By JOSHUA SOLIS
BOYLE HEIGHTS — A full voice can be heard singing La Cucaracha, while little hands strum decorated guitars. The simple and cheerful melody played by 7-16-year-olds fills the room.
Parents watch as director Richard Mata leads their children. There is a productive feeling in the air as the 13 students in an intermediate class at the Mariachi Conservatory work hard at learning and understanding the music.
The students are taking part in a tradition that is close to the hearts of many, especially Mata, who, along with his wife, Esperanza, began the non-profit conservatory in 2007 because of his love for mariachi music.
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Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth and a sister website with stories also produced by community members “por y para la comunidad.”