Article & Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
“We have not heard from nor been able to locate our parents in Puerto Rico. We cannot get a flight to the island for two more weeks to go look for them. There is virtually no communication available. Cell towers and power are very limited. We have no idea if they are alive or dead, so we are here supporting this fundraiser as it is the only way we can help those so desperately in need and cope with the anxiety over our loved ones,” said one couple attending the benefit concert for the thousands of people affected by the earthquakes in Mexico and the Hurricanes in Puerto Rico which have left both areas devastated.
Roka Hueka entertained the crowd with their unique sound of Mexican fusion music
A consortium of collaborating organizations and individuals lead by the Latino Chamber of Commerce and Barrio E’ held the Benefit Concert on Thursday, Oct 12th at the McNichols Events Center in Denver. Latin Life Denver was honored to be a media sponsor.
More than a thousand people came out to contribute their time, money and talent. Organizer Jose Beteta of the Boulder Latino Chamber of Commerce told Latin Life Denver that they put the entire event together in just two weeks and the outpouring of help was incredible.
“It is so heartwarming to see so many people come together to support such a good and much needed cause,” Beteta said more than 60 people stepped up to volunteer with many contributing Puerto Rico & Mexican cuisine. Betty Alvarez and Daniel Escalante of Casa Alvarez came from Taos, New Mexico to serve up their special chile verde while other provided gorditas, carnitas and pan dulce.
The non-stop entertainment started at 4pm and went on until nearly midnight. Included Barrio E’ (Puerto Rican Bomba), Colombian dance troupe Latin Explosive Movement (LEM), Mono Verde, Los Hijos de Tuta (Latin Rock), Son Moreno (Cuban Son, Cumbias), Roka Hueka (Latin Ska) and Orquesta La Brava (Salsa). Dance groups COSA and Zumba Jose Jimenez performed dance exhibitions and the event included Timbalin the Clown. John Veit, of Spot on Sound, did an amazing job providing the entire sound system and lighting for the nearly eight hour event.
The event included a silent auction with donated art and items from various talented artists like Arturo Garcia. Food was provided by Dos Abuelas Food Truck, Fruits from Oasis Fruits by Haydee Caraveo and Desserts from La MoMo Maes Bakery.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for those who would like to help. Contributions can be made to the www.gofundme.com/co4prmx
100 percent of proceeds will go towards helping the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the recent Earthquakes in Mexico. Among the organizers are Jose Beteta, director of the Latino Chamber & co-owner of Raíces Brewing Co., Tamil Maldonado, Director of Barrio E’ and co-owner of Raíces Brewing Co. and Aquilles Quiroga, director of Los Hijos de Tuta Latin Rock band in Fort Collins.
Sponsors included. Latin Life Denver/America Media, Stella PR + Marketing, La Familia | The Family Center, The Latino Chamber, Barrio E’, McNichol’s Building, Raíces Brewing Co., Jangueo Boricua, Dos Abuelas Food Truck, Spot On Sound Productions, Americas for Conservation + The Arts.
Two days earlier Evelyn Cartanjena-Meyer and Reed Meyer held a “Give Light to Puerto Rico” Fundraiser at the Sloans Lake Tap Bar in Denver. where they have raised more than $50,000. Evelyn Cartajena told supporters via her facebook page that “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my friends and to our generous community that came to support our event. See photos at: http://www.michaelhystead.com/Photography/Events/GiveLighttoPuertoRico/
Donations can still be made to :http://www.youcaring.com/GivingLight2PuertoRico
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media