The Mariachis Lindas Mexicanas are dominating in what is traditionally a male-oriented world. When you think of mariachis, you probably immediately conjure up the image of a male lineup, in dapper and flamboyant suits, crooning "Cielito Lindo." These women are challenging that, and in the process, spreading a message of female empowerment.
They’ve become one of the in-demand groups in Los Angeles. Founder Maricela Martinez put the group together back in 2007, in part because of her passion for the music and in part because of her desire to immerse in her native culture. The female empowerment thing came after, once a cohesive group formed and they started getting positive feedback from the community.
“We still hear people say that it's the first time they see an all-female mariachi,” Martinez said. “It’s weird for us because we've been doing this for years now.”
All-female mariachi groups are becoming increasingly standard. But none are doing as well as these ladies in the LA area.
Catherine Baeza, one of the violinists, said being part of the group has helped her realize her own potential as a female, going after everything she wants.
“We can prove to them that we can be mothers, we can have careers, and still have this great passion and still be good at it,” she said.
Olga Casillas, another violinist, put it simply and effectively.
“Female Mariachis are just as good as male Mariachis," she said. "There's nothing different other than wearing a skirt and pants.”
Mariachis Lindas hopes that little girls in the audiences they play to will see in them the example of a strong female who can tackle anything she sets her mind to. Sure, their peers are mostly all-male. But that doesn’t stop them from going after it.
But female empowerment aside, they are incredibly talented musicians and singers. Martinez is an absolute powerhouse voice. Her voice is so crisp and strong, in fact, that she blew our audio out during filming.
Every woman in the band is on top of her game, and that’s the way they want it.
Baeza muses on the reasons why.
“Of course this is a passion, it's an art, but a lot of times the men do it because they have to make a living," she said. "For women, what I see, is we want to be here.”
"What I tell the girls: If you really want to do it, you can do anything. As long as your passion is there, as long as your drive is there, the mind is an incredible instrument.”
Here are some other game changers in the LA area:
Claire Wineland lives with cystic fibrosis and has a powerful message about living life to the fullest.
This guy goes out every morning to paint over gang tags in the city.
Ron Finley is changing his community, one seed and one garden at a time.
And check out this piece on the first LGBTQ mariachi band: