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Dear Editor

Benefit Concert contacts

On September 24, in the middle of torrential rain, about 350 people cycled through MuVarte for “A Oaxaca con Amor,” a concert to benefit the hardest hit and poorest Oaxacan communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Over five hours, some 30 musicians filled MuVarte with incredible music, including torch songs, funk, oldies, contemporary jazz, solo piano, traditional Latin American songs, and more. The XUC Trio closed the evening with a great finale.

Unofficially, we raised just over 250,000 pesos (about US$14,000), and we await more from Silent Auction credit card pledges. A large chunk of money has been distributed; the rest goes out over the next few weeks. Large cartons laden with goods donated by concert attendees already have gone out.

We have two main contacts in the Isthmus. Cultural anthropologist Denise Lechner is working nonstop buying and distributing supplies and has helped set up a mobile health clinic for the coastal indigenous communities in and around San Mateo del Mar. Juan Lopez Toledo, father of San Miguel resident Rodrigo Lopez, is an elder and chairman of UHGO, A.C. It focuses on improving the lives of the extremely poor in Juchitán de Zaragoza and Unión Hidalgo.

Funds are helping right now to fuel trucks transporting critically needed relief items, such as tarps for temporary shelter (it is raining there, too), pallets to keep people and supplies dry, and medical supplies. We have been able to partially fund some aid trips to these areas for sanmiguelenses who are willing to put their boots on the ground—photographer Russell Monk, pilot Rusty Henson, Selva Lampreabe and Eduardo Calvo, and musician Ana Karen Aboytes and Alfonso.

Longer term, funds will assist UHGO and the community action group Colectivo Binni Cubi in developing a bathroom rebuilding program. This will address earthquake-caused sanitation issues and provide employment to the people.

Long “thank you” lists mostly are not read but should be. If you have a moment, take a look and give a silent “gracias” to these people. They did something important desde sus corazones (from their hearts).

Alexis White; Maria Sanchez; Denise Rosenfeld; Patrice Wynne; Adriana and Jorge from MuVarte; Carrie Cameron/Rusty Henson and Magic Town; the generous artists, photographers, and vacation providers who donated to the Silent Auction; Mercado Sano; Nancy Howze and Jim Dolan of CDR/Christie’s; Dr. Dave of San Miguel Events/LOKKAL; Ron Lennox of DiscoverSMA; Phillip Hertz; and our musicians: Maria Sanchez, Julian Arcos, Alex Gutierrez, Victor Monterrubio, Ruben Olvera, Gabe Heiser, Bob Block, Carmi Simon, Rick Shlosser, Ken Bichel, Paco Rivera, Ana Karen, Ariel, Pawis, Andrea and Luis (Bohemia Viva), Elsa Sommarstrom, Moises, Miguel Kegel, Sonny, Susan Varcoe, Lady Zen, Brigham Golden, and the XUC Trio (JuanJo, Jorge, Chuck).

Rebuilding will take months, even years. If you wish to donate, I will gladly accept your donation. It will get it to the right place. Donating via Paypal will also be put to good use:

Thanks a million to everyone who participated at every level. Speaking for those who love to make music, it was an extra privilege to apply our talents for this.

All the best,

Doug Robinson


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