Mariachi music in Mexico can trace its roots back to the 1700’s. Over the centuries, the style and purpose of these musical groups has morphed into the Mariachi Bands that we are familiar with in the Mexico of today. Any Mexican town that promotes tourism, will have a host of Mariachi groups roaming the busiest streets and restaurants. The one, two or more musician groups express the culture of themselves and Mexico!
Today’s Mariachis may wear the traditional CHARRO attire (typically depicted in the movies) or they may be smartly dressed in matching shirts and slacks. Locals today associate Mariachis with cultural celebrations, birthdays, quinceñeras or even for religious celebration. Tourists typically think of Mariachi as colorful street entertainment that one might be approached by during a meal or sipping on a cerveza. A simple “si gracias” or “no gracias” is all it takes for a visitor to express the desire to be serenaded! For a certain amount of pesos a song, it’s money well-spent!!
When in Texas, I have a plumber or electrician that I depend on, same is true on the island, there’s only one duo for me! In fact, the other Mariachi’s simply give me an HOLA and smile, they KNOW I’m loyal to these guys! Hernan and Francisco have been entertaining our family and friends for years. They are also happy to entertain at anyone’s special events. Hernan has been a Mariachi for thirty years and been playing on the island for nineteen. Francisco, originally from Chiapas, has been playing for sixteen years and on the island for eight.
When I see these two amigos after my arrival, we greet each other like family and each is thrilled to see the other! Initial time is spent catching up in broken English and broken Spanish, but the language barrier just
isn’t a problem between old friends! Then it begins, the serenade so missed in Texas. These friends know
the cancions (songs) that warm my heart and bring out a smile. Nearby tables are equally entertained and don’t hesitate to jump in with
shouts of joy. After four songs of Mexican lyrics and tunes all are thrilled with the “dinner and show!”
The Mariachi is an integral part of any tourist experience, a way of wrapping oneself in this vibrant culture. So SALUD and order up a little El Rancho Grande, La Bamba or La Cucaracha! The Magic of Mariachi! Disfrutar (enjoy)!