The 12-piece Mariachi Femenil Orgullo Mexicano is the first all-female mariachi collaborative in the northern Bay Area. Founded in 2007, they have rapidly been grabbing attention and turning heads by performing at local community events and private parties.
The collaborative's representative, Lilia Chavez, says their mission is to lead by example and honor Mexican culture, mariachi tradition and women in the arts. Chavez said they must respect and carry on the gifts that the ancestors left them. Many of the members have family that play mariachi.
They come from all over the Bay Area and practice in Albany and South San Francisco, "to give the neighbors a break," said Chavez.
Cinco De Mayo marks the 1862 battle of Puebla, during which Mexican soldiers defeated the French army in what a crucial victory regarded as a symbol of national unity. The holiday is only regionally observed in Mexico, with Independence Day on September 16 a much bigger deal.
Find out more about this group of women is doing to preserve Mexican heritage in the U.S. by going to their site or checking out their Facebook page. ¡Arriba Mexico!