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Alaska's Hottest Mariachi Band - The Atlantic

Stashed in: Music, Alaska, Identity

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It’s the archetypical mariachi-band scene, one that might be found anywhere in Mexico. But in this particular band, Mariachi Agave Azul, only about half of the players are Mexican or Mexican-American—an unusual statistic in the mariachi scene. And the band is far from the U.S. border—they live in Alaska, which has unexpectedly become one of the most diverse states in America and the setting for a demographic transition: the growth of the Hispanic population in America.

Mariachi Agave Azul was created by two church friends three years ago. Both Mexican-American, they wanted to play mariachi music to fill a cultural void and express their own identities. The band’s name mixes Mexico and Alaska together: Agave is the famous Mexican nectar from which tequila is distilled, and azul—Spanish for “blue”—is a tribute to Alaska’s blue skies and ocean.

How do Mexicans end up in Alaska???

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They're great, right?  Mexicans move to Alaska for high-wage jobs.  Alaska also is more tolerant of immigrants than other states.

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