By Nichole Harwood
Albuquerque’s local nonprofit organization Medicine Drum Circle has been putting their efforts together to help the families of asylum seekers at the New Mexico and Mexican border. The group’s two recent events “Then They Came for Me,” a benefit Calavera dance, followed by an art auction the next day took place Nov. 2 and 3. The event was a powerful combination of two communities coming together for a cause.
The group has worked tirelessly to raise funds for asylum seekers and their families, joined together on the core beliefs of building awareness in the state about the current condition of the New Mexico and Mexico border.
The November events were a result of more than two month’s worth of labor where group members reached out to Albuquerque’s local artist community for donated pieces of art to fundraise.
Virginia Marie Racon, Co-Executive Director of Medicine Drum Circle Reverend, said the group has been planning events throughout the city to call attention to the separation of families at the border in a peaceful way. One event that has been ongoing from the group is a “Vigil for the Border Children,” when witnesses gather on, Lomas and 3rd Street in downtown Albuquerque for the children and families that are separated.
“Rain or snow [witnesses] have been there drumming because we believe in a nonviolent approach to our work and transformative change,” Racon said.
This non-violent approach is reflected in the name of the non-profit, which represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth. According to the group’s Facebook Page, this signifies coming together with the drums to find healing for themselves, communities and all living things.
Each time the group gathers Racon said they try to spread out, which has resulted in more individuals hearing and listening to their message. The results have empowered the group whom Racon said have been adding more and more to each event.
Mia Spiegel, one attendee of the recent event, said she attended to help support spreading awareness in her community.
“History repeats itself with immigration,” Spiegel said. “People feel like they own the land and that they’re supposed to be here more so than others and it’s a problem. Its always been a problem.”
Medicine Drum Circle’s fundraising events within both the art and Albuquerque community have proven successful with each event receiving sizable donations for the group’s cause. After the Nov. 2 and 3 event, the group announced on Facebook that they had raised 3,000 dollars from their efforts to get supplies down to the border to help asylum seekers.
“I think the most important thing is to pay attention and listen,” Racon said. “Get out and do what you can. What little you can. Whatever you can to try and get the children back together with their parents.”
To learn more about Medicine Drum Circle you can find them on Facebook @medicinedrumcircle or online at www.medicinedrumcircle.org
Featured Art Credited to Eliana Enriquez
Photo Courtesy of @medicinedrumcircle