* Nancy Franco Maldonado’s life Celebrated
* Orlando Victims Remembered
* 50th Anniversary of Division St. Riot Commemorated
* Oscar López Rivera’s freedom Demanded
Thousands of people gathered on Paseo Boricua on Saturday, June 18, 2016 to celebrate the life of our very own Nancy Franco Maldonado- who posthumously served as the 2016 Grand Marshal; to remember the victims of the Orlando, Florida massacre under the slogan “Con Orgullo y Duelo”; to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Division Street Riots of 1966. The Parade was led by Ald. Roberto Maldonado and Nancy’s family, and included a large contingent of people in solidarity with those massacred in Orlando and demanding the release of Oscar López Rivera.
Photos courtesy of Elias Carmona
By Erika Abad, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Saturday’s heat and mugginess did not keep Puerto Ricans from standing in line to show their support. As early as 11:30 AM, despite the parade starting at 2 PM, residents and other Puerto Ricans were setting out their lawn chairs and coolers to get front row seating for the parade. By the time the parade would start at 2:10, from storefront to gate, Puerto Ricans, Latinos and community residents stood watching floats from community organizations like the Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center, AfriCaribe and ASPIRA to political contingents like 1st ward alderman, Joe Moreno, 26th ward Alderman, Roberto Maldonado, and the National Boricua Human Rights Network- Chicago chapter. Toddlers walked hand in hand with their parents or from their strollers perched on floats, watched the crowd cheer them on. When a Pedro Albizu Campos High School alum stood on a float in the middle of California and Division Street’s intersection to sing “Despierta Boricua,” the crowd either stood silent or joined in, many with fists raised in the air.
The Parade this year was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the birth of the amazing Paseo Boric Flags, as well as the big and minor Baseball Leagues of Humboldt Park and Cocineros Unidos (United Cooks) of Humboldt Park.
Puerto Ricans in Humboldt Park continue to rally to demonstrate the significance of Humboldt Park to their sense of culture, history and politics. Congested gatherings like the 37th People’s Parade on Division show us that no matter where we go, where or how we live, Humboldt Park and Paseo Boricua are still Boricuas’ pedacito de patria away from la isla.
1995 was the first time I participated in Chicago’s downtown Puerto Rican Parade, pushing my cousin’s youngest daughter in a stroller. Also, the year Chicago placed two Puerto Rican flags of steel in the ground of the mile-strip between Western and California known now as Paseo Boricua.
Puerto Rican pride was not the only sentiment waving through the air as the sight of rainbow flags demonstrate. Whether on LGBT-centered initiatives’ floats like El Rescate and Vida SIDA or in the crowd, queer, trans, and LGBT Puerto Ricans were waving both flags during the parade. Youth spearheaded that visibility, paving the way for the growth of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community to serve the ever-increasing diversity of their community.
View the collaborative Flickr set here.
On June 13th, the PRCC received a donation of 25 cases of water from Fil Mendez Guipoco (Health Equity Director) and Lyzeth M. Mondragon (Administrative Associate) from the American Heart Association to assist in this year’s Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade & Festival. Because of their support, we were able to provide bottled water to 600 partakers, volunteers, and community residence that participated in the parade. The Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade was a huge success, in part due to their help. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center appreciates the contribution that was made and would like to thank Fil Mendez Guipoco and Lyzeth M. Mondragon for their generosity.
The Greater Humboldt Park Community Diabetes Empowerment Center’s Muévete Physical Activity Program, ¡Dijo Presente! The Sun shined on us Saturday, June 14, 2014, as we celebrated along with community the 36th annual and 2nd United Puerto Rican People’s Parade. Participants, staff, instructors and volunteers showed their beautiful smile while waving the Puerto Rican Flag Parading down Division street in Humboldt Park, and the crowd responded with chants and cheers while weaving proudly the Puerto Rican flags. It was truly a day of pride and celebration on Division St.
Join us for Health Education classes: Nutrition Education, Food Demonstrations, Diabetes Prevention and Medication Education. Muévete: Dance-aerobics, Zumba, Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga, seasonal walking and biking groups. Heart Health Screenings and more… The Greater Humboldt Park Diabetes Empowerment Center is located at 2753 W. Division St. is opened on Monday and Friday 8:30am-5:00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30am-7:00pm. 773-342-0855.
El Rescate and it’s youth represented well at this years 2nd United Puerto Rican People’s Parade. No matter their ethnicity, everyone celebrated with pride. What a beautiful turn out! The weather was perfect and everyone had a fantastic time. We could have asked for a better day.
With thousands waving, the 2nd Annual United Puerto Rican Peoples parade took off from Division and Western, on Sat. June 14, headed by such prominent personalities as Gov Quinn, President Preckwinkle, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Also among the honored guests were Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, State Sen Iris Martínez, State Reps, Luis Arroyo and Cynthia Soto, Cook County Assessor Jose Berrios, County County Commissioner Elect Luis Arroyo Jr, and Aldermen Ray Suarez, Ariel Reboyras, Joe Moreno and Roberto Maldonado. The Parade’s Grand Marshall was Puerto Rican House of Representative member Víctor L. Vassallo Anadón and it was dedicated to the Congressional Gold Medal Awardee the “Borinqueneers” which included Chicago’s very own radio legend Raul Cardona, and to the 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente High School. The presence of the HS was felt throughout the parade as thousands waved fans alluding to the 40th anniversary and as hundreds of students and staff from the school marched in the parade itself headed by Principal Marcey Sorensen and her leadership team. It should also be noted that this year’s winner of the Commemorative Poster contest, Maricella Colon, was prominently headlined as the cover page of the special ad book insert of La Voz del Paseo Boricua. The high point of Clemente’s presence was their legendary steel band and the student prepared “cabezudo” depicting Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican humanitarian and athlete.
Another prominent “cabezudo” of the Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera made its way through the parade on the float of the National Boricua Human Rights Network, followed by a large contingent of sympathizers with t-shirts bearing Oscar’s image and collecting petitions for his release. All of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center programs were well -represented during the parade route with floats and contingents-ACA, Vida/SIDA, DEC, Batey, BACCA as well as Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School. The Vida/SIDA float featured the winner of the 2014 Paseo Boricua Cacica pageant Naysha López. For the 2nd consecutive year, the parade was transmitted by ABC Channel 7, see here.
Without a doubt, once again, the People’s Parade served as a place to showcase Puerto Rican pride, culture, and community, and most importantly, promote it on our own commercial strip, restaurants and businesses. View more pictures on our Flickr account.