The coronavirus has claimed the lives of at least 20 mariachis in Los Angeles, but the need to go out to work compels many of them to continue to risk their lives.
Even though they are sad inside, they show a happy face, and they continue singing. With their music, they make a birthday, a wedding or any special event have that unique flavor that only they can give.
They sing about love or about loved ones who have left, but behind their happy faces there is great sadness because more than 20 of their colleagues have died from the coronavirus.
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"My husband passed away on Jan. 8. I miss him, my children also miss him and his grandchildren miss him too," said María Concepción Luis, wife of the deceased mariachi.
"It was a very hard blow for us, for all mariachis, because we were stranded," said José Cervantes, a mariachi.
Many of the men have been mariachis for years, and although they have sometimes turned tragedies that happened in real life into songs, they say that not even the best composer in the world could write about something like what they are currently experiencing.
“At first, many people thought it was a lie, and we didn't really take it seriously, but as the days and months went by, and as we say, we saw that the fire began to approach us, and we saw that certain colleagues began to leave -- it was where we began to analyze that this coronavirus was not a game," said Francisco Hernández, a mariachi.
Now with a broken heart ready to sing the saddest song in the world, they draw strength from weakness because they say, life must go on.
"For some time now, everyone's heart has been crushed, but when people hire mariachis, they want joy," Hernández added.
"Now we only take a deep breath and keep it pushing," said Óscar Chávez, from Mariachi Tierra Mexicana.
These mariachis need the help more than ever, since they cannot receive funds from the government.
Despite the danger, they will continue to sing, taking all measures not to be infected with the virus that silenced the voice of many of their colleagues.