Juan Pablo Morales Estrada, guitarist, to play for fundraiser

East Brunswick service002-1 The Community of Friends in Action, Inc., is happy to announce that Juan Pablo Morales Estrada has agreed to perform on the Sunday, November 24, 2013, fundraiser concert. Juan Pablo has been a member of CoFiA for many years, having served for several seasons as a volunteer coordinator of the lunch program and as translator for many functions.

In addition to his volunteer work with CoFiA and other organizations, Juan Pablo is a talented professional singer/songwriter and guitarist. He and his brother performed as Grupo Ellatu before he came to the United States. Here he has performed many times for CoFiA and for other organizations throughout the area.

In addition to these tasks, Juan Pablo served as videographer and co-producer of the film, “Why I Am Here,” which tells the story of one of the CoFiA leaders, reflecting on his childhood and youth in war-torn Guatemala and his experiences in coming to the United States. The powerful video shows, through one person’s account, how it was the economic devastation of his homeland through U.S. policies like NAFTA and CAFTA that forced him to come here to survive and help his family survive.

Juan Pablo is now working on another video, this one documenting the experiences of workers who are routinely cheated of the wages they came here to earn and for which they have worked so hard. The CoFiA Wage Theft committee tries to help as many people as possible, but as the video shows each individual situation presents many challenges and the victories are few.

The Fundraiser will be held at the Legion Hall, 399 Broad Avenue, Leonia, on Sunday, November 24, from 4 – 8 p.m. A varied program of live music, including marimba, guitar, a Guatemalan traditional folk dance group, and the Still Standing Band, will be presented as well as the opportunity to purchase beautiful crafts from Guatemala. Tickets are $10/person, and $20/couple and families. For more information call 201-833-1737.

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