Mariachi Imperial de America Helps Celebrate La Virgen de Guadalupe

Stephanie invited me to Saint Jerome Catholic Church in Spring Branch Tuesday night for one of the largest Virgen de Guadalupe celebrations in the city. Indeed, when I arrived, parking was at a premium as almost 1,000 people crowded into the church.

Dancing groups called matachínes began the night by performing indigenous dance routines to the tribal banging of a large drum. Mexican sweet bread and champurrado (a hot chocolate-based drink) was served on the frigid night as we waited to enter the church.

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The night was magical. I was flooded with memories and emotions when I heard the songs and saw the colorful visuals of the celebration. There was one person that I had in my mind and heart: my dearly departed mother.

Back in 1999, we visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and saw Juan Diego's tilma that carries the beautiful image of La Virgen. I specifically remember her being overcome with happiness, laughing and smiling as I wiped tears from her cheek.

Mariachi music tends to have a profound effect on me, and in that respect, it will forever be near and dear to my heart.


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