'Mauricio & Friends' event raises more than $1,400
FARMINGTON — A large crowd gathered on the patio of the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park on May 16 to enjoy the music of several local musicians rallying to support a local Honduran immigrant and his family.
The "Mauricio & Friends" concert, which was organized by Mick Hesse to raise money for Mauricio Espinal and his family, featured performances by Celebration Brass, Autumn Austin, Hesse, Lora and Russel Hodges, Delbert Anderson, Funkified and Espinal himself.
Espinal and his wife and children have been living in the United States since 2014 on an R1 religious visa, but they must leave the country by June 3 because that visa is expiring and Espinal's application for a residential visa has been stalled with immigration officials for the past few years.
Espinal serves as the music director at the Templo Sinai Assembly of God church and performs with several local musical groups.
Hesse said the concert raised more than $1,400 to help support Espinal and his family when they return next month to Honduras, a country racked by violence perpetrated largely by drug trafficking groups. The Espinals are planning to apply for permanent resident status in the United States later this year and hope to return to Farmington in 2020.