Grade 8 student Monica Azowski listens to Mariachi Los Dorados at Maple Ridge secondary on Monday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Mariachi band kicks off multicultural week at MRSS

Maple Ridge secondary students will celebrate five cultures this week

Multicultural week kicked off at Maple Ridge secondary on Monday with the mariachi group Los Dorados.

The third annual event celebrates five different cultures during the week, starting with Hispanic Day. That also included a pinata and traditional Mexican food for lunch.

Alex Alegria, lead vocalist and guitarist with Los Dorados, asked the crowd gathered at the MRSS library, cómo estás, how are you, before explaining some of the history of the mariachis.

Mariachi comes from the Aztec language Nahuatl, meaning happy time, Alegria explained.

“So we’re here to bring you a happy time.”

The band – made up of Patrick Ernst on violin, Michael Krywulak on violin, Diego Kohl Guitarron on the Mexican bass,

Mark D’angello on trumpet and traditional dancer Marisol Villanueva – started with with a folk song originally from Tepic, Nayarit in western Mexico, called El Son de la Negra.

Alegria noted that this is the most traditional of all the mariachi songs.

“During the Mexican Revolution, the people put together an army to fight the government,” he said. “And they stole a train. The train was a black train and this train helped a lot through the Revolution,” he said about the meaning of the song.

“The mariachi has been in Mexico for hundreds and hundreds of years,” he said adding that if you go to Mexico and see a band wearing white with straw hats, they are traditional mariachis who sing in one of the many indigenous languages of Mexico, including Nahuatl.

“That’s one of the beautiful things about Mexico is that we still have those indigenous languages,” Alegria said.

He also explained to the students that the modern mariachi was created around 1930, when bands were broadcast on national television.

“They wanted to modernize the group and they added this outfit, it’s called charro outfit,” he said, noting that this is also when the trumpet was added to the mariachi.

“In Mexico, a charro is a person who owns a ranch and is usually a rich person. They are usually good singers and they are usually good at riding horses and things like that and they hire the musicians,” he said.

Los Dorados played for 45 minutes. The band’s set included other Mexican folk songs, like Cielito Lindo, La Bamba, El Rey, Jesusita en Chihuahua and Jalisco.

The rest of the week will include Asian Culture Day, Germanic Day, Aboriginal Culture Day and French Canadian Day.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge conservation group frustrated with lack of communication by city

ARMS concerned proposed development along Alouette River will go to fourth reading

Ridge Meadows recreation re-opens

Maple Ridge fitness centre and outdoor pool re-open; Pitt Meadows opens sports fields to groups

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read