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EcoCentro
Sierra Club Gives Mexican Rock Band, Maná, Green Award

En español
Youth Environmental Crusaders Give Award At Latin Alternative Music Awards Show

November 29, 2004
LOS ANGELES, CA -- On Thanksgiving eve, young environmental crusaders Juan Martinez and Andrew Anderson presented the Mexican rock band, Maná, with a Sierra Club-sponsored Green Award at the La Banda Elastica Latin Alternative Music Awards.

“Maná’s work is really cool because you wouldn’t think that rockers would be interested in things of the earth, but I am glad they do because we need everyone’s help” said Anderson.

Platinum-selling Maná has been a leader in the environmental movement since 1995 when they established the Fundación Selva Negra. The band donated a dollar from every ticket sold on their last U.S. tour to the Fundación, raising over $185,633. Among its projects are planting trees in Latin American countries that have suffered deforestation, funding and supervising harvesting camps for endangered turtles, and lobbying governments to protect other imperiled species. The band members also serve as goodwill ambassadors at the United Nations.

Describing Maná’s work, Martinez said, “In the end, we all return to earth, regardless of income, race or social group. Bringing the issues of the environment into the spotlight is a process long overdue. Deep down, we all care about our environment and to witness it in a venue such as the Latin Alternative Music Awards proves this point.”

Martinez and Anderson are part of Outward Bound Adventure’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), which is a team of 30 urban youth who inspire their friends and neighbors through outdoor education, activities and trips. YAC’s efforts are supported by the Sierra Club’s Inside the Outdoors Project which provides urban youth with the opportunity to experience high-quality outdoor environmental education.

At the awards show, YAC members distributed environmental literature to concert goers. “This was one of the most surprising events ever; seeing all types of people gather to see a good show and talking to people about what we stand for and what we do,” said Christian Ramirez, a YAC participant.

Martinez, a YAC leader and spokesperson for Inside the Outdoors is a firm believer in the program and living proof of its effectiveness. Growing up in one of Los Angeles's most dangerous barrios, Juan said, he was surrounded by the problems urban teens face. None of the young people living on his block had graduated from high school. Many already had several children of their own. Others were in prison, and some had died in gang wars. At 15, Juan had the opportunity to go to the Grand Tetons.

"There I realized that life was beautiful. I saw that the world was not just concrete, streetlights or smog-infested cities. It's out there where trees don't care what race you are, but they still share their shade; water doesn't care what kind of income level you come from, but still it provides life," said Martinez. Juan went on to become the first high school graduate in his family and now attends Los Angeles Community College.

La Banda Elastica, an alternative Latin music magazine, has hosted the only music awards in the world exclusively dedicated to Latin Alternative Music for 10 years. The name Maná, taken from the Bible refers to the bread tha feel from heaven, while it means “good energy” in Polynesian.


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