Hispanic Heritage Month: All-female Mariachi ensemble keeps traditional music alive

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Hispanic Heritage Month would not be the same without the beautiful sounds of music.

Mariachi Margaritas is an all-female mariachi ensemble based out of Brownsville and aims to keep mariachi music alive in the Rio Grande Valley.

The director of the ensemble, Karina Vela, says the group started in 2009 with a group of her college friends.

“Most mariachis were male dominant and we wanted to do something different.”

Karina Vela, Director of Mariachi Margaritas

Vela explained that she is originally from Mexico, and was not inspired by mariachi music until she came to the United States.

“That culture, the music, wearing the outfits, the mariachi traje, it’s something that I actually learned to love here in the U.S.,” she said. “It made me close to my roots from Mexico. It actually happened here in the U.S., which is something very special to me.”

The ensemble performs at events that range from celebrations at venues to funerals and even opened Aguilar, Leonardo Aguilar, and Pepe Aguilar shoe for the Canelos walk-in, according to Vela.

“That for us, I would say is the one I’m going to always remember,” said Vela.

The group practices weekly and the Assistant Director of the ensemble Avigai Gonzalez said it takes more than just practice to reach success.

 “It has to start with friendship and respect and I think that it has brought us this far because of how we respect each other as musicians,” said Gonzalez.

 Gonzalez explained she has been part of the group for seven years as a guitarist and singer and encourages young girls to pursue the same.

Trumpet Musician Brenda Gaucin said the group is like a family working together.

“We all put whatever benefits the group first, we put ourselves second because the group comes first,’ said Gaucin.

The Mariachi Margaritas members all agreed that the group is a great experience and embracing culture is important to them.

“Mariachi more than anything represents our culture, represents who we are as people. Mariachi music brings joy to anywhere we go.” 

Avigai Gonzalez, Assistant Director – Mariachi Margaritas

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