In September of this year, Hurricane Maria caused extensive damage in Puerto Rico, leaving the citizens in a dire situation. Months later, many people are still without electricity and even more without access to clean water. Moved by the tragedy, Universal Peace Federation of Colorado, in partnership with WFWP Colorado and local salsa instructor, Mercy Gonzales, sponsored a fundraiser for disaster relief in Puerto Rico on Saturday, December 9th.
A representative of World Vision, the organization chosen as the recipient of the fundraiser, traveled from Seattle to make a presentation about the work they are doing there to help families devastated by the hurricane. As of November 19, World Vision and local church and community partners had helped nearly 52,000 people, including 17,280 households. Hurricane survivors have received food, water, hygiene kits, tarps, diapers, flood clean-up kits, and other household necessities. Donations from the WFWP Colorado event will help fund such services for victims of the disaster.
After the presentation, event participants were treated to entertainment from some of the premier salsa dancers in the Rocky Mountain region: Colorado New Style Dance Studio and Rocky Mountain Latin Dance Academy. Salsa is a dance that is particularly popular in Puerto Rico. Following the performances, there was a Latin buffet and Mercy Gonzales offered a salsa lesson to all in attendance.
A raffle was held, and many in attendance won prizes donated by local businesses, such as hotel stays, salon services, bike repairs, and lots of other prizes. DJ Noe Monroy then took over so that participants could dance and practice their new salsa skills. The event, together with a GoFundMe page posted by the organizers, raised almost $2000 for disaster relief.
Donations are still being collected, if you feel inspired to help out!