On April 28 in El Paso, Texas, The Irish Mexican Alliance rides again with a raucous night of entertainment and cross cultural solidarity, all to bring awareness to and raise money for organizations dealing with the trauma of the U.S.-Mexico narco war.
Some of the most popular bands in the Borderland, along with an impressive collection of poets and other artists, are coming together under that banner of THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE to stage a major fundraising event in downtown El Paso, TX on Sat., April 28. The event will raise money for the El Paso-based charity, Amor por Juárez, an organization that helps fund non-governmental organizations dealing with the trauma caused by the narco war in the U.S.-Mexico borderland.
Along with its serious intent, THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE event promises to be a raucous night of entertainment, as well as a formidable display of cross-cultural solidarity. There will be Celtic and Mexican music, Chicano and Irish poets, Mexican and Irish beer. Books, CDs, posters, and t-shirts created especially for the event will be raffled off for charity. The event will be held at the historic San Carlos Building at 501 Texas Avenue, in downtown El Paso, from 6-12 pm. The suggested donation for the event is $12.
“There is nothing quite like The Irish Mexican Alliance,” said best-selling author T.J. English, who founded the initiative and will be hosting the event. “We believe there is a spiritual connection between Mexican and Irish people that can be harnessed as a powerful force. In this case, along with staging one of the best concert events to hit El Paso in some time, we will raise money for organizations dealing with the ongoing emotional and human carnage of the narco war.”
Among the entertainers performing at the event are Frontera Bugalú and Radio La Chusma, two of the most popular bands in El Paso; singer Velia Christina, a rising star who will perform songs from her upcoming debut CD; the San Patricios, an El Paso-based traditional Irish music group; and Ashley Davis, a Celtic singer who is being flown in from New York City. On the literary side, renowned Chicano poet and author Jimmy Santiago Baca will read, along with local poets Valentin Sandoval and Terrence Welsh, and Myrlin Hepworth, a dynamic young Chicano poet based in Phoenix.
THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE began in 2010 in NYC with the staging of a similar event in Manhattan. At that event, money was raised for the Committee to Protect Journalists, who established a fund to provide legal assistant to journalists forced to flee Mexico and seek asylum in the U.S. due to threats and the murder of fellow journalists in Mexico.
“Anything that brings attention to what is happening across the border in Juárez is important,” says Valentin Sandoval, a local poet, filmmaker and activist who is a co-producer of the event. “There is a danger people will get tired of hearing about what’s happening there, or simply forget. We want to help make sure that doesn’t happen, and also, at the same, create a special night showcasing some of the most talented artists in El Paso.”
In addition to calling attention to the devastating consequences of the narco war, THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE draws its impetus from the historical spirit of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of mostly Irish American soldiers who, during the U.S.-Mexico War of 1845-48, deserted the U.S. army to fight on behalf of the Mexican people. Although the San Patricios are thought of as traitors by some (many were executed as traitors by the U.S. military), THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE celebrates the sacrifice of the San Patricios as an example of men and women following their conscience and standing up to what they saw as injustice and imperialist aggression.
For more information about THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE and the upcoming event in El Paso, visit the Facebook page and/or website at www.irishmexicanalliance.org.