On April 28, 2016, El Rescate Transitional Living Program celebrated its four-year anniversary. From the untrained eye, an attendee of the celebration could easily have assumed this program is well funded with an unlimited amount of resources. But the reality is far different, as of June 2015; El Rescate had not received any funding due to the budget crisis in the state of Illinois.
The celebration was held at the Puerto Rican Museum of Arts and Culture where many community leaders and supporters come together in celebration of El Rescate’s anniversary. In Attendance was Mona Noriega, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Dept. of Human Relations, Joe Betancourt, Real Estate Developer in Humboldt Park, and Aida Giachello from the Northwestern University.
The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Oliver Aguilar from DIFFA who so eloquently spoke about El Rescate’s commitment to homeless LGBTQ youth, and his commitment to helping El Rescate continue their work for many years to come.
Performances by El Rescate’s very own Marcel Vaughan who performed the Black keys on the piano, and Fabian and his Cuatro, who performed while dinner was served, were well received by the audience. In Addition, near the end of the celebration, Paseo Boricua’s very own Africaribe closed out the celebration with a very culturally relevant performance showcasing Bomba and Plena. Bomba and Plenaare percussion-driven musical traditions from Puerto Rico that at one time was a source of political and spiritual expression.
El Rescate Transitional Living Program was built on the pillars of the Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park and what makes El Rescate successful is the community from which it sprouted. Through fundraisers, and donations from the Humboldt Park community is what has helped sustain El Rescate through all its hardships. For this reasons this celebration was so extraordinary, being able to survive without much funding is a testament to all who have supported El Rescate all year long. El Rescate staff would like to thank all the supporters, from John Carrasquillo to Jesy Groce who have so selflessly assisted in keeping El Rescate alive, and of course the PRCC whom has been the anchor of El Rescate.