Things That Matter

This Photo Of A Mexican Mariachi In Vancouver Went Viral And Here’s What You Should Know About The Man In The Image

We love it when someone is going about their day and suddenly become ephemeral celebrities thanks to a photographer who was there in the right place at the right time. Such is the case of a Mexican mariachi who was immortalized while he was walking amidst a snowstorm in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Latin American musicians, mainly Mexicans and Peruvian folk singers, have migrated all around the world and make a living showcasing the cultural richness of their countries. They often have to survive for years as street performers, but many of them have found a way to build a musical career from scratch. It is common to see mariachis and Andean musicians in squares and plazas all around the world, particularly in Western European cities such as Madrid and Paris. 

So this is the photograph that made its rounds in social media and turned this mariachi into an online celebrity.

Credit: bananacampphoto/ Instagram

Just look at him, super regal walking as if he was strolling down the streets of Durango or San Miguel de Allende. There is a mythical quality to the photo. The way that he is carrying his guitar case reminds us of Antonio Banderas in Desperado. His gaze, serenely looking at the snow-covered floor, is reminiscent of old Westerns. But above all his white and red mariachi suit makes a perfect contrast with the environment. The onlookers on the background also give this great image a bit of drama. We just want to print and frame it, eh!

The image reminds us of the work of great photographers of the seemingly mundane such as Henri Cartier-Bresson or the Mexican great Manuel Alvarez Bravo. The photo was captured by photographer Cameron Frazier during a shooting to promote the 17th anniversary of this mysterious mariachi’s band… Yes, we know you want to find out who he is and we are keeping you en suspenso! 

But who is this mysterious mariachi?!

When the photograph became viral due to its mythical quality, the question was who on Earth was this amazing musician. Well, his name is Alex Alegria and he has Oaxacan heritage. He has a mariachi band called Los Dorados and he has been living in Canada for 23 years. He has employed non Mexicans in his mariachi band, showing that music is universal and that when there is passion involved it doesn’t matter where you are from. Everyone owns music, right?

Alex arrived in Canada when he was only 20 years old as an international student. But he decided to stay and has made the Pacific coastal town of Vancouver his home. He plays with his band twice a week in two restaurants. He discovered his passion for mariachi music when he became a street performer, as Mexico Desconocido found out. He used to work in a factory and was at risk of depression, but Mexico’s most famous musical genre helped him regain his passion for life and improve his mental health. His band is made up of 12 musicians, only three of which are Mexican. The rest come from Canada, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine and China.

Such a diverse group! We love it! They have played in various consulates and embassies in the United States and Canada. And the white and red colors on the mariachi suit? You guessed it: they are an homage to the Canadian flag. This is a great example of the wonders that can happen when multiculturalism is promoted and celebrated, as is the case with Canada and its inclusive migration policies from which a lot of Global North countries could learn. 

You might not be aware, but there are professional mariachis all around the world.

Credit: Mexico Desconocido/ Instagram

In the United States one only has to Google “mariachi near me” to find multiple listings. European cities are the same: mariachis are constantly sought after to play at parties, embassy events and all sorts of social gatherings. Even as far as Australia there are Mexicam musicians who have migrated and made a living out of singing classic tunes like “El Rey” and “La Puerta Negra.”

As Hector Patricio, founder of Fiesta Viva in Sydney, explains: “Traditional mariachi is a type of music that is strong, loud, and represents us as Mexicans. It is joyful and sad at the same time. People in Australia love it. 80% of my bookings are made by white Australians. We work with the best talent agencies. Mariachi music brings happiness and sadness together. We even play at funerals. We migrate to work hard, we always find a way to make things happen. Us Mexican migrants are constantly tested and we have to make it happen through hard work and dedication.”

President Trump’s Border Wall Blew Over In High Winds And Landed On Mexican Territory—Yes, You Read That Right

Things That Matter

President Trump’s Border Wall Blew Over In High Winds And Landed On Mexican Territory—Yes, You Read That Right

CRA TV / YouTube

A stretch of President Trump’s infamous border wall that was newly constructed in Calexico, California, collapsed and fell into Mexicalli, Mexico due to strong winds this Wednesday. “We have a very powerful wall,” said the president in November, but judging by the photos of the toppled over structure, it doesn’t really look like it. 

Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds Wednesday, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border.

Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection sector in El Centro, California, told CNN that the section of the wall that gave into the wind had recently been set in a new concrete foundation in Calexico, California. The concrete had not yet cured, according to Pitones, and the wall panels were unable to withstand the weather conditions.

The structure landed on trees that prevented it from hitting the ground.

Police said it happened a little before 12 p.m. local time. A portion of the wall landed on the trees, preventing it from hitting the ground. It runs about 130 feet in length.

President Trump’s prized border wall succumbed to gusts of less than 40mph.

“Luckily, Mexican authorities responded quickly and were able to divert traffic from the nearby street,” US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent Carlos Pitones said. Nobody is believed to have been injured.

The National Weather Service reported that winds in the area gusted as high as 37 mph Wednesday.

Video from CNN affiliate KYMA shows the metal panels leaning against the trees adjacent to a Mexicali, Mexico, street as the wind whips up dirt from the construction site on the other side of the border.

The fence is part of the Trump administration’s ongoing construction project to stop illegal migration across the 1,954 mile-long (3,145 km) US-Mexico border.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump declared at a campaign event in New Jersey that the wall was “going up at record speed.”A day later, the winds blew a section of newly installed panels against a road in Mexicali, on the Mexican side of the border.

When visiting a section of the wall in California last year, Mr Trump described its concrete and steel slats as “virtually impenetrable.”

Despite three years of slow progress, Trump has pledged to build 450 miles by 2021, in an attempt to boost his electoral chances later this year. While President Trump has often claimed the wall “can’t be climbed”, viral footage has shown multiple people climbing existing portions of the costly barrier, and to-scale replicas, with ease.

Even with funding, the administration will have to fight private landowners whose property may be seized to build barriers along the border.

As well as facing political and legal challenges, the Trump administration has also had to beat physical obstacles, filing three lawsuits towards the end of 2019 as part of efforts to seize US citizens’ property. The Department of Justice has said it’s preparing to file more lawsuits of the same nature, Associated Press reported in November.

The US president claimed he wasn’t familiar with a Washington Post report suggesting smugglers had cut through.

The Post’s report said that smugglers had succeeded in cutting through sections of the border wall using everyday household power tools. “I haven’t heard that. We have a very powerful wall”, President Trump said. “But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness. But we have a lot of people watching.”

Customs and Border Protection says local Mexicali officials diverted traffic from the area of the accident, and the agency is working with the Mexican government on the next steps to right the wall. Pitones said it is not currently known how long the construction work in the area will need to be suspended in order to allow for cleanup.

‘Amor Eterno’ Trended On Twitter After A Mariachi Band Sung The Classic Ballad For Kobe Bryant Outside Staples Center

Entertainment

‘Amor Eterno’ Trended On Twitter After A Mariachi Band Sung The Classic Ballad For Kobe Bryant Outside Staples Center

ABC7 / Youtube.com

“Como quisiera, que tu vivieras, que tus ojitos jamas se hubieran cerrado nunca, y estar mirandolos.” The words sung by a mariachi band moved fans to tears outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles for its performance of the classic ‘Amor Eterno’ to honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. 

Crowds gathered outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles to honor Kobe Bryant. 

Among the many memorials and tributes that fans offered, to honor of the basketball star and his daughter, were several mariachi bands, who sung Juan Gabriel’s classic ‘Amor Eterno’ and brought everyone to tears. 

Among the hundreds of people who gathered Wednesday evening at the makeshift memorial near Staples Center were more than a dozen mariachi musicians from throughout Los Angeles.

The 1984 song by Juan Gabriel, the late Mexican singer-songwriter, is commonly played at Mexican funerals, vigils and memorials. The lyrics capture the sadness felt by many around the world. Some of the lines of the song translate to: “You are the sadness in my eyes, that weep in silence for your love, I look at myself in the mirror and see my face, the time I’ve suffered because of your goodbye.

“How I wish that you lived, that your little eyes never had closed, and to be looking at them… Love eternal and unforgettable, sooner or later I will be with you, to continue loving each other.”

The mariachi left such an impression on fans, that ‘Amor Eterno’ trended on Twitter.

Several fans have been flooding social media with messages expressing how moved they were by the performance of the song using the term “Amor Eterno” which has been trending on Twitter. “Yesterday banda & today they sang “amor eterno” w/ mariachi. This song is so beautiful but so heartbreaking at the same time. For those that don’t know this is a very popular song usually played at a funeral in the Hispanic culture. it’s translates to eternal love,” wrote @_claarisaaa.

The death of Bryant and his daughter has caused a shock wave of devastation across the globe.

Fans have been gathering outside the Staples Center for days since the news broke, mourning the loss of the NBA legend and a budding basketball star that his daughter was poised to become.

“He really embraced the Latino community. He did interviews in Spanish,”

Mariachi band member Santiago Alberto explained the support and love that the Latinx community has for Kobe Bryant.”L.A. is a mostly Latino community and they welcomed him with open arms when he came to L.A.” Alberto put out a call to local mariachi performers online. Members of different bands, they played together for the first time Wednesday night.

“This is how we mourn our people, with mariachi, with live bands,” Moorpark resident Ramon Avila said. “We mourn him, but we also gratify him for everything he did for us.”

Kobe Bryant holds a special place in the Latinx community of L.A.

This particular demographic feels that he embodied many of our cultural symbols: “Black Mamba” was a practicing Catholic, he was married to a Mexican American woman, he spoke Spanish, dreamed big and worked tirelessly toward his goals. Many Latinos in L.A. have a special appreciation for the basketball star. 

Several celebrity friends of the basketball champion have been paying tribute to Kobe Bryant, including fellow NBA player LeBron James.

”Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! Man I love you big bro…” he wrote.

Even Latinx stars paid tribute, saying his legacy went beyond the United States.

“I would have never imagined that this would hurt me so much!” wrote Reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny. “I’ve never mentioned it because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with music, but this man has been an inspiration in many ways for me to be what I am today.” Ivy Queen, Anuella AA, and J Balvin, were among others who paid tribute to the NBA star.