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

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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

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Mexico’s Mariachis Are Struggling Amid The Pandemic But People Are Showing Up To Support Them In The Best Way

Things That Matter

Mexico’s Mariachis Are Struggling Amid The Pandemic But People Are Showing Up To Support Them In The Best Way

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

The Coronavirus pandemic has wrought destruction on entire communities. Millions of people have been left without work and struggling to figure out a way forward, a way to support their families, amid the economic consequences of a global pandemic.

Some of us have been furloughed, others let go with the help of unemployment or a severance package, but far too many have been let go with no help at all: such is the case of Mexico’s large mariachi community.

For the first time in three months, the sound of mariachi filled Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

EArly in the morning, more than 200 mariachi musicians returned to Plaza Garibaldi – Mexico City’s unofficial mariachi hub – and filled the plaza with music.

The musicians hoped to bring attention to the dire economic situation that so many of them face. Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting government shut down orders, mariachis have seen a devastating drop in their usual source of income. People have not been able to visit Plaza Garibaldi or hire mariachis for parties such as weddings and quinceañeras, which is having a hugely negative impact on musicians.

“We want help, we want the people to know that the mariachis live on,” musician Marcos Montes told the newspaper El Universal. “We want to work and need the support of people — perhaps not with handouts but by coming to see us and by hiring us.”

The bands showed up to play music but also receive much needed aide.

Credit: Maxx Wolferson / Getty Images

The charity Agrega organized the event, making sure that those who showed up maintained a safe distance as they gathered and played classics like México Lindo y Querido. The musicians also wore masks at the request of the organization. 

Agrega works with businesses and individuals to raise money and provide food to feed the hungry. It is currently raising money for supplies via their fundraising website

The distribution of care packages, which are meant to last six weeks, are part of a campaign Agrega calls “Al Pie de tu Ventana” (“Just Outside Your Window”), a reference to the common sight of mariachis hired to serenade people outside their window.

Many Mexicans are employed in the informal economy – including mariachis – and have received little to no help from the government.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

It’s estimated that about 60%-70% of Mexicans are employed in the country’s informal economy: taco stands, food vendors, street artists, domestic workers, and musicians. Many have received little to no help from the government, despite being among the most vulnerable groups.

At Plaza Garibaldi, musicians of all ages and genders came out to play and receive much-needed help.

Jacinto Martínez, 71, said he has spent his entire life as a mariachi. “I’m the son of a mariachi,” he said. “I was taught to play the violin since age 8, and I don’t know how to do anything else. Now my children are helping me to keep going.”

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country.

As of Friday, June 26, Mexico has more than 200,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 25,000 people have died. The country is now considered a global hotspot for the virus as numbers continue to reach record highs each day.

Despite the ongoing crisis, the government will be allowing phased reopenings beginning next week.

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Charro And Mariachi Nike Cortez Concept Is Something We Didn’t Know That We Needed

Culture

Charro And Mariachi Nike Cortez Concept Is Something We Didn’t Know That We Needed

paisaboys / Instagram

The Nike Cortez has a long and storied history in the Latino community. They are something that every Latino can identify because we have all seen them many times. One company has taken them and given them a whole new feel and people need them made.

Paisa Boys are teasing everyone with a Charro/Mariachi-inspired Nike Cortez.

The design is pretty amazing. The Paisa Boys brand is unapologetic about who they are and what they want to do. They are using clothing to tell the story of the Chicano experience. The brand does not hold back and the products include the intricate and incredible designs from Mexican and Chicano culture.

Their website says they are sold out so it is worth paying attention when they start mentioning stuff.

Over the years, the brand has been giving the Chicano experience a voice through fashion. “Gringos Ilegales!” and “Fierro” are some of the terms that the Paisa Boys have used to bring some fashion choices that will definitely catch everyone’s attention.

The shoes are really something to behold.

That amount of detail is wonderful and not trying too hard. It is a well-done expression of Mexican and Chicano culture. Not to mention the physical manifestation of the experience of people who lives in the U.S., LA specifically, and spent time in Mexico with family. An American classic elevated and refined with a Mexican and Chicano lens.

People are already lining up to buy these shoes.

Credit: ek.prz / Instagram

We just need to know how much and how do we pay. Guarantee that these shoes would be a massive hit. Companies have given us culturally relevant shoes before and they are beloved.

Legit, people just are ready for this kind of heat.

Credit: pajarito_biz / Instagram

No one is ready for this kind of fire. There is no way to know that these were shoes that we needed. We never realized how amazing shoes like this could be and now that we’ve seen them, we can’t unsee it. How do we get these done? Do we petition? What are the steps?

Not being able to get these shoes is already bumming people out.

Credit: bunkhomie / Instagram

Like, for real. Feelings are already getting hurt. We need to be able to make these part of our wardrobe. What will it take, Nike?

READ: The Swoosh Gets The Latino Treatment: Nike Launches Limited-Edition ‘Día De Muertos’ Collection Complete With Calaveras And Papel Picado Designs

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