Lila Downs performing after receiving the Yoloxochitl Award on October 10, 2012, for her exceptional dedication to the promotion of Mexican culture around the world.

[PHOTOS] Lila Downs receives award for spreading Mexican culture

Last night in New York City, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the understanding of Mexican culture, presented singer Lila Downs with the Yoloxochitl Award at their annual fundraiser to offer Mexican cultural classes to students of all ages.

Celebrated Mexican-American chef Zarela Martinez, a previous recipient of the award, presented the award to Downs. The Mexican-American Latin Grammy winner hails from Oaxaca, Mexico and is the daughter of Mixtec singer Anita Sánchez and Allen Downs, a Scottish-American art professor and filmmaker. She is being honored this year for the way she embraces and highlights indigenous origins, whether in the U.S. or Mexico, through her music.

“Neighbors have issues…,” said Downs, who grew up in both Mexico and the U.S., as she accepted her award. “Through music, I have worked through some of these issues…It’s something I always think about when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night…”

After accepting the award, she sang a few of her beloved songs such as, “La Cumbia del Mole.”

Lila Downs – La Cumbia del Mole from Harmony Festival on Vimeo.

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