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Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo spreads beauty of Hispanic culture through music

Mariachi Aztlan
Posted at 6:38 AM, Sep 29, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "We get to express our culture and present it through this music and i really enjoy that," said Pueblo High School junior Adrianna Herrera.

These students are part of a very special group: Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School.

"I feel like there is such a big culture behind it that not a lot of people get to know and I think being a part of it is just a really big privilege to be surrounded by this community that supports each other," said Pueblo High School junior Diego Soto.

For 20 years, John Contreras has been the Director of Mariachi Aztlan. This school year the group is getting ready for a special opportunity.

"For me and some of these kids, I mean we're here tirelessly. Tirelessly, we're here putting in rehearsal after school and it's really neat that we have other people in the community and in the nation that recognizes this program and want to go hear these kids play," said Contreras.

Mariachi Aztlan has been invited to represent the state of Arizona in the National Independence Day parade next July.

"I'm really excited that we are a small group from a pretty small city this is going to get us a lot of exposure," said Herrera.

"I think it's a big honor being able to be in the parade, not a lot of people get to do it," said Soto.

Now, Contreras is trying to raise funds to get 23 students and chaperones to Washington D.C.

"It's gonna be about $1,500 a kid. So, that's a pretty good amount that we need to raise by the time that 4th of July comes around," said Contreras.

This will be the second time the mariachi group will represent Arizona in the national 4th of July parade.

"We're just hoping that the community can rally around these hardworking students and help us out, help us get them on a plane and get them out there to represent Arizona," said Contreras.

A big moment for these high school students. A chance to represent our community and state on the national stage.

"So, exciting to see peoples' faces light up when you go to play for them especially little kids," said Soto.