosts-community-meeting-on-the-pennycuff-castillo-100-affordable-development-proposal/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:24:30 +0000 /?p=3744


On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, 1st Ward, hosted a well attended community meeting at the Concord Music Hall to obtain community input regarding an historic, affordable, transit-oriented development proposal for the Logan Square Community. The LGBTQ friendly, mixed-use development, to be named The John Pennycu Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza, would be located at 2031 North Milwaukee Ave, the current site of the Congress Pizzeria.

If approved, the Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation would construct a seven-story, 75-foot, new-construction building which would contain 88 affordable housing units, comprised of 28 studio, 48 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments. It would also contain 2,450 square feet of ground- oor commercial space.

The development would create 150 construction jobs and five permanent jobs. The approximately $23 million development cost would be nanced with a combination of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) funds, tax exempt bonds, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) funds and private funding. The entire building would have a deed restriction, ensuring that all the residential units would be offered to individuals at 60% Area Median Income or below for the next 30 years.

“I am pleased to bring this TIF-funded, 100% a ord- able housing proposal to the Logan Square community, which is in dire need of more a ordable housing options,” said Alderman Moreno. “As you know, my commitment has always been to utilize TIF funds for two reasons: schools and affordable housing. I think this housing development is a great opportunity to bring even more affordability to Logan Square.”

The John Pennycu Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza would be the second LGBTQ-friendly, 100% affordable housing building in the City of Chicago. “This is an historic opportunity in the 1st Ward and for the LGBTQ community,” said Alderman Moreno. “This building would greatly enhance our efforts to provide more affordable housing options to local residents and to accommodate the housing needs of the LGBTQ community.”

The local community organization, the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association (GGNA), is continuing its extensive and thorough review of the proposal, which has also been vetted by the 1st Ward Affordable Housing Task Force, which includes well-known affordable housing organizations such as La Casa Norte, Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) Hispanic Housing Corporation, Bickerdike, Center for Neighborhood Technology and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

A large majority of the residents and community members who attended last night’s meeting expressed enthusiasm and strong support for the proposed development. After the proposal has received final community and aldermanic support, the development plan will be presented to the Chicago Plan Commission for review and approval during the first quarter of 2017.

Editor’s note: John Pennycu and Robert Castillo were born in Logan Square, and they were partners in life as well as in activism. Both were strong advocates for greater equality for Chicago’s LGBTQ communities as well as active supporters of affordable housing in Logan Square. Both Castillo and Pennycu served on the City of Chicago Advisory Council on LGBT Issues and were the first couple to register for the Cook County Domestic Partnership Registry in 2003; they were legally married in 2004. Pennycu was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. He passed away in January 2012, but his legacy and activism in Chicago will forever be memorialized.

Ald. Maldonado Advances Transfer of Von Humboldt Annex to PRCC /2016/12/ald-maldonado-advances-transfer-of-von-humboldt-annex-to-prcc/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:10:15 +0000 /?p=3741
  • To expand future home of Consuelo Lee Corretjer Childcare and Nancy Franco Maldonado Parent Development Center



The Chicago City Council Committee on Housing unanimously approved the transfer of the Von Humboldt School Annex, 1345 N. Rockwell, to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, (PRCC) as part of its Community As A Campus initiative, on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2016.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center was tapped to convert the one-story annex, 1345 N. Rockwell St., into the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center and Nancy Franco Maldonado Child Parent Center, which the city says would o er “free or reduced-rate childcare services for up to 150 children from low-income families.”

The daycare center would “provide a new dimension to early childhood education in the 26th Ward,” Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) said in a prepared statement.

It’s named — in part — after Maldonado’s late wife, Nancy. Nancy was an important advisor to Ald. Maldonado on education, particularly, Early Childhood Education. She lost a battle with pancreatic cancer late last year.

The space will serve as the hub for early childhood and educational practice and for the Community As A Campus initiative. The building would be sold to the PRCC for $1, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s offce and it will make an initial investment of $50,000 to renovate the annex and playground. The sites are valued at $1.5 million.

WORLD AIDS DAY 2016 ON PASEO BORICUA /2016/12/world-aids-day-2016-on-paseo-boricua/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:00:36 +0000 /?p=3736

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On December 1,2016, Puerto Rican Cultural Center-Vida/SIDA hosted a World AIDS Day 2016 event at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (NMPRAC). The event began at La Casita de Don Pedro where an altar was created by Co-chairperson of the Chicago Chapter of TransLatina Coalition, Maritxa Vidal, followed by a candlelight vigil in memory of those who have died of AIDS and in support of people living with HIV. After the vigil, attendees participated in a procession to the NMPRAC where the World AIDS Day Program was held.

Joining Vida/SIDA were our community partners and sponsors, Erie Family Health Center represented by Esther Morales, a Case Manager of Lending Hands for Life, a program that provides medical care for those diagnosed with HIV, and Sanford Gaylord, from US Department of Health and Human Services, who spoke eloquently of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, Affordable Care Act, Viral Hepatitis, and other health initiatives.

The Keynote speaker was Dr. Tahseen J.Siddiqui, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Norwegian American Hospital with which Vida/SIDA has established a partnership and has implemented a program called Integrated Paseo. The above program directs and offers services such as Counseling and Testing for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Hepatitis-C to the LatinX and African American population in Chicago. Dr. Siddiqui provided the audience with a detailed Power Point presentation on HIV/AIDS prevention, stigma, and statistics and the beacon of light that exists today for those who are living with HIV.

The event program ended with two of Chicago’s top Drag Queens, Milani Ninja and Naomi Ninja, who entertained the audience with two dynamic musical performances. Vida/SIDA’s World AIDS Day event was a program promoting education, awareness and a vision of hope that as we continue our struggle, HIV/AIDS will soon be a disease of the past.

By Ricardo Jiménez, Vida/SIDA

Photos by Ed Negrón

“Su lucha es más heroica que la de Washington” /2016/12/su-lucha-es-mas-heroica-que-la-de-washington/ Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:39:07 +0000 /?p=3728 René Pérez reclama la excarcelación de Oscar López Rivera

jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016 – 4:00 PM

Por José A. Delgado/El Nuevo Día.

Washington – René Pérez, el residente de Calle 13, afirmó hoy que cada segundo que pasa en la cárcel crece el heroísmo del prisionero político puertorriqueño Oscar LópezRivera.

En un salón del Senado estadounidense, Pérez, la alcaldesa de San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, y el congresista demócrata Luis Gutiérrez (Illinois) lideraron una sesión informativa para abogar por la liberación de López Rivera, en momentos en que le quedan 42 días de trabajo en la Casa Blanca al presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama.

“Su lucha es más heroica que la de (George) Washington, porque no tuvo que matar a nadie”, indicó Pérez, en su presentación.


El evento fue organizado por la oficina del senador independiente Bernie Sanders (Vermont), e incluyó a la hija de López Rivera, Clarisa López Ramos, a José López Rivera, hermano del prisionero independentista, los representantes del Partido Popular Democrático (PPD) Luis Vega Ramos y Manuel Natal, y la abogada Jan Susler.

Cerca de 90 personas – incluidos asesores de miembros del Congreso-, asistieron a la sesión informativa.

El grupo de oradores se reuniría después con el senador Sanders.

López Rivera, de 73 años, ya ha cumplido 35 años y seis meses de cárcel. El prisionero independentista, quien fue miembro de las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), ha estado más tiempo en prisión que Nelson Mandela, recordó Residente.

El evento tiene lugar en momentos en que cerca de 110,000 personas han suscrito una petición en la Casa Blanca en respaldo a la solicitud de clemencia que presentó López Rivera ante el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos.

La Casa Blanca dijo la semana pasada que la solicitud sigue en manos del Departamento de Justicia, aunque el presidente Obama no tiene que esperar por ninguna recomendación ni consultar a nadie para otorgarle clemencia a López Rivera.

“El presidente Obama puede hacer lo que le dé la gana. Puede firmar la clemencia esta misma tarde. Esta es una decisión política, no es una decisión legal”, dijo la abogada Susler.