By: Fredwill Hernandez
Two time Latin Grammy nominated Regional Mexican act Voz de Mando, held a press conference Tues.- June 13, at Placita Olvera, Los Angeles, Ca., to announce that through their voice, musical platform, and songs like “Soldado Latinoamericano,” Spanish for “Latin American Soldier,” featured on their compilation album Clase de Historia, [History Class] released March 31, 2017, they stand in solidarity with [The] Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM) and their mission to empower, raise money, and fight for immigrants rights.
COFEM, who among other things, advocates and encourages immigrants [permanent residents] who qualify to become citizens, also raises money and awards scholarships for AB540 and Obama’s Childhood Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program students. Since 2008 the non-profit has helped more than 330 students complete their higher education.
During the press conference, two past COFEM Scholarship recipients gave testimonies of what the scholarships meant.
“The COFEM scholarship really helped a lot, it eased some the financial burden and having Voz De Mando here is also touching and encouraging, so we [immigrants] feel that we are not alone,” expressed Ricardo Beltran, 21, who is able to attend California State University Northridge through the DACA program. “My dream is to attend law school and become a Constitution/Immigration Lawyer.”
East Los Angeles College student Brenda Ayala echoed Beltran comments, “The COFEM Scholarship really helped me with my tuition and books, I am currently completing my first two years in general studies at ELAC and my plan is to transfer to UCLA, to their school of medicine, and after I graduate and become successful here in the United States, I plan to pay it forward, volunteer and also give back.”
“We are humbly grateful to be here with all of you, including Voz De Mando, who not only through their [musical] voice, but through their action are here to say, ‘we are here with you in this difficult time to support your programs,'” eloquently expressed Annabella Bastida, Executive Director, COFEM, who was joined at the press conference by her COFEM colleagues Francisco Moreno, Community Director, and Raul Macias, Vice President, before introducing the group.
“With all the recent discrimination and attacks immigrants have endured, we thought it was relevant and very important to record and include “Soldado Latinoamericano” penned by Ernesto Rico in our compilation album Clase de Historia, and people [immigrants] have really identified with the song,” expressed Voz De Mando’s Miguel Gaxiola who along with his brother, Jorge [Gaxiola] lead vocalist, founded the group in 2002. “All royalties from the song, and the first $5,000 dollars from our June 25th show at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena will be donated to COFEM and we hope other musical groups joins us and do the same.”