Column: Participation in mariachi band gives life lessons

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Mariachi Huenachi

Mariachi Huenachi is the advanced mariachi music class at Wenatchee High School. It has earned a reputation as the best high school mariachi group in the state of Washington. The Wenatchee School District’s mariachi program has been nationally recognized as being the fastest growing mariachi music program outside of Mexico, It currently has more than 300 participating students ages 9-18. The program provides access to musical instruments free of cost to all its students who are in turn encouraged to pay it forward by modeling good citizenship, volunteering, and performing at community events, senior centers, colleges and universities, and nonprofits. Mariachi Huenachi has been to Walla Walla several times over the past five years. It was hosted by the Walla Walla High School Latino Club.

Mariachi has been there for me ever since the sixth grade. As a junior at Wenatchee High School, to be a part of Mariachi Huenachi another year is a privilege and an honor for me.

Mariachi has not been some extra curricular class to mess around in for an easy grade. It’s family, life, and respect.

This past year while playing in Mariachi Huenachi I have learned the many way ways we can respect each other and how everyone is different. I have learned how to meet people in the middle of every situation no matter how different they are.

Playing mariachi music is more than just playing music, especially when you have a passion for playing your heart out on stage. It pushes you to strive for better opportunities that you want to take advantage of in this world.

Our mariachi director always says to us we are the kids who do well in the community. We fight for good grades. We must set the example, and we help one another to make changes in our community.

I still remember stepping out of my small shell during my first performance. Wearing the blue mariachi uniform has made me realize how amazing and special it feels to have everyone in the crowd cheer for us to play another song. It is the best feeling ever.

Spreading our Latino culture helps us figure out who we are and will set us up for greatness. The opportunities offered by playing mariachi are truly amazing.

By being a part of Mariachi Huenachi I have made lifelong friends, gotten closer to my culture and made lifetime memories that fill me with joy.

Andrea Cuevas is a guitar section leader for Mariachi Huenachi. She has been a part of the Wenatchee School District mariachi program for five years and is currently a junior at Wenatchee High School. She plans to attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to study law enforcement and hopes to be an FBI agent.

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