Things That Matter

An Organization Offers People A Chance To “Rent” Destroyed Buildings In Mexico As A Form Of Donation To Rebuilding Costs

People in Mexico City are still cleaning up the destruction caused by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook central and southern Mexico on Sept. 19. As the debris is being cleared, residents are getting a better picture of the damage throughout the city. More than 300 people have died as a result of the earthquake. Thousands are homeless.

Edgar “Fader” Elorza and Angel “Cheche” Rodriguez, two creative directors from Anonimo, an ad agency in Mexico City, are raising money in a unique way to help those who no longer have a place to call home.

Edgar Elorza / Facebook

The two creative directors from the Mexico City ad agency Anonimo decided to take a different approach to raising money, according to AdAge. They created Arriba México, a website that looks and feels like a rental/hotel booking company (think Airbnb). But instead of booking a room to stay in, you click on a property and send a donation to help rebuilding efforts.


Arriba México

When you enter the site, you see eight different properties that are available for “rent,” including a listing price per night. The properties are mainly in Roma and Condesa, two hip Mexico City neighborhoods that were hit hard by the earthquake. The site also includes properties in Oaxaca, Puebla, Morelos, and Chiapas. People who visit the website can choose a property and “book” as many nights as they wish. Rather than actually staying at those properties, the site visitor will give that money as a donation to help rebuild Mexico City.

According to AdAge, the funds raised will initially be used to create tent shelters that are safe and effective. The tents will be able to house up to five people, giving families who have lost their homes a place to sleep while relief efforts in the city continue. According to the Arriba México website, the temporary shelters given to those left homeless from the earthquake will include beds, lamps, pantry, kitchen kit, stove and water filters. The New York Times reported that more than 60 buildings collapsed or were severely damaged as a result of the earthquake, including residential apartment buildings.


Arriba México

All of the funds are being donated to Comité de Ayuda a Desastres y Emergencias Nacionales (CADENA), an organization that specializes in helping those affected by natural disasters in Mexico.

The creators of the fundraising initiative are hoping to get Airbnb onboard with the mission. According to AdAge, Anonimo has reached out to Airbnb asking them to get involved. At the time of this article, Arriba México has raised USD $16,230.70/MXN $295,590.00.

They’re also are hoping to use it to help other people affected by natural disasters, like Puerto Rico.

“One thing we love about it is that it is an idea that can become global,” Raul Cardos, the founder and president of Anonimo, told AdAge about the fundraising campaign.


READ: Here’s Where You Can Donate To Those Affected By The Earthquakes In Mexico And Hurricanes In Puerto Rico






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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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