A visit to Ensenada is not complete without seeing a Mariachi band folk dancers.
The art of Mariachi
The traditional songs that accompany the Mariachi music are usually ballads about love affairs, battles, outstanding deeds. The tradition of playing Mariachi passes from father to son. The music learnt by ear.
Mariachi has a strong connection to cultural values such as religious beliefs, respect, and a love of nature. The instruments used by the band form a unique ensemble. A typical mariachi band consists of a guitarrón, vihuela, guitar, violins and trumpets. The musicians are easily recognised by their distinctive charro suits.
UNESCO recognises Mariachi as an intangible cultural asset unique to the people of Mexico.
An evening of Mariachi and Dance
My daughter and I joined a tour from our cruise ship to the Ensenada Cultural Centre for an evening of dinner, music and dance.
The cultural centre was buzzing with the sound of a Mariachi band in the courtyard when we arrived. The sound of the band created a lively atmosphere to welcome the guests.
Our first stop before dinner was an arts and crafts market selling souvenirs in an open air courtyard. The stalls are jammed with a colourful array of instruments textiles and silver.
The courtyard is washed clean by the recent rain. The warm damp air carried the scent of a tropical evening. It was very pleasant to be able to stretch our legs and browse through the stalls before our meal.
Dinner is served in a large hall with the guests seated at tables arranged around a dance floor.
The music started and the dancers came to life with a swirl of their ruffled skirts. Gracefully twisting and twirling around the floor in time to band. It wasn’t long before the audience found themselves clapping and tapping their feet in time to the rhythmic music.
The lively Mexican folk dances vary from region to region. The dances convey religious messages, stories and cultural traditions.
Cruising to Ensenada
It took 5 days to reach the port of Ensenada from Maui. The journey was little rough due to storms in the area.
The waters around Ensenada were full of seals bobbing up and down on marker buoys as we approached the port.