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‘It brings me peace’: El Paso guitar player, Julián Kalel Almanzán, helping mental health & migrants

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Music has a long history with therapy and improving the mind, and today, an El Paso teenager is sharing his story of how music helps him live with his anxiety. What's more, he's sharing his music with others — hoping it will help others find peace.

Julián Kalel Almanzán, 17, is a junior at Coronado High School. His instrument is the guitar. He first picked up the guitar in fifth grade, and as he became more aware of his anxiety -- he found playing helped him handle those feelings.

"It brings so much peace to me whenever I pick it up and play it," he told ABC-7. "It's just -- it's always been there for me."

He is putting on a benefit concert in support of migrant families that are spending time along the border during this winter season. The benefit will also provide donations for refugee migrants.

Almanzán says he feels that playing music for others will help them find some happiness or better state of mind. He says that's actually his main goal. In particular, boys around his age.

"That's going to make me so happy, that's my goal," he said.

Almanzán believes that music is one of the most beautiful gifts man has, and he feels he couldn't live without it. He says that it's essential to his life. He plays country, Spanish songs, folk music and alternative songs -- but most often plays country.

He is putting on the benefit concert today to support of migrant families that are spending time along the border this winter. The benefit will also provide donations for refugee migrants. This concert is significant for him because he is a second-generation Mexican American.

Almanzán feels he needs to give back to the community and help those who likes his grandparents left their country in search of a better life and find themselves in need of help.

"The holidays are when I think people should not be alone at all, that's when they should be together and that's when they should be rejoicing," Julian said ahead of the concert.

"I know it's a very hard time for some, especially if they're away from their families and they're in the migrant center. I feel like me bringing this music and bringing these donations will hopefully lift their spirits a little more," he added.

The concert is scheduled for this evening at 6 p.m. at Holy Family Refugee Center located at 813 W. Main Drive.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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