From August 31 to September 2, 2018, Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, led by Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward), State Rep. Cynthia Soto, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Juan Antonio Corretjer, as well as other elected officials, sponsored the 25th Fiesta Boricua (2018) also known as “de Bandera a Bandera”. This festival, which is the largest two-day Puerto Rican festival in the Midwest, annually draws thousands of visitors.
Among the festivities and events were a back-to-school carnival, a press conference, and the annual Noche Jibara/Guayabera Gala, as well as two days of festivities with the best of Puerto Rican food, music, and art history represented.
The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN) was well-represented, with President and CEO Michael D. Nieves, Chief Learning and Development Officer Maryann Marrapodi, Angel Audiffred, Marketing Manager and L. Alejandro Molina attending the various functions.
During the Friday press conference, Michael D. Nieves announced a new pre-school educational technology partnership between HITN, the largest Latino cable non-commercial network in the United States, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Juan Antonio Corretjer and its childcare, Centro Infantil Consuelo Lee Corretjer (CIC), beginning with the donation of 100+ iPads with staff training, over 20 pre-installed children’s bilingual, math, and other STEM-based apps. HITN will continue this initiative with HITN Puerto Rico in Comerío, Loiza and San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, and its municipal daycares. “It’s my silver anniversary in Chicago, as I was also here 25 years ago. This is an honor for us, we are in 44 million households, and one of most significant markets for us is Chicago, so we are committed to the community here.”
In addition to the above, the Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago presented a check for $20,000 as part of the 3R’s Campaign 4 Puerto Rico to the Mayor of Loiza, Julia Nazario Fuentes.
The list of distinguished participants at the press conference, in addition to HITN leadership, included: Hon. Julia Nazario Mayor of Loiza, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Puerto Rican Patriot Oscar López Rivera, New York State Assemblyman José Rivera, State Representative Cynthia Soto, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Congressional Candidate Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, PRCC Executive Director José E. López and Childcare Director Xóchitl Ramírez.
After the press conference, HITN’s Maryann Marrapodi, and CIC Director Ramírez, demonstrated the iPads and apps to the childcare students.