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Santos Laguna’s Guerretón fundraiser adapts to pandemic

Ganar Sirviendo President Laura Irarragorri talks about Santos Laguna’s signature charity event and how it’s adapted in the face of COVID-19.

Laura Irarragorri, President of Santos Laguna’s Ganar Sirviendo
Laura Irarragorri, President of Santos Laguna’s Ganar Sirviendo
Santos Laguna Press Release

Think about your life before the pandemic. Think about the things you did that you took for granted. Think about your community; what has been lost, and what has been changed.

Santos Laguna has always been centered around charity and community. In 2019, I said that “in some ways they’re a soccer team with a charitable arm, in other ways they’re a charity that has a soccer team.” and Santos has continued to walk that walk. But like everything else, the pandemic has changed this.

2020 was a lost year. Santos’ signature charity event Guerretón couldn’t be held as everything went into lockdown, the pandemic robbing us of yet another thing. But as people have always adapted in the face of adversity, those behind Guerretón adapted it to the new reality of life during the pandemic in 2021.

In an interview yesterday with Laura Irarragorri, president of Ganar Sirviendo (Santos Laguna’s charitable arm), who spoke with SB Nation about the inspirations behind the adaptations to Guerretón 2021: mainly school and birthday parties.

Much like some schools, Irarragorri said “we had to make this hybrid version of Guerretón. As you know, we (now) have Santos Shop, which is a nice way to donate.” While toys can be donated at Territorio Santos Modelo, the majority of the donations will come in through Santos Shop.

A young Santos Laguna fan at the Guerretón caravana.
A young Santos Laguna fan at the Guerretón caravana.
Santos Laguna Press Release

“So we have Santos shop, which is one one way to donate. The other one you can take it to the stadium. In our shop, there is a big container where people can donate. We are going through sponsors and people in the community, asking them to donate. The other years we used to do things such as schools, we used to do a contest between the schools. But now as you know, (the kids) are not going to school. So it’s impossible to make this kind of contest because the schools are not open. So it’s, it’s been a little difficult.”

And much like some birthday parties have evolved into a caravanas, or caravans of cars parading past a house, Santos allowed such a caravana into their house. Cars paraded around TSM “and they could see some of the players, (both Santos Femenil and varonil) players, and the Guerrero (Santos’ mascot), and it was a nice way to get them to donate.” She said that cars were there for two hours dropping off toys.

Wendy Toledo accepts gifts from someone donating during the Guerretón caravana, when cars drove through TSM to drop off gifts.
Wendy Toledo accepts gifts from someone donating during the Guerretón caravana, when cars drove through TSM to drop off gifts.
Santos Laguna Press Release

“I think at this time, we have to reinvent ourselves. We cannot be crying because we cannot have that shower of stuffed animals and toys. The people in the (Santos) office are amazing, because when we have these meetings, everybody’s saying all these ideas, and someone gave the idea of the caravana, because they have small kids and they’ve been seeing it. And it came out amazing.”

“The response of the people of Torreón was amazing. The Santos shop, I think it’s it’s a great way to donate. Because if you don’t want to go out or if you’re afraid, you can do it through Santos shop with as little as 50 pesos or $2.50 in dollars you can buy a stuffed animal. So that’s a nice way to donate as well. But I think that caravana yesterday, was great, because the parents are teaching their kids to to give.” She says that children were donating toys of their own to other kids who are less fortunate and more vulnerable.

Like some of the changes brought about by the pandemic, they’ll stay after it subsides and whatever passes for normal becomes... normal. Irarragorri said the online option would stick around, which will allow people who want to help out who can’t otherwise attend. And the caravana may return as well.

“But I would love to see the lluvia, the shower of the stuffed animals (again).”

Until then, the message Irarragorri had was simple. “I invite you to to donate this Guerretón 2021, We are moving hearts. This is for the vulnerable kids. You can do it through Santos shop, www.santosshop.mx. It’s a very easy way to donate to Guerretón. If you want to go to the stadium and leave your stuffed animal as well, you can do it. Please donate for the vulnerable kids. Thank you very much.”

If you would like to participate, please go to www.santosshop.mx/collections/guerreton-2021 to donate.