On a quiet Tuesday afternoon, the earth started to shake in South-Central Mexico. Mexico City and other surrounding cities suffered a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake that took the lives of hundreds of people and many of the homes, schools and buildings where they lived and worked.

Due to the devastation caused by the natural disaster, the suffering of many Mexican people is great, and their need for support is even greater—that’s why on Sunday, Oct. 8, the Division of Student Affairs and Vice President Eliseo “Cheo” Torres are collaborating on a benefit concert to aid the relief effort.

“As many of you know, a number of our students at The University of New Mexico come from the State of Morelos, Mexico, to earn a degree or participate in shorter programs,” said Torres. “This earthquake has impacted many of their families and friends.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Committee, Casa Barelas, Telemundo, Encuentro, and a number of musical groups. Two non-profit groups from Mexico, Culture Heals and Citizens Movement to Protect the Environment, are also joining the benefit which starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at Casa Barelas, 1024 4th Street SW in Albuquerque.

Participants will be treated to musical performances by La Bondad Nortena, El Trio Latino and several others, as well as food and other fun events. 

“The community of Coatetlco, Morelos, most impacted by the earthquake, is made up of roughly 15,000 people who dedicate themselves to agriculture and ranching,” said Torres. “Our relationship with working with the State of Morelos dates back to over 20 years ago and it’s important for us to help if we can.”

Supporting hurricane victims
UNM faculty and graduate students from the Department of Communication and Journalism are volunteering efforts for three fundraising concerts designed to help raise funds for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The concerts, hosted by Second Presbyterian Church, will be held Oct. 6, 7 and 15. All events are open to the public.

UNM faculty and graduate students from Puerto Rico are volunteering their efforts by working with the organizing committee to publicize the event on campus and throughout the community. They will also assist during the events and facilitate donations.

The first event takes place Friday, Oct. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Second Presbyterian Church located at 812 Edith Blvd NE, in Albuquerque. The night will feature violinist and Music Director Maestro Guillermo Figueroa, violinist Valerie Turner, Jazz guitarist Marcos Cavalcante, pianist Dr. Mariano Morales, members of Los Pleneros de la 21, and other local artists performing a variety of musical styles. Freewill donations are accepted.

The second event is Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center where Los Pleneros de la 21, an Afro-Puerto Rican bomba and plena ensemble, will perform. Donations will be accepted at the concert.

The third and final concert is Sunday, Oct. 15 at 4 P.M. at Second Presbyterian Church. The night will feature salsa bands Terra Plena, Café Mocha, and DJ Pedro. There will be a dance floor, Puerto Rican food for sale and a domino tournament. Tickets will be available at the door for $20 per person.

Those unable to attend who would like to make a donation can mail a check with a note indicating the funds are for the Puerto Rico Relief Fund to:

Second Presbyterian Church
Attn. Puerto Rico Relief Fund
812 Edith Blvd NE
Albuquerque, N.M.  87102

Gofundme also has a hub that includes several ongoing campaigns for victims of Hurricane María.