Created By: University of Massachusetts Boston
At this site, you will listen to an introduction by Dr. Lorna Rivera about the history of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción and Villa Victoria. In the early 20th century, abandoned by Boston's politicians, the South End became an affordable neighborhood for immigrant and lower income communities, among them Syrians, Greeks, African Americans, Chinese Americans, and Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans settled primarily in the area between Tremont and Washington Streets known as Parcel 19. While apartments were affordable, the condition of the housing was deplorable and the neighborhood soon became targeted in the 1950s as part of Boston's so-called urban renewal project where "renewed" meant "demolished." A group of mostly Puerto Rican residents met in the basement of St. Stephen’s Church in the late 1960’s to fight for their community. The group which incorporated as the Emergency Tenants’ Council (ETC) and later formed the sister social service organization, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), rallied the neighborhood with the motto "no nos mudaremos de la parcela 19"—“We’re not going to move from Parcel 19.” How did Boston's Puert Rican community resist so-called "urban renewal"? How did they organize to make a stronger community for themselves and future generations?
Next, read this article from CUNY Hunter College's Center for Puerto Rican Studies: https://centropr-archive.hunter.cuny.edu/centrovoices/barrios/honoring-villa-victoria
Then, read this Bay State Banner article on the 50th anniversary of Villa Victoria: https://www.baystatebanner.com/2017/11/29/iba-looks-back-at-50-years-of-community-achievements/
Finally, read this Bay State Banner article on a new mural that was painted in 2021 by Héctor Collazo to honor Puerto Rican heritage: https://www.baystatebanner.com/2021/10/06/painting-puerto-rican-pride-in-bostons-south-end/
This point of interest is part of the tour: Resisting Colonialism at Villa Victoria Walking Tour