A Oaxaca Con Amor Raises over $250,000 Pesos

Doug Robinson and Isthmus Amigos

By Alexis White

 

The weekend before a second massive earthquake hit Oaxaca, musician Doug Robinson knew he wanted to hold a benefit concert. By Monday, he and fellow musician Paco Rivera had secured a venue and commitments from more than 30 musicians to donate their talents. Additionally, the concert organizers began reaching out to key community leaders in Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the hardest hit region and poorest in the state.

A Oaxaca con Amor took place on Sunday, September 24. Despite torrential rains, about 350 people cycled to art gallery MuVarte to enjoy five hours of music that ran the gamut. Concert-goers filled a dozen large moving cartons with goods. Mercado Sano vendors donated a portion of their sales. A silent auction offered a vacation package at Bahia de la Luna on Oaxaca’s untouched Playa la Boquilla, a thermal beach day and brunch for 10 at Los Senderos, plus photos, wearable art, and more.

Altogether, the concert raised over 250,000 pesos (about US $14,000). A large portion of the money was donated immediately. The rest is being distributed on an as-needed basis. The cartons reached their intended destinations.

Robinson has been working with two Isthmus contacts: cultural anthropologist Denise Lechner, who provides critical services, including a mobile health clinic for San Mateo del Mar and its coastal neighbors, and Juan Lopez Toledo, father of San Miguel resident Rodrigo Lopez, an elder and chairman of UHGO, a long-established nonprofit focusing on Juchitán de Zaragoza and Unión Hidalgo.

Funds have helped purchase tarps, cots, pallets, and medical supplies, as well as fuel for the trucks and airplanes that delivered them. The proceeds have also assisted San Miguelenses to put their boots on the ground, including pilot Rusty Henson, photographers Russell Monk, Selva Lampreabe, and Eduardo Calvo, and musicians Ana Karen Aboytes and Alfonso.

“Longer term,” Robinson said, “concert funds will assist UHGO and the Unión Hidalgo community action group Colectivo Binni Cubi in a bathroom rebuilding program that provides local employment and addresses quake-related sanitation issues. Rebuilding will take months, even years. I am still accepting donations, and Denise Lechner has created PayPal.me/deniselechner to receive donations as well,” he added.

“If I can speak for the musicians,” Robinson said, “it was a privilege to apply our talents this way. And Paco and I could not have accomplished this event without these amazing San Miguelenses and many more: Maria Sanchez, Denise Rosenfeld, Alexis White, Patrice Wynne, Adriana and Jorge from MuVarte, Carrie Cameron/Rusty Henson and Magic Town, the generous donors to the silent auction, Mercado Sano, Nancy Howze and Jim Dolan of CDR/Christie’s, Rodrigo Lopez and family, Tamara Ruiz, Diane Goldie, Kathy Sulkes, Dr. Dave of San Miguel Events/LOKKAL, Ron Lennox of DiscoverSMA, and 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, Ana Karen, Ariel, Pawis, Andrea and Luis (Bohemia Viva), Elsa Sommarstrom, Moises, Miguel Kegal, Sonny, Susan Varcoe, Lady Zen, Brigham Golden, and JuanJo, Jorge, and Chuck of the XUC Trio.”

 

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