The Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi in Guadalajara, Mexico is undoubtedly a very important event for any musical group willing to develop and dive into this type of music. It represents an incomparable platform to exchange experiences, to learn in the workshops, to receive warm aplauses from people who feel proud that the mariachi music is being spread all over the world as part of the rich mexican culture.
Our taking part in this event has been a huge effort but in the end the reward is unmeasurable when we come back full of motivation, new experiences, new goals and eager to share and continue performing for our audience in this part of Europe.
Just as fish need water, birds their wings, for the Mariachis the state Jalisco in Mexico is the oxygen to survive. It is a great experience for a Mariachi band of a non-Mexican origin to come to Jalisco and to take part in the best Mariachi festival. Authentic atmosphere, high-quality music interpretation and human warmth motivates the further learning process of every participating group.
The famous international festival called “Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi” annually hosts mariachi groups coming from different countries of Americas, Europe and Asia. Our group’s best moments came in September 2006 when we were invited to take part in this event.
While we were performing for an audience like the one of Guadalajara, a special emotional feeling got into our musical soul : WE WERE THERE in the very root place of the Mariachi music! We were amazed by the role of mariachi music in the Mexican identity while many people started singing together with us and other Mariachis.
We were also surprised by the interest of Mexican press in our Mariachi. Well, we were a bunch of people who came from far and who seemed to be so enthusiastic about playing Mexican traditional music!
This time under the sponsorship of the Slovak Ministry of Culture, it has been possible to take part in the XVI Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi in Guadalajara, Mexico. With the same enthusiasm and in a very friendly environment, the coexistence with the Mariachi Groups coming from different countries has made this Festival the ideal place to foster the musical spirit and retake the track to keep on making this gender an extraordinary way to express friendship, love, sadness, dissapointment.
This tour was like a dream becoming true. For the members of the group getting to know Mexico was one of the most precious moments. And this has been made possible thanks to the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and the Benemerita Escuela Nacional de Maestros which through their respectives cultural extensions departments and actively lead by Pedro Alonso, Milenko and in Slovakia by Dana Pastekova the director of the Group Magisterial, made the organization of this event a reality. These two weeks at the end of August and beginning of September 2005 were one of the most beatiful experiences for the folks of the group.
The warm reception of the students and professors of Tec de Monterrey and Benemerita Escuela Nacional de Maestros was immediate in all the performances in the Campus Mexico City, Santa Fé and the Rosario premises of Escuela Normal Superior de Maestros , and this was an effective dosage of motivation for every subsequent performance of the group. Coming from Slovakia, the group prepared as well for the mexican audience- althoug not being their main style - a block of musical and dance slovak folclor with the help of the dancers from the Group Magisterial .
Being in Mexico and not being able to visit some of the interesting places of this nice country would not be the best choice. So, during the time for leisure, it has been possible to visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan, Garibaldi square, the Historical down town, Xochimilco, the Museum of Antropology, and even Taxco among other places. As you can imagine, all the rich experiences of this tour will remain for a long time in the memory of our group and the dance group Magisterial.