Just a few days ago, Ángel Sención walked through the halls of high school as a freshman and began his ninth grade journey in Half Moon Bay, California. It seemed like just yesterday that he spent his summer in San Antonio at the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp.
Four years ago, he took the trip to San Antonio, Texas to take part in a dream of a lifetime. This was his first time to travel out of state without his family and his first time to participate in a summer mariachi program. Not knowing what to expect, Ángel was greeted with the smiles and cantos of Steeven Sandoval and Edwin Origel of Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. Every morning the cantos de mariachi and the alegría that the youth entered the space with radiated in the songs and the friendships they shared.
Ángel’s parents, both from Jalisco, glow with pride when they see him sing. Leaving Mexico behind for a life in the United States, his parents are filled with hopes for their children to grow and learn. Sending their son to camp to study with the most amazing teachers and surrounded by an Extravaganza team full of care for the students was a moment of orgullo (pride) for their son. Ángel still remembers his private voice lesson with one of the Mexico’s most beloved mariachi singers, Steeven Sandoval. Steeven walked side by side with Ángel, encouraging him to reach deep within to find his mariachi voice.
The confidence that Ángel flew home with has grown each year. The last four years have been filled with excitement and growth in his performance as a mariachi student in Northern California. Two years ago, Ángel and his group, Mariachi Media Luna, were invited to perform for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán in San José, California.
Several weeks ago at a family party, Ángel’s father and family celebrated together listening to their favorite mariachi songs sung by Steeven Sandoval on The Mariachi Channel. As they sang together, Ángel lit up in a smile: “‘Apá, ¿recuerdas que él fue mi maestro?” (Dad, do you remember he was my teacher?) His dad smiled and hugged his son, his mariachi treasure. For them, Ángel represents leadership, preserverance and a dream that they have worked so hard for. At every family event and community gathering, Ángel steps up to sing, con orgullo, a pride that radiates across the stage. For his family, he represents them, their family, their country and most of all, the beautiful music of the mariachi.
Ángel found his mariachi voice at the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp, with a dream to continue learning, growing and representing all that is mariachi. From Texas to California, the music of the mariachi is a trail connected by amazing programs like the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp and the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza that are making a difference to youth from all over the country. We look forward to reconnecting with our mariachi family Nov. 26 – Dec. 2 during the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, where more memories will be made.
¡Te esperamos en San Antonio!