Voz de Mando Donates Song Proceeds to Immigrant Students
Regional Mexican stars’ earnings from the single “Soldado Latinoamericano” are routed towards Latino students' scholarships.
Voz de Mando’s latest single “Soldado Latinoamericano” tells the story of a young Mexican man who joins the U.S. military in his quest for American citizenship and an education, and ends up fighting in a war overseas.
“With the current administration there has been hostility toward immigrants in general and also to Latinos in particular,” the Grammy-nominated group’s Miguel Gaxiola tells Billboard. “It’s time to join forces.”
Los Angeles-based Voz de Mando is donating all proceeds from “Soldado Latinoamericano” to the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, a three-decade old organization whose mission is “to empower immigrant communities to be full participants in the social, political, economic, and cultural life of the United States and their home country.” COFEM (the acronym for the organization’s Spanish name) provides help with citizen applications and other immigration assistance. The organization's web site also currently offers a link to an emergency plan for immigrants in the United States, to provide them with tools to be prepared, in case of deportation proceedings or other migratory issues.
Gaxiola sings and plays bajo sexto, and his brother, Jorge, is a vocalist who plays accordion in the band. They were born in the U.S. to Mexican parents; their father came to California to work in the fields. “Soldado Latinoamericano’ talks about Latino pride,” Miguel Gaxiola says.
The song was written by Ernesto “Rico” Hernandez, whose songs have also been recorded by popular regional Mexican artists El Dasa and Los Huracanes del Norte. Funds donated to COFEM by Voz de Mando will be destined for scholarships for immigrant students, Gaxiola explained, including undocumented students who are not eligible for public funding.
The band presented a first check for $5000 from sales of over two weeks of the single to representatives of the organization at a concert in Pico Rivera (in Los Angeles County) last Sunday (June 25). The members of Voz de Mando encouraged the audience at the show to buy the single to contribute to their donation efforts.
“We want to raise our voices,” says Gaxiola. “And what better way could we do it than through music?”