On Monday, March 19th, 2018 Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson and José López, to cut the ribbon on the new athletic facility at Roberto Clemente Community Academy. The field will support school sports, as well as recreational programming for the entire community. “Investments in world-class academic institutions like those at Clemente not only support the students of Chicago; they are investment in our residents and the future of our City,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These brand new athletic fields will help both students and west side residents to stay engaged and on track to a brighter future.” The fields at Clemente will be used primarily for softball and baseball; Clemente field now has spectator seating, improved lighting, underground drainage infrastructure and storm water management and other amenities. “I am thrilled that we can provide our residents and the hard-working students at Clemente with the high-quality athletic fields they deserve,” said Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, 1st Ward. “Ongoing community investments like these fields would not be possible without the commitment and determination from our local leaders and students.” Roberto Clemente Community Academy is now home to a 120,000 square foot competition-size synthetic turf field for baseball and softball, and a sodded turf for practice and recreational use. Additional updates include team dugout areas, a press box and dual scoreboard, and removable outfield fencing with foul poles, a ball stopper system and backstop; the $3.9 million investment was funded by the Capital Improvement Tax. “This athletic facility will help students at Clemente lead healthy, active lives while providing experiences that will instill the invaluable lesson of teamwork,” said Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Dr. Janice Jackson. Clemente has continued to make academic gains since 2011 and graduated its first wall-to-wall IB class in 2016. In 2012, Clemente was the third school to announce wall-to-wall IB programming, which was first at Back of the Yards and Nicholas Senn High School. Chicago is home to the largest network of IB schools in the nation, with 52 schools (22 high schools and 30 elementary schools) currently serving more than 26,000 students enrolled in IB coursework citywide. “Coupled with our strong academic programming, this high-quality athletic facility provides Clemente students with a well-rounded education in the Humboldt Park community,” said Roberto Clemente High School Principal Fernando Mojíca. “With the support of previous administrators and future-focused parents, Clemente is now a world-class neighborhood school with students graduating and going to college in record numbers.” Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, there have been significant ongoing investments to underdeveloped parts of the neighborhood. Among these investments is a $3.5 million facility for La Casa Norte, one of Chicago’s most innovative non-profits that can now serve more residents. Signioficant investments were made to develop affordable housing, and include Borinquen Bella L.P. North & Pulaski Senior Housing, Children’s Place Association LLC, Nelson Mandela Apartments, among others. These developments are in addition to the more than $8 million in Chicago Housing Authority investments to modernize, retrofit and update buildings across the neighborhood. “Chicago’s Puerto Rican community has an incredible friend in Mayor Emanuel, and I appreciate his support as we continue to invest in Humboldt Park and welcome families with open arms,” said Luis V. Gutierrez, US Representative, 4th District. “When tragedy struck Puerto Rico, we got to work right away in Chicago, and I am immensely proud of our continued efforts to help them rebuild and recover.” Humboldt Park, a community anchor, has seen more than $8 million in investments to support upgrades since 2011, including the construction of artificial turf athletic fields, improvements to the swimming pool and rehabbed field house.

José E. López, PRCC Executive Director states: “ The renovated Clemente Field, on one side, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture on the other side, now bookend ‘the magical urbanism’ taking place on Paseo Boricua.”

In his remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated baseball and softball field of Roberto Clemente Community Academy, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Executive Director, Jose E. López, extolled the amazing achievements and developments of Paseo Boricua–the commercial and cultural Puerto Rican Strip along Division Street–since its creation 25 years ago. In this pedacito de patria, Chicago’s Puerto Rican Community has built what López described as a true reflection of ‘magical urbanism’ particularly informed by all the new developments this area encases, and which have been wholeheartedly supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He challenged those who have advanced the narrative “of the tale of two cities” to visit Paseo Boricua, and they may discover a third city emerging on this mile-long corridor. In this strip they will uncover how a deeply committed community has engaged the imagination of this Mayor, and how he has responded by wholeheartedly supporting these efforts which include the following: • the Nancy Franco Maldonado Arts Building – an $11,000,000, 24-unit building that will provide living and work spaces for community artists • an 84 unit “teachers” village apartment complex to be created in the shuttered Von Humboldt School building providing affordable housing for teachers in the community, and a critical space for action and reflection • an early childhood educational center, inaugurated on March 3, 2018, which will provide a quality educational experience for 150 children, 0 – 5 years, with wrap-around social emotional services in a dual language setting. The Consuelo Lee Corretjer/Nancy Franco Maldonado Parent Development Center will house this innovative program in an aesthetically pleasing, child focused space. In closing, López stated this is just the beginning. There is a lot more to come for this corridor. He then introduced CPS/CEO Dr. Janice Jackson whom he called “a young”, innovative educator who will shape a new urban education. He acknowledged her support of the Community as a Campus initiative which is now being implemented in Humboldt Park, and which has received a $250,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust.



On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center celebrated its annual open house 100×35+10 event honoring the 110 th birthday of the Center’s namesake (the national poet of Puerto Rico, Juan Antonio Cor- retjer), and the 45th year of the Center’s founding. During the past ten years, this cel- ebration has highlighted one of the Center’s programs. this year it was the inauguration of the new facility that will house the early educational programs of the Center (the Con- suelo Lee Corretjer/Nancy Franco Maldonado Child Parent Center) which multiply the number of chil- dren currently served, as well as the variety of educational services. This new facility, located at 1345 N. Rockwell, will ensure that all children served from 0 to 5, will receive a high quality educational experience with a total immersion in a dual language, dual cultural environment. The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed that day by a short Program that included welcoming remarks by Xochtil Ramirez, Program Director of the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Center; an emotion filled statement by Alderman Roberto Maldonado in which he noted the importance of this Center which will now bear his be- loved wife’s name -to his family and to the community (read remarks below); a synthesis of the educational founda- tions of murals which will adorn the space by artist Richard Santiago and the reading by Senator Iris Martinez of a Proclamation by the Illinois General Assembly acknowledging the contribu- tions of the PRCC’s Executive Director, José E. López (read Procla- mation below). This Proclamation was introduced by State Rep Cynthia Soto. Following the program, the more than 100 participants were invited to see the facility and enjoy a sumptuous Puerto Rican luncheon. Many of the attendees then proceed- ed on a walking tour to all the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s programs throughout Paseo Boricua. The 100×35+10 event culminated with a fundraiser for El Rescate held at El Faro’s Restaurant and also celebrated the 6 year of its foundation. The fund- raiser included food, performance and a silent auction. ALDERMAN MALDONADO’S REMARKS Today we give new life to the former Alexander Von Humboldt Elementary School Annex, transforming this once vacant Chicago Public School building into a beautiful place of healthy growth and development for our youngest residents in the 26th Ward. Today this building will be reborn as the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center and the Nancy Y. Franco-Maldonado Child Parent Center, giving a new dimen- sion to early childhood education in our community.José E. López, the Ex- ecutive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the leader on this initiative, worked with me in ac- quiring this 14,600 square foot annex from the Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago. We are proud to offer free or reduced-rate childcare services for up to 150 children from low income families and create up to 25 new jobs as a result of this 2-year effort. You may all be familiar with the famous Puerto Rican poet, educa- tor, and pianist Consuelo Lee Corret- jer whom this center is named in part for. What you may not know is that my late wife, Nancy Y. Franco-Mal- donado, was the heart, the soul, and the quiet force behind making the Child Parent Center a reality and her spirit is here with us today blessing all of the young children whose lives will be forever changed by this amazing place of learning. Nancy encouraged our own chil- dren – Rene, Robertito, and Raquel – to acquire skills and values that will help them become leaders, and she wanted to give this opportunity to all of the young children in this community. Thank you for your powerful advocacy and vision Nancy. You made this happen.

Dra. Ileana  Muñoz – Rectora de la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de PR – Visita a Chicago Se le presenta donativo por $11,500 para la institución puertorriqueña

Dra. Ileana Muñoz – Rectora de la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de PR – Visita a Chicago Se le presenta donativo por $11,500 para la institución puertorriqueña

El martes, 20 de marzo de 2018, se sostuvo un encuentro y almuerzo en el Restaurante Nellie’s para presentar las donaciones recaudados para la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseños de Puerto Rico (EAPD), presentar la celebración de la Abolición de la Esclavitud del sábado, 24 de marzo en el Centro Cultural Segundo Ruiz Belvis y anuncio de la visita del Alcalde de Chicago y la Puerto Rican Agenda a Puerto Rico. Entre los presentes estuvieron los representantes de las siguientes organizaciones: The Puerto Rican Cultural Center Juan Antonio Corretjer (PRCC), Aspira, Inc. de Illinois, el National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (NMPRAC), National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, el Puerto Rican Agenda y Urban Theater Company (UTC).

Además del inicio y formalización de enlaces entre la EAPD e instituciones de Chicago que promueven las artes y la educación de la misma, se le presentó a la Rectora varias donaciones para ayudar a reconstruir la planta física de la Universidad; entre ellas una donación de $10,000 que recaudó UTC junto a sus aliados comunitarios en el teatro, una donación de $1,000 del NMPRAC a través de sus esfuerzo de recaudación en el museo y otra donación personal de $500 por Fernando Grillo. Rican Renaissance, dirigido por el artista en residencia del PRCC, Richard “Tiago” Santiago, lograron recaudar $3,500 para EAPD y fue entregado por el Congresista Luis V. Gutiérrez y Santiago en una visita a la institución a finales del año 2017; con una entrega total de $15,000 de parte de la comunidad de Chicago a la institución antes mencionada.

Durante la reunión del martes, Santiago compartió lo siguiente:

“Hoy marca el paso del Huracán María, seis meses desde que el archipiélago de Puerto Rico sufrió un azote devastador por este fenómeno natural. Desde entonces, he trabajado arduamente junto al Puerto Rican Agenda acá en Chicago para ayudar a restaurar la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de PR (EAPD). Esta Universidad, no solo es una institución autónoma y académica de las artes en nuestra isla, pero también es la única institución con las acreditaciones de estándares más altas en su clase; incluso, algunas instituciones de las artes en Estados Unidos no tienen estas acreditaciones.

Considero la EAPD la institución de las artes más importante en todo Puerto Rico. Dado a que casi todos los artistas más reconocidos e importantes de las artes plásticas en la isla tienen un enlace directo con la Universidad. Algunos son miembros del equipo fundador de la institución hace decadas, algunos fueron profesores en la Universidad , algunos ex-alumnos y todas las personas que están envueltos en las artes plásticas del país están ligados a la Universidad. Además, estoy más que seguro, que sin la EAPD, los museos más importantes de la nación puertorriqueña no estarían a capacidad y la calidad del arte en ellos estaría a falta de el lustre que caracteriza el arte de cientos de artistas graduados de la institución académica.

EAPD fue devastado por Huracán María. Pero hoy, estamos aquí, en Chicago, parados juntos a la Dra. Ileana Muñoz, Rectora de la Universidad, no solo para ofrecer algo de alivio y apoyo, pero también para juntos trazar un camino con la diáspora para el futuro cercano. Juntos nos comprometemos a salvar la Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico y trabajar para el beneficio del patrimonio cultural de la isla.”


Durante la estadía de la Rectora, se sostuvieron también reuniones y visitas con Billy Ocásio, Director Ejecutivo del National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) y Juan Ochoa, Director Ejecutivo y Artístico de ChiArts, junto a representantes del Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC). Este junte se dio con el propósito de profundizar más las conversaciones ya iniciadas entre la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico y la comunidad de instituciones en Chicago como parte de la campaña de las “3R’s Puerto Rico: Rescue, Relief, Rebuild” de Puerto Rican Agenda.




El martes, 20 de marzo de 2018, nuestra comunidad puertorriqueña y latina celebró con gran júbilo las victorias de Jesús “Chuy” García como candidato para el congreso por el 4to distrito – sustituyendo al legendario Luis V. Gutiérrez quien cumplió 25 años en ese escaño – digno representantes de nuestras dos comunidades latinas más grandes, la mexicana y puertorriqueña; y la líder comunitaria Delia Ramírez, por primera vez en la historia del estado de Illinois, hija de inmigrantes guatemaltecos, quien ocupará el escaño en la cámara de Illinois.

No obstante el dinero y los recursos que invirtieron los estadistas de Puerto Rico, encabezados por Romero Barceló, para promover diferencias entre los boricuas y mexicanos; los boricuas con grandes porcentajes le dieron la ventaja a su hermano mexicano Jesús “Chuy” García quien por años se ha destacado por su compromiso con nuestra isla y cuya esposa es una boricua de pura sepa.  

Fue histórico, también, el hecho de que nuestra comunidad favoreció la candidatura de la primera guatemalteca al lanzarse a un puesto electivo en Illinois. Este hecho demuestra la gran madurez de respaldar plenamente a los que también nos apoyan, como fue el caso de la selección de Delia Ramírez quien ganó en grande la candidatura por el 4to distrito estatal. Ella venció a tres contrincantes con una abrumadora mayoría.

Nuestras felicidades a “Chuy”, Delia y muy en particular a la comunidad boricua quienes dijeron – ¡PRESENTE!


Pibo Marquez and His Burning Hands

Pibo Marquez and His Burning Hands

by Michael Kurshan Emmer, PRCC
The messenger came on a plane from Venezuela, but the message that sang through the congas came from Africa. Each “toque” and “golpe” from the diaspora with a unique tone; this one may have been the voice of Obatalá, that one may have been Elegua; we would have to ask Joel “Pibo” Marquez to know for sure.
         “Pibo” Marquez, the Venezuelan musician, producer, composer and winner of the Ismael Rivera award, has had a successful career in music that has taken him around the world, showcasing his Afro-Latino music in more than 40 countries. With places such as Mali, Finland, Colombia, Greece, Brazil and many more as the set for his performances, the incredibly talented and gracious artist always makes sure to highlight the Afro-Latino rhythms and history in his sets. Having performed and recorded with many internationally acclaimed acts such as Arturo Sandoval, Juanes, and the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others, the Venezuelan percussionist and teacher is the leader of “Pibo Marquez y su Descarga” (Salsa) and “Las Manos Calientes” (Jazz).
         Sponsored by the Humboldt Park Community As A Campus, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Old Town School of Folk Music, and the Consulate General of Venezuela in Chicago and performing for a packed room of community members and students at the Chicago High School for the Arts at 2714 W. Augusta Boulevard on Friday May 6, 2016, the Venezuelan percussionist introduced each folkloric rhythm with its background and structure as if he was speaking of an old friend. One rhythm at a time, he went through the gamut of Afro-Caribbean experiences: the Yambú and the Guaguanco Rumbas, the Bomba and Plena of Puerto Rico, the Cumbia from Colombia, and the Calypso from Guyana/Venezuela to name a few.

Cla cla cla, the cencerro held the tempo as its sound rang out in the auditorium at ChiArts. Perfect time, held by the constant movement of the musicians left foot, like the feet of Rumberos on the move, dancing their way from Matanzas to the Bronx and beyond. Flanked by guitar on his right and bass on his left, the hands of the visiting Congero radiated deep history and tradition, making the congas fly and sing so smoothly, so effortlessly: Pibo the musician, Pibo the master, Pibo the teacher.

In addition to the performance at the Chicago High School for the Arts, Pibo Marquez was gracious enough to host a workshop/jam session with students from Clemente Community Academy’s steel band. The musician reflected that he was incredibly moved by the experience at both schools.  Read more about the man and buy music from Joel “Pibo Marquez at his website.
La Voz Welcomes Healthy Lifestyle Blogger Fat2Flaca!

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-mailjaneida@fat2flaca.com.