Come Dance and Listen to María and Benefit Amigos del Parque Guadiana

By Signe Hammer

María Chávez

San Miguel’s own María will entertain at VC and Friends on Wednesday, Feb 18, with songs for dancing and listening to benefit Amigos del Parque Guadiana. Well-known to Sanmiguelenses, María plans a mixed bill in two sets, including Latin love songs, songs to great dance beats like bachata and cumbia, and golden oldies in English. She will be accompanied by Alejandro Gutiérrez on electronic synthesizer. Intermission will feature a DJ to keep the energy up. Admission includes a free drink, with tapas available to fuel the dancing.

Amigos del Parque Guadiana (APG) is a group of neighbors dedicated to restoring beautiful but rundown Guadiana Park. Heavily used by residents and visitors, the park accommodates families with small children, dog walkers, strollers and bench-sitters, student groups, and courting couples. It’s badly in need of upkeep; its walkways and plazas are cracked and uneven, hazardous to old and young and impossible for the disabled. Its trees and plants have largely been neglected.

APG has an ambitious Master Plan to restore and improve the park, with smooth, fully accessible walkways and plazas, game tables for chess and checkers, and new gardens with succulents and plants to attract bees and butterflies. Already, the group has cleaned the centuries-old Mezquite trees of the epiphytes and parasites that were killing them, planted ground cover, and laid down new turf on large areas of bare dirt. The city has installed many new benches and the APG has painted the old ones. Every Saturday morning, neighbors gather in the park to weed, collect litter, and socialize.

The group is in dialogue with city agencies to receive funding or labor assistance and is also raising money to ensure the success of its plan. So, come listen, dance, drink, nibble, and support San Miguel’s most beautiful small park, still a jewel in the rough but already beginning to shine.

María Sanchez, known as María, regularly performs at VC and Friends on Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30pm, so this is a great chance to hear her at a more accessible hour. Before her current gig, she was a long-time singer at La Fragua. She has performed around the world, from Paris to Beijing (at the Mexican Embassy, for then-President Vicente Fox) and points in between.

Tickets are available in advance at La Conexión, Aldama 3 and at Solutions, Recreo 11.


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