By Natalie Taylor
Don Krim and David Russell were married and living in Los Angeles in 1998. Krim was revisiting his vocal studies and discovering his classical, countertenor instrument with a teacher in Europe. Russell was winding down his involvement as owner and publisher of the Advocate. All they needed was the perfect place to call home. They settled in Soller, a small town centered on its plaza in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It was vibrant with music and arts, between mountains and sea, mixing a multi-national and proud local population. Soller held them fast for five years, and it became the paradigm for the future. Then they heard about San Miguel de Allende.
In 2015 they visited San Miguel and were struck by its resemblance to Soller, including the lively central plaza. It was so similar to their hometown in Spain—only on steroids! Then they fell in love with a house in Atotonilco that reminded them of Spain’s Alhambra where they had honeymooned. It has an inner courtyard framed by magnificent Moorish arches, and all rooms face inwards toward a garden and fountains. They bought it and named it “Casa Riad,” the Garden House. It is perfect for events, house concerts, fundraising, and peace.
Krim is well known in San Miguel both as director of development and president of Jóvenes Adelante, and as an accomplished singer and actor. He has had a successful career as a countertenor in the United States and Europe, where he lived for several years. He will be performing Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra in June, 2022, in Malaga, Spain.
Krim and Russell had always supported and mentored young adults. They had been involved with the Point Foundation, which provided support to family-abandoned gay and lesbian high school and university students. After meeting the president of Jóvenes Adelante, they found the organization to be a perfect fit and in 2017 started as mentors and sponsors. Their further involvement with the NGO was quick and inevitable.
“We bring all of our collective selves to Jóvenes Adelante: talent and experience in non-profits, teaching, writing and publishing, public speaking, networking, fundraising, event production, cooking, performing, epidemiological research, language skills, and board experience.”
Krim has previously served as treasurer, president, past iresident, and international liaison for the North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique for movement and postural re-education (he is a certified teacher). He holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from Pomona College and an M.S. in Sport Psychology from Cal State Fullerton. Russell is an engineer and applied mathematician, whose mother was a ground-breaking politician and father a rocket scientist. He is also a wonderful and accomplished cook.
“Our lives have always been about the here and now but committed to the future of youth. Jóvenes Adelante is about philanthropy, investing in the future of Mexican youth so they can carry their families, their communities, and country into a better future via higher education.”
BA, English Lit and Journalism, Loyola University, Chicago 1995
MFA in Creative Writing, Vermont College, Montpelier, VT 1999
Published writer, editor, journalist. Teacher of Spanish in the US, teacher of English in Argentina. Translator.