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06.10.2009 11:57

Solidarity and media focus on Mexico openings

Marc Parramon (enviat especial)

Rafa Marquez and club President Joan Laporta officially opened the two XICS centres in Mexico this morning. Actress Eva Longonia was also present at the ceremony.

As well as being a top footballer,and an important figure in his home country, Rafa Marquez is also committed to social action and he was clearly moved when he spoke of the opening of the two centres at El Salto and Tonalá. “This is a small help for these children. We know that we need to help them more and that's just what we want to do. Our dream is to have a centre like this in every country”.

Marquez also stressed the role of the mothers and other women who had helped with fund raising and looking after the smaller children: “I'm very grateful to them for their help, which has been very important”.

Beyond the sporting arena

_MG_9007.JPGClub President Joan Laporta, stressed that the relationship between the club's foundation and Marquez's went beyond the mere sporting arena: “I'm proud to have a player like Marquez. We can join his heart with our soul”. Laporta also commented: “this club has many links with Mexico. During the Spanish Civil War the club did a tour of the country and with the money we raised we were able to ensure our survival. The club deposited the money in Paris, which meant it couldn't be confiscated and that money helped us to survive”.

Marta Segú, the Director General of the Fundació commented: “the club takes great pride in having a player with such a social conscience in our squad and the club is right behind him”.


Actress Eva Longoria joined the Barca party for the opening ceremonies, explaining: “Rafa is a good friend who Thierry Henry introduced me to. Since I like his foundation and what they are doing I am her to do what I can to help improve these children's lives. I know that Barca is 'més que un club' and they are very active in many causes”.


Marquez's fame in Mexico ensured there was plenty of coverage for the two openings. First, at 11-45, the centre at Tonalá was opened and after the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and speeches, a number of children from the centre gave a display of local dances. About 200 children in all attended the opening.

El Salto

After a private lunch, the party moved on to open the second centre in El Salto. After the unveiling of another plaque and further speeches, the group were able to view the installations . The centre boasts classrooms and medical facilities where the children we be taught and receive homoeopathic and dental treatment. About 400 children attended the two openings.

Márquez's mother present

Rafa Marquez was accompanied by his mother at the two openings. Rosa Alicia Álvarez is a nurse and also works with her son's foundation, being a board member and being in charge of the canteen the organisation run in Zamora (Michoacán).
Solidarity and media focus on Mexico openings

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Wide coverage
There was a considerable media presence for the opening of the two XICS centres. About 30 different media outlet, including all the country's main newspapers and TV stations such as TV Azteca, Univisión, Fox News, ‘Diario El Occidental’, ‘Diario Mural’ and the sporting paper ‘Record’, covered every moment of Marquez's presence in Tonalá and El Salto.

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