On the morning of Saturday April 17 students of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS), university students, and community residents were engaged in community service activities in Humboldt Park and along Paseo Boricua.
PACHS students pulled out weeds and planted beautiful flowers into the fresh soil in the planters on Division Street. William Nieves, 19, a student at PACHS explained that it was an exhausting activity, but when asked how he felt doing volunteer work for his very own community, he quickly perked up and said “It feels good to help, especially when it benefits the community we live in.”
The high school students also planted flowers at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Cultural (IPRAC).The process of planting the flowers kept the PACHS students and staff busy from 9 a.m. until 1pm “I learned something new – how to plant flowers,” said PACHS Senior Ashley Rodríguez, 17, while reflecting on her community service experience.
There was another large group of people picking up garbage in Humboldt Park. Jason Gaya, who will be graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) this month was one of the university students helping out. Gaya was encouraged to participate through a Latino Studies class at UIC. “If everyone helps out, in the end you’ll have a cleaner park,” said Gaya, adding that the nice weather didn’t hurt.
Thanks to the hard work of the community volunteers, those who walk down Division St. or visit IPRAC will find pretty, colorful flowers for all to enjoy. Volunteers were rewarded for their hard work at the Humboldt Park Boat House with a variety of food choices and cool beverages to quench their thirst after having endured the hot rays of sun as they labored for the Humboldt Park community.