On Friday, June 19, 2015, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the Trans Latin@ Coalition of Chicago sponsored the Annual Coronation of the Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen. In a pack audience with hundreds of attendance and only standing room available, this year’s Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen 2015 is from Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, and her name is Yeveah Altieri. Since a very early age, the newly crowned Queen of 2015, Altieri was devoted to health sciences and mathematics and its benefits to society. Currently, Altieri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration and is pursuing a Doctorate’s Degree in Epidemiology at Ponce School of Medicine. In addition, Altieri has created doll pageants and sold them where all the funds collected are used for domestic violence victims recovery and educate communities to understand the plight of how domestic violence affect the nation of Puerto Rico. Altieri will be one brilliant and beautiful ambassador to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Trans Latin@ Coalition of Chicago
Lastly, Janet Namer affectingly know, as “Madrina” was crown Honorary Queen of Paseo Boricua 2015. Madrina has been a vocal advocate of Trans Latin@ in Chicago.
By Jonathan Contreras, Director, Integrated Paseo
On January 1st 2015, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center – Vida/SIDA together with Norwegian American Hospital, launched the Integrated PASEO program. This partnership has allowed us to provide wraparound services for HIV treatment, STI & Hepatitis C care, substance abuse & mental health counseling, for clients within the Chicagoland area. Our bilingual Spanish-English team creates personalized health plans for each client including specialized services referrals, to instill proper level of care and treatment. For more information, contact Jonathan Contreras, Director at 773-772-5455.
By Jorge Cestou, PhD ABD, MBA, Director of Programs and Services
The I Commit to End HIV -a National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in Chicago event facilitated by Vida/SIDA was a success. An intergenerational group including youth, adults, and older adults attended the event. The majority of the audience was of Latino origin but it included African Americans, Caucasians, and South East Asians. Participants included community residents and HIV field practitioners.
Attendees were welcomed through a red carpet in which they were guided to sign the symbolic canvas titled I Commit to End HIV. They were also photographed in red carpet fashion. Sample pictures attached.
Juan Calderon, Chief Operating Officer of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center along with Sanford Gaylord of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region V, welcomed the audience.
The event included a HIV/AIDS panel discussion titled ‘Factors Affecting the Community, Collaboration, Culture and Agencies’ Services.’ The panelists included Edwin Corbin-Gutierrez (Center on Halsted), Martin Gonzalez-Rojas (CALOR-Anixter), Luis Lira (Project Vida), Carlos Orengo (Howard Brown Health Center), and Maritxa Vidal (Vida/SIDA). Ayla Karamustafa of Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago moderated the panel discussion. The panelists were extremely eloquent and cultural sensitive in presenting data and experiences of their delivery of services to the Latino community in the Chicago metro area.
Participants were given a packet of information that contained facts about HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. The audience was entertained by drag performers Milani Ninja and Jailyn Ninja and enjoyed delicious Latino food and water.
Partner agencies displayed materials and provided safe-sex kits at their tables of information. Agencies delivering these services included Vida/SIDA, CALOR, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Region V.
The event offered free confidential HIV testing, provided by Vida/SIDA, CALOR, and Lurie Children’s Hospital.