Hollywood star Antonio Banderas took his annual Easter pilgrimage to Málaga last week for the Easter celebrations, or Semana Santa. The Málaga-born actor makes a point of returning to his hometown each year to join the processions through the streets with the religious brotherhood of his old district.
During this year’s visit he presided at the second annual gala of the foundation ‘Lágrimas y Favores’, which he established in the province. The foundation, named after his brotherhood, raises important sums of money for the University of Malaga as well as the charities Cudeca, Caritas and the Corinito Foundation, which assists local families in danger of social exclusion. Banderas is fervent in expressing his sense of duty to give aid to those in need, and stresses that it is the responsibility of each and every member of the many brotherhoods nationwide to work collectively to help the less fortunate and assist the underprivileged.
“We must convince the world,” he announced, “that behind every throne in every procession, there is much more, and the brotherhoods have always been direct witnesses, reflecting the social situation. Right now, this huge wealth of 70,000 men and women has to give the best of themselves to help those in need,” he continued.
The charity gala, which was attended by more than 300 public and famous figures, including representatives from the arts, culture, education and politics, also welcomed a scattering of local and national celebrities. Amongst these were the Mayor of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre, President of the Andalusian PP, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla and Baroness Carmen Thyssen.
The day before the gala, Banderas’ foundation signed a cooperative agreement along with Cajasol to aid impoverished families and those in emergency situations, students without resources and victims of cancer.
The gala, which Banderas described as “exceptionally emotional”, was a resounding success witnessing the donations of vast sums of money raised by the foundation’s tireless activities over the past year. The actor enthusiastically expressed his satisfaction with the charity’s achievements and success, saying that he believes in “what I call the triple S – Semana Santa Solidaria” or Holy Week Solidarity.
On Palm Sunday, Banderas ended his public appearances as he led the brotherhood of Lagrimas y Favores’ procession through the crowded streets of the city of Malaga, before the rapturous public.
The Easter gala is one of two charity events that the foundation holds each year, the other being The Starlite Festival located here in Marbella. The festival, which has become a highlight of the Spanish social calendar, draws flocks of celebrities and high profile figures to the coast each summer, and we look forward to welcoming Banderas to our beloved town again this year.