There are so many images from months of work with all these high…

There are so many images from months of work with all these high school mariachi teams thatI can’t post them all.
But these are some memorable ones that serve a purpose, and that didn’t make it into the story.

1. Members of the Rio Grande City team pray in the dressing room before getting on stage.

2. Some of the young women from the Rio Grande City team prepare their uniforms and makeup before their afternoon performance. Every Mariachi’s appearance is a big part of the festival and judging.

3. A police officer and a drug sniffing dog inspect the bags and instruments of the La High School team prior to their departure for San Antonio. Because all these schools and communities are literally on the border, they must go through inspection prior to driving 150 miles inland. Rather than have the school bus stop and inspect the kids on the highway, most schools elect to have the police come on campus before departing for any away games or trips.

4. A Catholic priest blesses the Roma High School team with holy water before they leave for the San Antonio competition.

5. Underneath the bridges connecting the US to Mexico across the Rio Grande River in Downtown Roma, TX. Thousands of migrants make their way across the border here – just a stones throw away from Roma High School.

6. Members of the La Grulla High School Mariachi team pledge allegiance to the US flag during a homecoming pep rally and football game.

7. Taking a break from unrelenting practice at Roma High School.

8. Michelle Meraz – a freshman guitar player and vocalist – is helped by her mother, as she tries on her custom made dress that was prepared in Mexico specifically for her participation in the vocalist competition.

9. A Roma High school vocalist and violin player prepares his lungs from singing by slowly exhaling into a balloon.

10. A private performance for parents of the Roma High School varsity and JV Mariachi teams.

@ceciliaballi #sonyalpha #mariachi #music #documentary (at Starr County, Texas)