Brasil Arts Cafe Hosts Fundraiser for Storm Victims

Workers' relatives lost everything in Guerrero, Mexico

Tracy Lehr, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 09:24 PM PDT Sep 26, 2013    UPDATED: 11:19 PM PDT Sep 26, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel have devastated Mexico.

Hundreds of people have died in the flooding and mudslides that followed.

Life isn't easy for survivors, who had a difficult time reaching relatives in the U.S.

Alma Polina and Maria Chamu said it took eight days for them to find out that their mother and siblings had survived. They say their mother cares for their 7-year-old sister who needs a wheelchair to get around.

The sisters enjoy working together in the kitchen of the Brasil Arts Cafe  on State Street in Santa Barbara. But they are worried about their loved ones back home.

When the owners, Jennifer and Daniel Yoshimi, heard their story they pitched in to help.

The Yoshimi's can relate, they lost their home in the Tea Fire that started in Montecito five years ago.

The Santa Barbara community helped the Yoshimis start over and this year they opened the Brasil Arts Cafe and Capoeira studio.

This weekend they intend to give back.

On Friday 10 percent of all sales will go to storm victims including Alma and Maria's family.

Donations of cash and necessities may also be dropped off at the restaurant this weekend.

Brasil Arts Cafe is located at 1230 State Street.

The American Red Cross is also taking donations at 1-800-HELP NOW or online at redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Responds-to-Hurricanes-in-Mexico