CHICAGO (CBS) — A destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico and earthquakes in Mexico bring Chicago’s Mexican and Puerto Rican communities together to try to help.
The “Chicago for Mexico and Puerto Rico Relief Fund” is being organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance. Checks are being accepted by both groups. An account has been set up at the Wintrust Bank branch in Pilsen.
“The funds will be directed to the Red Cross in both places and we want to make sure the funds go directly to the people who need it the most,” said Carlos Cardenas of the Museum of Mexican Art.
When you have tragedies of this magnitude, it’s about humanity, not about nationalism,” he said.
Carlos Hernandez, executive director of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance calls the partnership “historic.”
“We’re hoping that all of us can see in our hearts, whatever nationality you be, to use the humanity that you have, to help,” said Juan Mendez, chairman of the board of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.
Antonio Pazaran has worked at the museum for nine years and said he has family and friends in Mexico.
“We’re trying to get in touch with all my family in Mexico City. Obviously we couldn’t do it by regular landline. My mom and I have been trying to get a hold of all of them, the uncles, and the only way to do that was through the phone app, What’s App,” Pazaran said.
He said all his family were accounted for via What’s App. He said getting actual phone calls through has been extremely spotty.
One of Pazaran’s cousins posted videos of what people are really in need of including, “shovels, picks, those masks to cover for dust,” he said.
An account has been set up at the Wintrust Bank branch on 18th and Blue Island Avenue in the Pilsen neighborhood.
Checks can be sent there or to the National Museum of Mexican Art or the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance with the “Chicago for Mexico and Puerto Rico Relief Fund” listed in the memo section.
The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance is at 3000 N. Elbridge Avenue, Chicago, 60618.
The National Museum of Mexican Art is at 1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, 60608.
Otherwise, donations can be made online at NationalMuseumofMexicanArt.org/relief.