North Texas Daily

Denton citizens gather donations to help sister city

Denton citizens gather donations to help sister city

Denton citizens gather donations to help sister city
September 22
10:00 2022

Multiple volunteer groups and individuals in Denton have gathered donations for Denton’s sister city, Múzquiz after experiencing heavy flooding at the beginning of the month.

Denton residents Francisco Campos and Araceli Lopez Lira have gathered donations from people all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The couple, who are originally from the Múzquiz area, spent the past couple of weeks helping the citizens of the city located in northeastern Mexico.

“We already went to Múzquiz last week,” Campos said in an interview conducted in Spanish. “We gave a lot of provisions such as water. Once we reach a certain level of donations, we will go again.”

Campos is the leader of the Denton chapter of Múzquiz Unidos. The organization has mainly focused on school supply donations and Christmas events in the past but due to the flooding, the group has recently emphasized donations. The organization’s main goal is to aid the people of Múzquiz, whether that be in the donation of supplies or scholarships given to high school students. 

“Seeing the needs that these villages have, that really do need a lot, we began to meet to see how we can help our village,” Campos said in Spanish. “There are other groups that also try to help, but since our creation seven years ago, we’ve tried to focus on education and the youth.”

Juanita Salazar Guajardo, another Denton resident originally from Múzquiz, has also been working independently in order to receive donations. After being interviewed by the Denton Record-Chronicle on Sept. 6, Guajardo received a large donation from the Dallas Furniture Bank.

“The Dallas Furniture Bank is someone that I have had dealings with in the past, and so I had reached out to them to see if they could donate some items or sell me some items at a discounted price,” Guajardo said. “And then they surprised me — they came back and said ‘You know what, we’re going to donate [25 twin-sized beds] to you.’”

Both Guajardo and Campos noted the city of Denton has not reached out to help with donation efforts. Denton officials have been notably silent since the flooding of its sister city, which flooded “higher than one meter in low-lying parts of Múzquiz,” according to the Mexico New Daily.

“We’ve had people help us that are from various parts of the country,” Campos said in Spanish. “But the city of Denton hasn’t come and helped us.”

When asked about the city’s plans to help with relief efforts, Councilman Brian Beck said that the “[Denton City] Council hasn’t had any new agenda items regarding support,” but city staff may have already sent aid through existing channels. 

“I know that this issue is being discussed in the community and that councilors, including myself, have amplified that discussion and extolled Dentonites in social media to engage with and support the various support efforts listed in the article,” Beck said in an email to the North Texas Daily

Stuart Birdseye, the public communications officer for the city of Denton, confirmed the last donation given to Múzquiz was back in May and the city is currently focusing on “steer[ing] people” toward “community-led support opportunities.”

The cities of Denton and Múzquiz have a close bond dating back to the 1970s, when residents of Múzquiz began to migrate to North Texas. In a 2016 DRC article, Jim Dale said many of these residents play “a major role in city life.”

The connection between the two cities was noticed and amplified by Hispanic organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens and Proyecto Diez

During Hispanic Heritage Month in 2015, Denton leaders — including former Mayor Chris Watts — created a friendship alliance with Múzquiz.

“Sadly because of the pandemic, we disorganized and stopped some of our programs,” Campos said in Spanish. “But we are starting again soon and will continue to help.”

Donations can be made to Guajardo’s home at 2408 Leslie St. near Denia Park, Múzquiz Unidos at 5301 E. McKinney St., Lot 573 and Proyecto Diez, who is partnering with local residents, at Antojitos El Rey at 805 E. McKinney St., according to the DRC.

Featured Image: Francisco Campos and his wife, Araceli Lopez Lira, pose in front of their truck that carries some of the supplies they are taking to Múzquiz on Sept. 16, 2022. Photo by Coralynn Cole

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Ismael Belkoura

Ismael Belkoura

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