This past weekend I had an unexpected opportunity to sneak “backstage” at the Organization of American States (OAS) and interview one of Ecuador’s rising pop stars, the talented balladeer: Juan Fernando Velasco.
His ballads have enamored thousands, not only in his native country but also in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica. He is soon to release his third CD out of Miami after sharing the stage in March with Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bose, Carlos Vives and others at a Peace concert in the jungle between the Venezuela-Colombian border. At this “Paz Sin Fronteras concert” Juanes joined him to sing “Yo Naci Aqui”, a hit song and the inspiration for his vision. You can watch them perform the song below:
In an interview for GeneracionLatina after his concert at the 2nd Annual Ecuadorian Cultural Festival he shared about his new foundation Yo Naci Aqui which seeks to build national identity and pride among Ecuadorians at home and abroad.
In an interview after his concert at the 2nd Annual Ecuadorian Cultural Festival he shared about his new foundation “Yo Naci Aqui” which seeks to build national identity and pride among Ecuadorians at home and abroad.
“We are trying to build a new mentality in regards to the meaning of sovereignty in our country. In order to make it our own, we need to fight in an optimistic manner, with solidarity and democracy,” said Velasco.
But for him, it’s just the beginning. We have seen a rise of young but established artists in Latin America who’ve sought to carry their influence from the stage over to the poorest pueblos. Juanes and Shakira both benefit Colombia with their own visions through Fundacion Mi Sangre and Fundacion Piez Descalzos and have come together recently in peace marches and concerts to demand the liberation of all hostages held by Colombian rebel groups.
Nonetheless, as big a fan that I am with all these artists, the real question to ask is: after all the photo-ops and publicity is over, who is really investing in the future, in peace efforts, in education? It’s very easy to join a concert and help with words. But the real help is done through money and action. …Just a thought…take things, all things, with a grain of salt! En otras palabras…no creas todo lo que ves.