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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Driven by passion

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Photo by Provided by Gilberto Cuellar

Aggies Aid Mexico’s Cesar Alaffa Jr. stands with Abdies Piñeda in Jojutla. 

In light of the recent earthquakes that shook the homes and lives in Mexico, a group of six Aggies came together to lend a helping hand to those who were most in need. 

With the help of several volunteers along the way they were able to collect approximately 8,700 items worth of goods in donations, including canned food, hygienic products and water. 

Political science junior Gilberto Cuellar, who will be president of the soon-to-be official organization Aggies Aid Mexico, presented the idea to his roommates shortly after witnessing raw footage via social media of the earthquakes destroying homes in Mexico. 

“We weren’t expecting nothing in return, we simply wanted to help the people that needed us most. That’s the best gift you can get in my opinion,” aerospace engineering sophomore Jesus Daniel Molina said. 

According to Associated Press News on Sept. 20, an estimated 226 lives were lost from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake alone. The goal of these six students was simply to help in anyway they could.

“We started this project to help out Mexico with the disastrous earthquake that happened the past month,” Cuellar said. “It killed a lot of people, left hundreds and thousands without homes. I wanted to help out Mexico in some way through some sort of donation.” 

According to Jesus Acevedo, architecture sophomore and member of Aggies Aid Mexico, the lack of help being offered to Mexico was what pushed them to take action.

“There was help for Hurricane Harvey and we noticed that nothing was being done here in College Station or Bryan in order to help Mexico out, so we took the chance,” Acevedo said. 

Aggies Aid Mexico was, and currently still, is an independent organization waiting to be recognized by the school, according Cuellar. 

“We knew if we made it school wide it would take some time to go through the process of getting approved which is why we decided to start the Aggies Aid Mexico independently,” Acevedo said. 

Molina said the reason they took action as soon as possible was because they felt the people of Mexico needed them and there was no time for waiting. 

“We wanted to prove that even though we’re here in the U.S. we still care about the people in Mexico because we know who we are, we know where we come from, and we need to help those in need,” Molina said. 

After numerous calls and a large amount of research, Cuellar was able to narrow down his ideal donation destination: Jojutla, a municipality in the state of Morelos, Mexico, which had yet to receive any form of U.S. support.

With the help of various sponsors such as local radio station from the Brazos Valley, Radio Alegria, a local restaurant, La Norteñita, and famous norteña band Duelo, Aggies Aid Mexico was able to spread the word about their initiative within and beyond the Aggie community. 

The process of contacting people to help along the way and transporting the donations to and across the border was not easy but it was well worth it, Cuellar said.  

“The entire [delivery] process took about a month, it took a lot of time, a lot of waiting, a lot of paperwork, a lot of decisions had to be made,” Cuellar said. 

Cuellar said nothing would have been possible if it were not for the community. 

“Everything happened because the community helped out,” Cuellar said. “They were the ones who came to us with the water, the canned food, personal hygiene products. Every small piece that they donated was a grain of sand for our cause.”

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  • From Left: Matthew Monroe, Gerardo Ureño, Gilberto Cuellar, Jesus Acevedo and Juan Benavides came together to provide relief for Jojutla, Mexico. 

    Photo by Photo by Kevin Chou
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