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The pandemic silences the International Mariachi Day in Mexico

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The coronavirus pandemic silenced the music of mariachis on Thursday in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, where the musicians waited in vain for the celebrations for the international day of this emblem of the culture of the North American country.

Without their instruments in hand – due to the risk of being fined by the local authorities – the musicians watched the day pass from the benches of the traditional Plaza de los Mariachis, in the center of Guadalajara, the birthplace of traditional singers in Mexico. dressed as “charro”.

“There are no events, casinos, or terraces; we do not have events at all right now,” says Polo Macero, a 60-year-old mariachi, to AFP, accusing the covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions to combat it in the fourth country. most mourning in the world for the virus.

 

The authorities “do not let us work here in the Plaza de los Mariachis. That is what has affected us a lot,” he says.

 

With its embroidered jackets, wide-brimmed hat and field boots, considered a fundamental element of Mexican culture, the mariachi was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity ten years ago by UNESCO.

In the country there are specialized mariachi schools, but it is usually a trade that is passed from generation to generation.

 

“My brothers are almost all musicians and my father too, and I also liked to pick up the vihuela [instrumento de cuerda similar la guitarra, ndlr] and I’m a mariachera like them, “says Sandra Teresa de Jesús.

Sandra adds that without work in Mexico, many of her colleagues plan to go to the United States.

 

“But it’s the same because the people there are scared too,” he adds.

With the streets and squares quiet, the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Bureau offered to commemorate the date with a virtual concert via Facebook starring Mariachi Femenil Innovación Mexicana, an orchestra made up exclusively of women.

 

Mexico has registered 1,711,283 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 146,174 deaths so far.

Ben Oakley
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