Shakira, one of the most successful Spanish singers of all time, reunited with Alejandro Sanz and other Latin American singers to raise awareness about childhood poverty in Latin America. Two simultaneous benefit concerts dedicated to the same cause took place on Saturday in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Shakira and Sanz performed in Buenos Aires. A wealth of other Latin American singers performed, including Gustavo Cerati, Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, MANÁ, Miguel Bosé, and Ricky Martin.

More than 60 percent of the 52 million children in Latin America live in poverty. All proceeds from the concerts will benefit ALAS (Latin America in Solidarity Action); the Spanish word ”alas” means ”wings” in English. ALAS is a nonprofit organization that presses governments and businesses to donate funds to improve the lives of Latin American children living in poverty. Shakira helped raise $200 million in donations from Carlos Slim and Howard Buffett for ALAS.

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For the general public, the concerts were free of charge and united approximately 150,000 people in Buenos Aires and 200,000 people in Mexico City. According to ALAS ”your commitment is your admission ticket.” However, since the demand for tickets exceeded the supply, not all fans were able to obtain a free tickets. As such, a secondary market evolved from fan comments on sites such as MúsicaInstantá, were tickets were going for 30 Argentinean pesos each.

In an interview with Reuters, Shakira expressed her motivation to help her community. ”Artists have a tremendous power to communicate, to reach people, to woo, to inspire. It’s an important and fundamental part of my life to be able to use my public profile to make certain issues visible, issues that are more important than my own career, that are more urgent and need immediate attention.” In addition to being a spokesperson for ALAS, Shakira is the founder and honorary president of Pies Descalzos, an organization dedicated to enriching the education of Columbia’s children.

Shakira's fans show support.
Shakira and Alejandro Sanz

Shakira’s fan show their support in Buenos Aires.
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