Nearly 15 years ago, in a remarkable display of unity and solidarity, over 50 Latin music legends, including the late Vicente Fernández and Jenni Rivera, came together to support Haiti through the Spanish version of “We Are the World,” titled “Somos El Mundo.”
A Latin Response to Haiti’s Earthquake
In an unprecedented gathering that mirrored the global unity of 1985’s “We Are the World” for Africa’s famine relief, the Latin music community rallied to aid Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. This collective effort, inspired by the original anthem composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and featuring icons like Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner, was spearheaded by Gloria and Emilio Estefan alongside Quincy Jones, the producer of the original version. The result was “Somos El Mundo,” a song transcending language barriers to deliver a powerful message of hope and support.
Recorded at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, the Spanish rendition brought together a diverse group of over 50 artists from more than ten countries, each lending their voice to this historic cause. The lineup read like a who’s who of Latin music, from Juanes and Ricky Martin to Shakira and Thalía, showcasing the immense talent and generosity of the Latin music world.
Overcoming Logistical Challenges: Technology Bridges the Gap
Despite the physical absence of some artists like Belinda, Juan Luis Guerra, and Luis Miguel due to logistical challenges, technology allowed them to contribute from afar, ensuring their voices were part of this monumental project. The collaborative spirit of “Somos El Mundo” was evident as each artist added their unique touch, from the heartfelt opening by Juanes to the influential contributions of icons like José Feliciano and Vicente Fernández.
The initiative, supported by Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, and the We Are the World Foundation, marked the first time “We Are the World” was recorded in a language other than English. This milestone highlighted the universal appeal of the song’s message of solidarity and unity. Emilio Estefan reflected on the project’s significance, emphasizing the unifying voice of the Latin community and its potential to capture the world’s attention again.
Launched on March 1, 2010, on Univision’s “Cristina” show, followed by a “Making Of” special, “Somos El Mundo” directed all proceeds to Haiti’s relief efforts, demonstrating the Latin art community’s commitment to humanitarian causes. This venture mirrored the global impact of the original “We Are the World” and showcased the Latin music industry’s ability to come together for a noble cause, leaving a lasting legacy of compassion and unity.