Entertainment

#WeAreAmerica: The Life-Changing Moment Sebastien Realized He Needed to Show Pride for His Culture

Credit: we are mitú / YouTube

I’m Just Proud to Be a Latino

This dude is just 13 years old and an incredible mariachi. “It felt like my eyes were opened for the first time,” says Sebastien de la Cruz about the first time he saw mariachis perform…he was four-and-a-half.

Since then, de la Cruz has been performing as a mariachi. This musical outlet gives him a chance to be a proud Latino and to share his culture with others. Kudos, Sebastien.

WATCH: #WeAreAmerica: Latinos Talk About How Much They Appreciate Their Undocumented Parents’ Sacrifices

Are you as proud as Sebastien to be Latino? Share this with your friends by tapping that share button just below!

This All-Female Mariachi Group Won’t Let Trump And Threats Of Shootings Keep Them From Performing

Entertainment

This All-Female Mariachi Group Won’t Let Trump And Threats Of Shootings Keep Them From Performing

Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas / Facebook

A week after the El Paso, Texas shootings, there’s no denying that the Latino community at the border town and across the nation remains gripped by both grief, fear, and anger. Threats have been made against Wal-Marts across the country and at least one White Nationalist has traveled to El Paso to inspire further fear in migrants and Latinx folk. It only serves to further the trauma that El Paso natives are feeling and — in doing so — allows racists to win by compromising our way of life.

While it’s extremely understandable to give in to this fear, one group of mujeres are fighting to live on their own terms.

Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, a 14 member, all-female mariachi band, has declared that they will continue to perform despite the increased hate aimed at Latinx folk.

Twitter / @CynthiaPompa

Despite their defiance, the group admits that they have felt vulnerable to attacks because of how visible the mariachi group is. Lilly Sanchez, the woman who has led the group since 2002, spoke with NBC NEWS about their situation.

“What is more Hispanic than wearing a mariachi outfit?” she asked. ”We certainly feel like we have a target on our back, but we still have to do our job, so we do our job.”

The mariachi group played for counter-protesters back in February when Donald Trump came to El Paso and held a rally for his border wall. During the El Paso Massacre memorial, another mariachi group named Puesta del Sol played a classic Juan Gabriel song; showing just how integrated mariachi is into the El Paso community.

Still, there’s no denying that their public personas draw a certain amount of attention that can expose them to violence and hate.

Twitter / @ChordsofPeace

The fear is still very real and it resulted in one member quitting the mariachi group after the attack in El Paso.

“It’s still fresh, it’s very fresh,” Sanchez admitted in the interview with NBC. “We still pass by that Walmart every single day, several times a day, so it’s a reminder that it just happened, and yeah, we’re feeling afraid, we’re feeling targeted after this.”

Like many El Paso citizens, members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas are finding it hard to return to normal life.

Twitter / @votolatino

Violinist for Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, Karyme Perea, acknowledged to NBC NEWS that she finds it hard to leave her home following the attack. However, the musician says she draws strength from the people of El Paso and the fact that the man who attacked her community was an outsider. The alleged shooter is said to have driven eleven hours from the Dallas area to attack the border town.

“I also know that we still have to keep on going, and I trust the city,” Perea explained. “It was from someone on the outside. No one in the city would actually do that, and I put that trust back into the people and that’s what makes me go outside every single day.”

The band’s youngest member, high school student Regina Hernandez, has an extra layer of anxiety with school returning to session in the upcoming days. The guitarrón player shared her anxieties in the NBC NEWS interview.

“There’s times where I feel very nervous to even go to school because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she admitted. “There’s times where we have to … go on with it, pretend like we’re still okay, we’re still strong enough to.”

Still, the group of strong mujeres know that they are a symbol of the Latinidad and need to be unified and reliable for their community.

Twitter / @BetoORourke

Members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas understand that they can’t allow fear to control them any longer than it already has. The people of El Paso need to be able to move on in their grief and in their lives. Only by living life to its fullest potential will survivors honor the 22 who are lost and condemn the man who tried to destroy their community.

“We’re not going to let him win and take away our security” Sanchez declared. “But if we stay home and we let this change our lives, his racism wins.”

Reactions to Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas stance have been supportive and have included expressions of pride.

Twitter / @JoseLagniton

As this tweet suggests, mariachi music is just as American as country, rock and roll, and pop music. To attack an institution like mariachi is to attack not only Mexico but also the Southwestern United States where it is so popular.

This tweet declares support for these women, who make beautiful music in both times of celebration and sorrow.

Twitter / @Czazman

There is nothing punishable about making music. Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas and other mariachi groups should be supported and celebrated for continuing to show up for the Latinidad during this hard time. We hope these mujeres and all El Paso citizens get the help and support they need so they can continue to make the music that moves our communities.

You Will Cry Tears Of Joy When You See This Abuela Doing a Mariachi Howl After Getting Surprised On Her 93rd Birthday

Fierce

You Will Cry Tears Of Joy When You See This Abuela Doing a Mariachi Howl After Getting Surprised On Her 93rd Birthday

Abuelas are the best. They’re wise, fierce, cranky, and, if you’re lucky, they are so loving. That is why it’s so important to pay them the respect they’ve earned, while also celebrating their incredible life. People should honor their grandparents each year as if it’s their last — and in a way that they’d love.

That’s exactly what one family did for their grandmother.

A family in Arizona surprised their 93-year-old abuela on her birthday and holy hell was it sweet.

Twitter/Twitter/@Bracamonteee21

As soon as nana opened the door, her family started playing mariachi music, and she loved it! We have no idea how many people were in that house, but by the sounds of it, there was a lot. Her stunned face clearly showed she had no idea a birthday party in her honor would be behind the door.

The coolest part is seeing this cute abuelita do a mariachi howl.

Twitter/@Bracamonteee21

She seemed so ecstatic not only to be celebrating her birthday with her family, but also to be celebrating herself. Reaching that 93rd year is an incredible accomplishment and you can tell she was happy for herself.

The tweet — posted by @Bracamonteee21 — has since gone viral and has been retweeted more than 30,000 times.

“Thank you all for your kind words 🥰😇 I’ll be going over to my nana house today to show her ❤️😇,” @Bracamonteee21 tweeted. Although the family celebrated their nana’s birthday on March 25, today is actually her birthday. @Bracamonteee21 tweeted today: “Lunch with nana for her birthday 😇❤️.”

A family in Arizona surprised their 93-year-old abuela on her birthday and holy hell was it sweet.

Twitter/Twitter/@Bracamonteee21

As soon as nana opened the door, her family started playing mariachi music, and she loved it! We have no idea how many people were in that house, but by the sounds of it, there was a lot. Her stunned face clearly showed she had no idea a birthday party in her honor would be behind the door.

The coolest part is seeing this cute abuelita do a mariachi howl.

Twitter/@Bracamonteee21

She seemed so ecstatic not only to be celebrating her birthday with her family, but also to be celebrating herself. Reaching that 93rd year is an incredible accomplishment and you can tell she was happy for herself.

The tweet — posted by @Bracamonteee21 — has since gone viral and has been retweeted more than 30,000 times.

“Thank you all for your kind words 🥰😇 I’ll be going over to my nana house today to show her ❤️😇,” @Bracamonteee21 tweeted. Although the family celebrated their nana’s birthday on March 25, today is actually her birthday. @Bracamonteee21 tweeted today: “Lunch with nana for her birthday 😇❤️.”

Here’s some of peoples reaction to this heartwarming video.

She was so happy!

We live for these kinds of tweets.

If we’re not crying happy tears, then what’s the point?

We must see how they celebrate her 94th birthday.

She is everyone’s nana now.

The afterlife should feel like this kind of party.

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We can only hope.

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