Mariachi Mexteco group members earn scholarships, learn from the best

May 14, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Mariachi Mixteco of Imperial Valley recently returned from attending the 20th anniversary of the International Mariachi Conference in Tucson's convention center. The conference, April 23-27, was sponsored by Bank One of Tucson.

Members of Mariachi Mixteco participated in various workshops taught by members of Mariachi Vargas of Tecalitlan and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.

Cano presented Guillermo Acuña, a senior at Southwest High School in El Centro, with a full summer scholarship to attend a mariachi school in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Guillermo plays the harp and other mariachi instruments.

The group participated in various programs, including a showcase in which the other mariachi participants gave a concert using new techniques from workshops they attended earlier.


On the last day Mariachi Mixteco attended the Fiesta de Garibaldi at Armory Park in Tucson.

Left with just five of their 11 members — the other members had to return to the Imperial Valley — the group was congratulated by other mariachis for their ability to sound great, a press release states. They were also congratulated on their mariachi outfits, which they had professionally made in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Because of their desire to participate at the Fiesta de Garibaldi, the five remaining members each received a $1,000 scholarship from Nick Branchal, director of Mariachi Tigres of New Mexico, to continue their education in mariachi music at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. Branchal donated an extra $1,000 to the group, which was invited to participate at the Santa Barbara mariachi festival in August.

Other members to receive scholarships where Sonya Martinez of Southwest High School in El Centro, Mario Eguia of Holtville High School, Marco Rodriguez and Crystal Cañez, both of Imperial High School and Javier Kadry of Calexico High School.

Other members of Mariachi Mixteco are: Priscilla Escalante, Celestina Rendon and Alia Milan, all of Calexico High School, Alberto Espinoza of William Moreno Junior High School in Calexico and Cristina Alvarez. Ruben Baldenegro is the mariachi musical director.

Mariachi Mixteco will be the opening act for Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras at 7 p.m. Saturday in Calexico's Crummet Park.

"The young members have been able to accomplish some things that other mariachis have not, we can only wish their continued success and that they keep in tradition to their culture and root," a press release states. "If any one would like to make a donation/contribution to help these wonderful young kids, you may contact Maggie Rodriguez at 355-3098."

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