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Mariachi Mi Tierra

Mariachi Mi Tierra / September 24, 2005 / White Center

In Seattle, only 5.3 percent of the city’s total population is Hispanic.  This is much less the national average of 13 percent.

Mexicans are the largest group of foreign born people living in Washington state. constituting almost a quarter of all the foreigners living here.  This is followed by Canadians at 7.7% and Filipinos at 7.6%  according to the Migration Policy Institute.

In the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002,

Section 101 (a) provides for additional training and staff to increase security on both the northen and southern borders.  These positions are in addition to the threefold increase in staffing provided for in the USA Patriot Act signed by President Bush on Oct. 26, 2001.

The number of people granted legal permanent residence in the United States in 2003 dropped 34 percent. according to the Migration Policy Institute.

bass player Alberto Leyva,59, (left side of frame)

We were playing a wedding.  That’s what we do for a living.  We play weddings and birthdays and private parties.  We are 7 in the group.  The name of the group is Mi Tierra.  (means) My Land.  Because that’s where we come from.  We come from Mexico.

In 1988 we come here from LA because the atmosphere here is better for our children. Because of the gangs.  We didn’t want them to grow being that way.  So it’s a better environment here.

guitar player Filiberto Alfaro, 32, (right side of frame

We play with the heart you know because we like it.    We like when the people looks happy. You have to feel what you play, what you sing.  Mi Tierra is “My Land” in Spanish.  So Mariachi Mi Tierra is a … for Mexico.

violinist Gabriel Leyva, 70

We make a movie in 1960 with Elvis Presley. The name of the movie was Fun In Acapulco. They call us.  We give an audition. We have mariachi suits and sombreros.  They like the way we look and they hire us to be in the movie.

Bride and groom, Aracely De Dios, 24 and Jimmy DeDios,23

Its really common in our culture, I guess the way the music is played it’s a little bit more romantic, and we just thought it would be a lot nicer for our church rather than the usual. something different and something from our culture.

We are Mexican.  We go all out when we have a party.  We have all the Mexican food.  … I’ve attended many weddings and a lot of the weddings had mariachi in it.

My Mom definitely influenced me into getting married by church.  I wanted to do it just by court and they said I’m the only girl and they wanted their only daughter to get married the right way and get married by (Catholic) church.

Even though I grew up here, I’ve been here all of my life, you still carry your culture from your parents everything that they’ve influenced, you still carry it on.  Whether you like some stuff or not its hard not to bring it with you ‘cuz you’ve been listening to it all your life.

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