Chicago mariachi family facing eviction receives over $25K in community donations

CHICAGO -- A Chicago family of mariachi performers is facing eviction as the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down their primary means of employment.

But Juan Lucero, a father of seven, is feeling some relief after getting help to pay back rent.

"It makes me happy," Lucero said. "It makes me feel very warm and welcome in this community."

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Mariachis played a festive and moving tribute to hard-working immigrant farmworkers in Oxnard who are risking their safety to feed a nation on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lucero family is well known in their Andersonville neighborhood and around Chicago as a mariachi band called Cielito Lindo, which means "beautiful heaven."

"Our beautiful place of peace and love is with our family," Lucero said.

The band with kids from ages 7 to 18 had performances canceled due to the pandemic. So a neighbor asked Juan Lucero if he could start an online fundraiser. In 24 hours, over $25,000 was donated to the family.

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Los Angeles Police Department Detective Chris Reza, who is a cop known for singing mariachi music, released his first music video in May. He expresses his two passions in the video, law enforcement and mariachi music.

"I want to say thank you to them," daughter Maya Lucero said. "I can't believe this many people helped us out. I'm speechless."

"It can be hard to ask for help, but I'm glad we did," son Diego Lucero said. "It makes me happy."

"We are really ecstatic and hope money keeps coming in to help them get set up and weather the storm," Farster said.

The family had hoped to buy a home. With the money raised, Juan Lucero hopes to work toward that goal again. But for now, they can afford rent thanks for friends and supporters.

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Among the hundreds of people who gathered at a makeshift near Staples Center were mariachi musicians from throughout Los Angeles.

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