For many Americans, the events earlier this week in Las Vegas have overshadowed the fact that, in both Mexico and the Caribbean, people are still hurting from a string of natural disasters that will take months or even years to fully recover from. In Mexico, although the search for survivors from last month's 7.1 magnitude earthquake has ended, reconstruction efforts are just getting underway and are expected to cost more than $1 billion. In Puerto Rico, nearly half the residents still don't have access to clean drinking water more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria knocked out the U.S. territory's entire power grid and cut off many rural areas from the outside world. In other parts of the Caribbean, including the island nation of Dominica, the devastation was even worse.
Aid in these parts of the world is still desperately needed. So this Sunday, Oct. 8, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles will host an eight-hour benefit concert called #LAMúsicaHelps. Featuring 11 musical artists representing a broad range of Latino styles and sounds, the concert costs just $20 to attend, with all proceeds and donations going to emergency relief organizations.
Among the artists confirmed to perform (along with surprise celebrity appearances) are Cambalache (son jarocho), Chacombo (Afro-Peruvian), Cunyá (bomba), La Verdad (salsa), Nancy Sanchez (mariachi pop), Quetzal (Chicano rock), Rumbakente (timba), Samba Society (samba), San Miguel (contemporary Cuban), Son del Centro (jarocho) and Filarmónica Maqueos Music (traditional Oaxaca). There will be food, beverage and craft vendors, who also have agreed to donate the day's proceeds to relief efforts. Betto Arcos, host of KPFK's Global Village, will serve as the benefit's music director and emcee.
If you can't attend the concert, it will be streamed live via LA Plaza's Facebook page. If you can, it all kicks off at noon on Sunday, Oct. 8. Kids under 8 and seniors over 65 get in free before 2 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased here.
Here's hoping the plaza is packed and much money is raised. The people of Mexico and the Caribbean still need all the help they can get.