The Battle Against Underage Drinking in Chicago’s Puerto Rican Community


The Barrio Arts Culture Communications Academy is excited to participate in this year’s Puerto Rican People’ Parade. The new BACCA directive consists of Maria Borrero (director), Mia Espinosa (youth representative), Sikarra Nicholas (youth representative) and Michelle Guzmán (youth representative). BACCA engages youth in the Humboldt Park community and develops their creative talents and skills in the areas of theater, newspaper development, radio, photography, and film/TV, while also promoting community-based civic engagement. This program mainly focuses in the use of  technology workshops, tutoring, and hands-on instruction geared towards providing youth the opportunity to express themselves. As an after-school program, BACCA seeks to also address youth challenges like high school dropout rates, and underage drinking in our community. Recognizing that the school dropout rate directly correlates to other indicators of risk, this after-school program is designed to mix culture, community, and technology across a range of media to encourage participants to transform their community. Our main focus is Underage drinking, due to the significance of this problem; community members in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood took action and started different marketing campaigns for parents and youth to encourage them to find alternatives to drinking, and to talk about the consequences, but also to bring consciousness to our local businesses about the importance of not selling alcohol to minors. We are looking forward to expand our efforts and bring our BACCA to many more youth leaders. We will see you in the Parade!


My name is Mia Espinosa and my experience with B.A.C.C.A. has been very positive. I love working with my coworkers and supervisors because they are committed and have great ideas to support the program. Working for an anti-underage drinking campaign has brought me into the realization that people my age are struggling with this issue. Working for the campaign gives me an opportunity to help better my community and reach out to my youth and help them make better decisions.


My name is Sikarra Nicholas and I’ve been with B.A.C.C.A for more than a year and working with this program has changed the way i looked at things before I thought that drinking wasn’t a big deal and that i couldn’t do any harm . I was careless when i came to my thoughts on drinking,working with this program has showed me that drinking is very harmful and it can hurt you mentally and can hurt my body . doing this program has showed me that most teens are and taught about the thing that can happen when you drink and that we are not asked our opinions and that we are kind of push aside but when we are asked to show our thoughts it sheds a little light on things . Im very glad that i was able to work with B.A.C.C.A and if i had the chance i’d do it again.

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