Mariachi music is native to the part of western Mexico that includes the state of Guanajuato, where this band is playing in San Miguel de Allende. Their uniform is based on the traje de charro, the costume of the Spanish horseman.
Guanajuato – Been There

Travel through time with a song

Photo by Jeremy Woodhouse

Guanajuato – Been There Travel through time with a song

I came to Guanajuato in Mexico for the beauty of its multicolored houses snaking up the hills around this picturesque Mexican city. But I stayed for the music and the fun.

Kike del Olmo
Kike del Olmo Travel Photographer

The cobbled alleys, picturesque plazas and colorful old buildings of Guanajuato are a photographer’s dream as well as a treasure for those interested in history.

“One of the reasons for its Unesco World Heritage listing is that it is an open-air museum of colonial architecture,” says my friend Enrique. “The almost unimaginable wealth from the silver mines was spent building churches, mansions and civic spaces in the very latest fashions during three centuries of Spanish rule.”

At the town’s Union Square, the Mariachi bands transport me back to those colonial times. They are not here for the tourists. The majority of their clients are Mexicans who hire them to play the old ballads. Locals join in with the singing at the outdoor restaurants. The Mexican cowboy outfits, or “charro”, worn by the musicians are impeccable, with their boots and their tight pants, their jackets and imposing sombreros.

Their western-style costumes are in stark contrast to the Estudiantinas, the music groups made up of university students whose music is of Spanish origin. Their “tuna” costumes appear to come from an entirely different film, maybe one from the medieval era.

Between the architecture and the music scene, I almost have to glance at my smartphone once in a while just to remind myself it is still the 21st century.

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Street artists such as this are a common sight in Guanajuato but it is relatively untouched by tourism compared to nearby San Miguel de Allende. However, it is a popular place to study Spanish and the large student population of the University of Guanajuato adds to its energy. Photo by Kike del Olmo

Kike del Olmo

Kike del Olmo

Nikon D800

Aperture
ƒ/4
Exposure
1/200
ISO
125
Focal
30 mm

Street artists such as this are a common sight in Guanajuato but it is relatively untouched by tourism compared to nearby San Miguel de Allende. However, it is a popular place to study Spanish and the large student population of the University of Guanajuato adds to its energy.

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