As the national news cycle moves on from the natural disasters that rocked Puerto Rico and Mexico, local residents are coming together to raise funds for impacted residents.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, San Juan Bautista locals will hold a fundraiser at the El Teatro Campesino Playhouse at 705 Fourth St. from 10am to 5pm.
“It’s important for communities to understand that we’re not as different as people want us to believe,” said Noé Montoya, an actor and musician who joined the theater company in 1970 when he was still in high school. “We’re all brothers and sisters. We all cry, feel pain and laugh. When a community in the world is hurting, we all hurt.”
The event will have food vendors, folkloric dancing, music, face painting, balloon sculpting, a silent auction and raffle.
Musical acts include Aromas musician Jesse Martinez, Mr. O’s Jazz Band, Roadside Honey, Cuatro Con Tres, and Helen Najera Reyes and Friends.
All proceeds will go toward disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
“We decided that all the proceeds need to go directly to the people and bypass government officials because unfortunately they take their own cut,” Montoya said. “Some organizations do the same thing—they have overhead. We want every penny to go to the people as much as possible.”
Montoya will team up with Johnny Saldivia, a musician and president of the Puerto Rican Civic Club of the San Jose Executive Board, to get donations to Puerto Rico.
“They’re having a fundraiser themselves,” Montoya said of the civic club. “They’ll be taking the funds directly to Puerto Rico. I talked to Johnny and asked if we can jump onboard and he said ‘of course.’”
While a donation destination for Mexico hasn’t been selected yet, funds could go to Los Topos, a Mexico City volunteer rescue group.