Locals raised nearly $6,000 for disaster relief in Mexico and Puerto Rico last weekend at a San Juan Bautista fundraiser organized by El Teatro Campesino performer Noé Montoya and a committee of local community members.
“There’s not enough words to thank people for what happened Saturday,” he said.
The landmark theater group’s playhouse on Fourth Street in San Juan Bautista hosted an enthusiastic crowd and an assortment of dancers, food vendors, crafters and musicians. A silent auction featured a framed print by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, a one-night stay at the Posada de San Juan and a script of the 1980s film Stand and Deliver autographed by actor Edward James Olmos.
“I’m so proud of this community,” Montoya said. “All the volunteers, the bands, everyone was there for us no questions asked. It was incredible.”
An 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Sept.7 and killed at least 90 people. It was the country’s largest earthquake in a century. Two weeks later a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico City and killed hundreds of people. That earthquake took place on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed around 10,000 people.
On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. The Category 4 storm’s winds reached 155 miles per hour and killed 51 people. A majority of the island’s residents—all American citizens—this week were still without power and nearly half were without drinking water.