Singer Lila Downs was honored by the organization Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders for her work to spread awareness about indigenous people.

Downs, who divides her time between New York and her native Mexico, accepted the Yoloxochitl Award from last year's recipient, chef Zarela Martinez, who pioneered Mexican cuisine in the Big Apple.

Being honored by her compatriots "is an opportunity to make known that a very great effort is being made to educate and share cultural spaces that exist for the Mexican community," the Latin Grammy-winning artist told Efe.

Downs, 44, performed several songs after receiving the award.

Every year, Mano a Mano honors a person "who represents who we are," the organization's executive director, Juan Carlos Aguirre, told Efe.

"Lila represents a very important segment of Mexico, with all its cultural diversity," he said.

Born in southern Mexico to an Anglo-American father and a Mixtec Indian mother, Downs fuses indigenous and traditional music with genres such as folk, blues, jazz, hip hop and rock.

She is currently touring the United States to showcase her latest album, "Pecados y milagros."

Follow us on
Like us at