Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make Music, Not War

In a city paralyzed by a civil war between drug cartels, Cuidad Juarez is desperately searching for a hero. A dozen people per day are fatally injured in a body count that has reached over 7,200 since late 2008. Something’s got to give...

Funny enough, Cuidad Juarez has found a hero in a former heroine addict. Alma Rosa Gonzalez, a native of the troubled city, has started a youth orchestra in hopes that it will keep the children from falling victim to (or joining) the perilous gang life.

The kids in Gonzalez’ orchestra aren’t strangers to poverty and struggle. They rehearse in a school built on a garbage dump. Recently, two of the school’s classrooms collapsed, and eight people were murdered at a neighboring rehabilitation center by the Mexican Blood gang.

However, parents are continuing to send their kids despite the threats as they view the orchestra as an opportunity for their children to strive and improve. In a city of 1.5 million, making a big change comes from the small, minuscule ones. In fact, Gonzalez has already begun her march to victory. On December 19, seventy of her students will come together to hold a Christmas concert with music by Bach and Handel. Come one, come all...tis‘ the season to turn your life around. Have YOU helped save the world today?

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